5 Tips to help you get stocked in Whole Foods

Written in

August 8, 2023

A quick-fire guide to some of the key things you need to consider when trying to get your product stocked in premium retailers.

Do you dream of seeing your product on the shelves of these premium retailers?

Getting listings in the likes of Whole Foods, Planet Organic and Selfridges is what Emily Boyce, the founder of Sweet Thyme Foods, does day in day out with her sales team. We picked her brains for some insider knowledge of what new and fledging FMCG brands need to do to bag that listing.

  1. Contact the right buyer

There are buying teams at Whole Food Market, Planet Organic and Selfridges - there may be a grocery, chilled, health and beauty and many more. It’s imperative that you’re reaching out to the right buyer for your brand in the hopes of getting a listing.

How to find them? Linkedin, ring the head office, ask the store managers on the ground, ask fellow Mission Kitchen members..

  1. What are you offering to the store?

It’s easy to get excited about the opportunity of being in these premium stores, but we need to remember that the buyers are there to make money. Brands need to see the other side of the coin and identify what they can offer Whole Foods Market, Planet Organic and Selfridges to increase their sales.

These stores don’t have infinite shelf space, so, why your brand over their current offering?

For example, you might be offering incremental growth to a previously stale category, or offering delicious, HFSS compliant snacks that can go at the front of store.

  1. Marketing support

These stores make money in 2 ways - selling products and via the marketing spend that brands put behind the listings.

Ask the buyers for their marketing pack so that you can get back to them with a marketing proposal. No only will you have to pay for these, but they should also increase the rate of sale - a double win for the buyers! 

These marketing options can include gondola ends, window displays, premium store positioning, website banners and more.

Samplings are typically the most cost effective way to support a listing and have a great impact on the rate of sale. 

  1. Email advice

It’s easy for us to get carried away being excited about our brand and all of the brilliant things about it, but you need to keep your emails short and snappy. The longer it is, the less likely it is to be read. 

Buyers can get 100s of emails a day, so be mindful of this and how little time they have!

Because of this, it’s inevitable that you will need to chase the buyers. When chasing, be sure to keep it fresh, don’t just ask them if they’ve seen your email and would like samples. Some ideas to spice things up - PR/press, NPD pipeline, recipes (particularly if your offering is innovative so it’s difficult to pinpoint how to use it), market research.

  1. Route to market

All of these stores need a route to market (aka wholesaler) as they don't have their own fulfilment.

If you don’t know who they use, the store teams should be able to help you if you pop in to visit them. 

Be sure to speak to these wholesalers so that they’re aware of your brand if the retailers express interest. Ideally, you will also have discussed commercials with them so that you can share the cost price to these premium stores for the buyers to be able to review. 

Want some additional help with FMCG Sales?

Contact Emily Boyce: