Navigating the Retail Landscape: A Beginner's Guide to the UK's Big Supermarkets

Phil Mc mahon | B2B

Navigating the Retail Landscape: A Beginner's Guide to the UK's Big Supermarkets

Phil Mc mahon | B2B
No items found.
No items found.
No items found.
No items found.
No items found.
No items found.

Congratulations on being part of the exciting world of FMCG! If you're a start-up brand with strong ethical and sustainability values, you're on the right path to making a positive impact. Some start-ups have the advantage of very experienced and savvy personnel, while others are simply born out of a passion to do something new, something different, something better!  Either way, one of your key goals is likely to be to secure listings with UK grocery retailers, including the big supermarket chains. However, navigating this retail landscape can be particularly daunting for beginners. Don't worry; we're here to guide you through it.

Key Steps to Engage with UK's Big Supermarkets:

  • Do Your Homework: Understand the buyer's preferences, each supermarket's ethos, and their commitment to ethical and sustainable products. Research their corporate responsibility reports and sustainability initiatives. Knowledge is your best ally.  We have included some useful links at the end for you!
  • Perfect Your Pitch: Craft a compelling story about your brand, emphasising its ethical and sustainable values.  Explain why your product is unique and aligns with the supermarket's objectives. Your pitch should resonate with their mission.
  • Build Relationships: Networking is a powerful tool. Attend industry events and trade shows to meet potential buyers and supermarket representatives. Engage in meaningful conversations, and don't be afraid to reach out to other brands who have been there before you.  You’ll be amazed at the support you’ll receive from others if you’re brave enough to ask!
  • Showcase Your Credentials: Highlight your ethical and sustainability credentials prominently. Clearly communicate your certifications, eco-friendly packaging, sourcing practices, and any positive impact your product has on society or the environment.  We are in an age of declining trust and a deluge of greenwashing, so the future of ethical and sustainability claims lies in complete transparency.  Demonstrate to buyers how you are showing customers the positive impact your brand makes.  Claiming your Really Good Culture brand profile is a great way to do this.
  • Prepare for Negotiation: Be prepared to negotiate with buyers and be pragmatic about defining your pricing strategy. Supermarkets often have specific pricing expectations, and flexibility can be the key to securing a listing.  Know your limitations though and be prepared to walk away if the buyer’s final position exposes you to too much risk.  Sometimes the timing just isn’t right.  Market conditions can change and you can revisit in the future.  In the meantime, you can focus on other targets.
  • Demonstrate Flexibility: Be ready to adapt. Supermarkets may provide feedback or request changes to align better with their requirements. Be open to making adjustments while maintaining your core values.  If a buyer is engaging in a discussion with you then you should take it as a signal that they see a place for your product in their stores.  Listen closely, understand why they are saying what they are saying, and do your best to satisfy any reasonable requests.  Working with a buyer to achieve a mutually beneficial outcome will go a long way towards building a strong relationship.

While navigating the UK's big supermarkets as a start-up FMCG brand may seem challenging, remember that it's a journey filled with opportunities.  It will be a rollercoaster, and you’ll want to get off at times.  But you can’t get to the top if you jump off at the bottom.  Stay optimistic, realistic, and committed to your ethical and sustainable mission. Building relationships, showcasing your credentials, and perfecting your pitch will help you make a meaningful impact in the retail landscape.

Your dedication to ethicality and sustainability can set you apart, and supermarkets are increasingly seeking brands like yours. Avoid the trap of becoming too internally focused and keep your head up; you need to understand what’s going on in your category, the wider grocery sector, the environment, and the economy.  All of these are likely to have implications for your brand.  So keep learning, stay resilient, and embrace every step of this exciting journey. Success awaits, and with the right approach, you'll find your place on the shelves of the UK's big supermarkets.

Oh, and here are those handy links we promised you…

https://www.rangeme.com/

https://www.tescoplc.com/contacts/suppliers/

https://www.about.sainsburys.co.uk/suppliers/becoming-a-supplier

https://www.asdasupplier.com/

https://www.aldi.co.uk/corporate/suppliers/becoming-a-supplier

https://www.morrisons-corporate.com/suppliers/supplying-morrisons/

https://corporate.lidl.co.uk/supplier-information

https://www.waitrose.com/ecom/content/about-us/regional-suppliers

https://about.iceland.co.uk/doing-it-right/supplier-information/

https://www.coop.co.uk/our-suppliers

https://supplyocado.com/

https://supply.booths.co.uk/

https://spar-international.com/suppliers/

READ MORE / LEARN MORE / BECOME MORE PRETENTIOUS
JOIN THE CULT - get the latest drops