Vol. 127 - NO. 39

Blog Startup CPG

SINCE 2019

Demystifying Retail Buyer

Category reviews are often anxiety-inducing affairs, particularly when you don’t have any pre-existing relationship.

To help alleviate some of these fears, on Thursday, June 2nd, Startup CPG and NielsenIQ hosted a Webinar called “Demystifying Retail Buyers’ Expectations”.

Our own Peter Boyajian facilitated a discussion between NieslenIQ’s North America VP – Growth, Marc Santos and Metropolitan Market Category Reviewer Shanon Herzer. The main focus was how on small CPG brands can truly shine in their category reviews and how data can be the key player in these conversations.

You can access the full recorded Webinar here. If you don’t have the time to watch the webinar right now, take a look at some of the key takeaways from the discussion broken out below.

Top Category Review Tips

Going into a category review can seem like a daunting task. You have to convince someone to carry your product, often without any evidence that your products will be big sellers. Luckily, there are a few ways you can maximize the chances the retailer will want to invest in you and your products.
Here are some useful tips covered in the webinar discussion.

Be Prepared

It may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people go into category review meetings without the documents, data, or story they need to seal the deal. Take the time to get all of your materials together, practice your pitch, and dress appropriately. You’ll also want to look into any particular requirements the retailer has for pitches. Many will give you a checklist or some guidance on the things they want, but you can always look online for the questions and topics usually covered in reviews, so you won’t be caught unawares.

Use Packaging to Attract Consumers

Retailers need a compelling reason to put your products on their shelves. One of the biggest factors in getting products to sell in a retail environment is the packaging. You need to make sure your packaging is visually appealing, explains the product, and has adequate information to convince customers to buy it. No matter how good your story or the quality of your product, it’s meaningless if the retailer feels like the product won’t sell based on looks. This may seem like a lot of work, especially if it requires changing the existing packaging, but it will pay dividends in the long run for both you and the retailer.


Know Your Numbers

Data is king. Whether you’re a multinational conglomerate or just starting out, you should be using retail data. By accessing data from a company like NielsenIQ, you can understand the category growth, determine which retailers to sell through, optimize pricing and promotion strategies. Target new markets, and more. You also need to understand your own sales figures and have a realistic forecast for sales at the retailer you’re pitching to.


Have a Promotion Plan

One interesting topic that came up, and that many small CPG brands forget about, is trade promotion planning. Many category reviewers want you to have a plan for promoting your product before they’re willing to carry it. This means you need to have a dedicated budget for trade promotions and understand your margins well enough to determine how much of a discount you can offer, for how long, and what the expected return is.


Want Category Data to Impress Retailers?

Don’t have time to wade through data for your retailer pitch? Byzzer Stories does the work for you. This AI-powered tool pulls actionable data that shows your brand in the best light, highlights the strongest points to impress your retailer, and plugs it all into a ready-to-use presentation. Learn more about Byzzer Stories here.   

Even more amazing news for Startup CPG members: Our exclusive data partnership with NielsenIQ includes access to Byzzer, a simplified data solution designed to empower small brands.
Brands using Startup CPG’s custom Byzzer link will get free access to 3 reports. Pick the brand/category you’re interested in, and immediately pull the data you need to make the impact you want.

(Pro tip – sign up for weekly alerts to get WEEKLY free data insights direct to your inbox.)

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