Fulfill Your Dreams, Get Your Product in Bi-Rite Market

How to Put Your Best Facebook Face Forward

Do you make artisan foods? Do you dream of selling your food product at Bi-Rite Market in San Francisco? Don’t know where to start?

In this article I am going to share with you some insider tips on getting your product through the door, tips straight from Raph one of Bi-Rite’s grocery buyer.

Come Prepared to Bi-Rite: The 4 things to have ready.
Process for Picking Foods for Bi-Rite Grocery Stores
BI-RITE FACTS:
  • They work with over 400 suppliers.
  • Each week 5 new products are introduced to the store, and
  • About 5 existing products are replaced to make room for the new food items they bring in each week.
  • They choose about 15-20 products a month through the varieties food shows they attend. (keep reading for a list below)
  • They choose about 5 new products a month through product samples delivered to the store.

So you are probably wondering by now, how do they judge the products.

BI-RITE LOOKS AT 8 MAIN CRITERIA.

  1. Packaging- Will it fit on the shelf? Is it eye appealing?
  2. Is it produced in small batches?- Bi-Rite defines small batch as only a few cases produced at a time up to 20 cases max. The food is produced by the owner or a small team of no more than three people.
  3. Is it local?- they prefer if the ingredients are locally sourced and produced.
  4. Is it unique?
  5. Is it “best in class” for the type of food item. Has it won any awards? Is it excellent and does it stand out?
  6. What are the ingredients?- Are they high quality ingredients? Do the ingredients come from family owned farms? Is it transparent where the ingredients are coming from?, Are the ingredients local? Are the ingredients “clean”? No GMO’s or hydrogenated oils.
  7. Do they currently make a similarly under the Bi-Rite Label? If they do, it is unlikely that your product will be chosen for Bi-Rite.
  8. Is it shelf stable or a refrigerated product? They don’t have enough freezer space to introduce new frozen products.

Bi-Rite gets about 200 products a month to try from varies artisan food producers, which are sampled and evaluated by all the food buyers at a monthly meeting. Out of those 200 products they choose about 5-10 to stock.

Bi-Rite rejects about 95% of the products they receive to sample. 

Pricing: Am I Appropriately Priced?

Wholesale pricing is dependent on the type of food product you are making.

HOW DO I FIGURE OUT MY WHOLESALE PRICE?

  • Need to Cover Cost of Goods Sold (Ingredients, Labor, Overhead)
  • Your Margin (profit) per item sold
  • Competitor Price Comparison

So once you have an idea of what price you need to sell your item at to cover your business costs, lets see if you are competitively priced to get into Bi-Rite.

First let’s go over the math:

math_wholesale_pricing

See some examples in our slide show for:

  • Cereals & Granola
  • Jams
  • Salty Snacks: Such as chips
  • Yogurt
  • Shelf Stable Salsas
  • Nut Butters
Yes ! Bi-Rite wants to Carry My Product... Now What?

So you are have been chosen to be a Bi-Rite vendor, what is expected of a food vendor:

  1. Completing accounting forms with Bi-rite
  2. Weekly orders, which need to be delivered to both stores between 6:00 am -2:30pm.
  3. Invoice dropped off with every delivery.
  4. Staffing from the food company for in store tastings & product demos.
  5. Promoting sales of your product at Bi-Rite through your company’s social media channels.
  6. Bi-Rite Marketing department features one new product a week in their newsletter.
Food Shows Bi-Rite Buyers Attend

The Bi-Rite grocery buyers attend the following food shows every year looking for new products. If you have an excellent product and can afford a booth, it would be a great way to get noticed.

HERE IS THE FOOD SHOW LIST:

San Francisco Fancy Food Show (January)

Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim (March)

Good Food Awards Market Place (Mercantile- SF mid January)

UNFI Show (June)

Tip: Food Shows

Try to share a booth with another small food producer. This will keep the costs lower.

Insider Tip: Food Show

If you can only go to one show, Raph recommends the Good Food Awards Mercantile.

Tips to Keeping My Food on the Shelves at Bi-Rite

Congratulations on getting your product into Bi-Rite, now you need to make sure it won’t get bumped for a product. So how can you do that, you might ask. It all comes down to volume of sales. To save your shelf spot, most products need to produce at least $500 in sales for a 12 week period.

 

TIPS TO BECOME A TOP FOOD BRAND AT BI-RITE:

sell_more_food_at_birite

A recent study provided good evidence of the benefits provided by effective in-store sampling. In ideal conditions, sampling can result in 656% more sales on the day, with a 90% increase still present in product sales after twenty weeks; that’s an increase of over 10% still happening five months later. (supermarket news)

Hidden Opportunities

So seeing how many products they sample to make a decision is there any opportunities for new food products?

There are, there are very few excellent small batch producers of the following products:

  • Shelf Stable Salsa
  • Potato Chips
  • Cereal (not granola)
  • Nut Butters
  • Yogurt

It would be very hard for you to get a new product in these categories: coffee, granola and chocolate. There is a large amount of excellent small batch producers, the competition is fierce.

 

Share your Success Stories!

Let us know how you got your product into Bi-Rite or Other Stores.

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