As natural and organic products continue to gain popularity, more and more CPG brands are looking to get their products on the shelves of mainstream retailers. However, getting ready for retail can be a daunting task, especially for smaller, natural CPG brands. In this blog post, we’ll explore six key steps that can help natural CPG brands successfully navigate the retail landscape and get their products in front of more consumers.

Step 1: Validate your products with consumer feedback

Before you even think about approaching a retailer, it’s important to validate your products with consumer feedback. Conduct market research to gather data on consumer preferences, including what they like and don’t like about your products. This feedback will help you refine your products and ensure that they meet the needs and expectations of your target audience.

Step 2: Decide on the target sales channel

Once you’ve validated your products with consumer feedback, it’s time to decide on the target sales channel. Evaluate potential retailers to determine if your product aligns with their shopper base. Ask yourself questions like: Could your product drive incremental sales to the category? What value will it add to the retailer’s assortment? By understanding the target sales channel, you can position your product to be a good fit and increase the chances of success.

Step 3: Understand the retailer’s margins ahead of time and be ready to talk numbers

Retailers are always looking for products that can drive revenue and improve margins. Before approaching a retailer, do your research and understand their margins, pricing strategy, and other financial considerations. Be prepared to discuss your product’s price point, margin, and other financial details that will be important to the retailer.

Step 4: Show how your product will engage the retailer’s shopper base

Retailers want products that will engage their shoppers and keep them coming back. When pitching your product, highlight its unique features and benefits that will resonate with the retailer’s target audience. Provide samples, demonstrations, or other materials that showcase how your product can enhance the shopping experience for the retailer’s customers. Pro tip: product reviews are especially useful! 

Step 5: Demonstrate how you will drive sell-through

Retailers want to see that you have a plan for driving sell-through and ensuring that your product moves off the shelves. Consider creating a marketing plan that includes in-store promotions, social media campaigns, and other tactics that can drive awareness and interest in your product. Be prepared to share your plan with the retailer and discuss how you will work together to drive sales.

Step 6: Have enough working capital to fund PO’s and drive sales

Finally, it’s important to have enough working capital to fund purchase orders and drive sales. Be prepared to invest in marketing and promotion to support your product launch and ensure that it gets the attention it deserves. This may involve seeking outside funding or exploring other financing options that can help you get the capital you need to succeed.

In conclusion, getting ready for retail can be a complex and challenging process, but by following these six key steps, natural CPG brands can increase their chances of success. By validating your products with consumer feedback, understanding the target sales channel, being prepared to talk numbers, engaging the retailer’s shopper base, demonstrating how you will drive sell-through, and having enough working capital to fund PO’s and drive sales, you can position your product for success and get it in front of more consumers.

For more tips on how to launch successful products at retail, visit business.socialnature.com