Selling wines through a distributor is the route to market for most small to medium wineries, breweries and distilleries. Distribution firms make money from being the middlemen between the industry and retail by taking a margin as the brand flows through. They have a portfolio of brands from different categories and countries, most of which will be direct competition to you. So, you have to ask yourself, "How is my brand going to improve their portfolio?"
For wineries, breweries and distilleries seeking distribution, the current wine market has never been harder. Most distributor’s already have overflowing portfolios and struggle to sell decent volumes of many smaller brands as it is, meaning they are keen to focus on growing their current brands rather than add more to their portfolio and dilute their focus.
Distributors want to represent professionally run producers who understand their own role in the supply chain as well as the distributor’s and come to the table in a position to start supplying product without any major hurdles. Unfortunately, far too often distributors find themselves explaining the ins and outs of the trade to a confused producer, providing him a list of things that need to be seen to before his wines will be considered ready for distribution – both frustrating and a waste of precious time. With several wineries approaching good distributors each week, the opportunity to stand out from the crowd is slim, so smart producers need to make sure they tick all the necessary boxes before picking up the phone and making an appointment.
This checklist simply covers the most important factors that a winery needs to look at before approaching a distributor.
Wineries that complete the checklist will be ready to discuss representation with distributors and find that they have a far better chance of signing with a distributor than those who wander in unprepared. It really is that simple.
Any winery that can’t tick all the boxes or is unsure how to approach a distributor should look at A Guide for Wineries Seeking Distribution which covers this area in great detail. Having a great wine, beer, spirit is not enough to gain distribution - it certainly helps. The list of questions here covers the key areas of your business that a distributor will be interested in.
Answering 'no' to any question highlights an area of your business offer that needs to be looked at before you are fully prepared to approach a distributor.
This article was contributed by our friend who wants to be called "The Wine Rep". We are very thankful to discuss the distribution topic with them and have their check list. Source: TheWineRep.com