Specialty Food Consulting and Marketing Services Understand the Specialty Food Marketplace A comprehensive understanding of both the specialty food business as well as the larger mass market consumer product industry improves your ability to move your company forward. Detailed knowledge of business practices within the specialty food and beverage arena allows you to leverage the system to benefit your products. With Blackpoint assisting your management process, your decisions will be based on both solid experience and the latest “best practices” derived from our active industry network. Recruit and Train Staff Identifying the skills needed to continue to move your company forward is an important initial step in building an effective organization. Attracting the right individuals for each position in this unique industry is best accomplished through extensive contacts with manufacturers, brokers, importers, distributors, and retailers. Blackpoint can help you define what your company needs, as well as develop and execute a plan to bring the right person “on – board.” We also can assist in training both existing staff and new employees, and support your staff in the field. Manage Your Food Brokers A network of strong and effective food brokers (sales representatives) extends your geographic reach and multiples contacts with potential buyers. Attracting, interviewing, engaging, training, and then managing food brokers can be a complicated and time-consuming process. Blackpoint knows this arena well and can help match your product, your targeted customers, and your goals to the most qualified sales organizations. In addition, we can work with you to develop a sales team that is well trained and tightly managed. Correctly Price Your Products Growth at a profitable level is only possible when your product is correctly priced. All the tools necessary to power your business are affordable when the costs are identified and built into your pricing formula. Developing the necessary cost data for your products, and forecasting sales and marketing expenses is a necessary first step. Identifying market comparisons and establishing a targeted price to the consumer is a second step. Testing your options and assumptions is a third step. Fourth is developing the confidence and attitude to demand a fair return for your efforts. Blackpoint provides substantial assistance throughout this process to ensure that you have complete and accurate information and a full understanding of your pricing strategy. Create Effective Trade and Consumer Promotions Effective promotions encourage the trade and the consumer to take action that will increase your sales and profits. Controlling promotional expenses while capturing maximum results allows you to both defend your market position and take business from your competition. Promotional methods change over time as the buying trade and supplier companies evaluate past results and devise new tactics – searching for effectiveness and efficiency. Knowing what’s working, what your competitors are offering, and how the trade and consumers are reacting is only the first step. Designing the promotion to fit your objectives, followed by aggressive execution, controls, and a critical evaluation of results are also vital. Blackpoint remains aware of general promotion trends and can obtain unambiguous information regarding activity within specific product categories or at individual distributor or retail accounts. Working with you, we can then build a promotional program that supports your business-building objectives. Develop New Products With an established brand name, existing accounts, repeat consumers, and the logistics of everyday transactions in place a company should look to new products to spur growth. Successful new products absorb overhead, attract additional trade accounts and consumers, improve margins, and can replace sales volume and profit erosion on existing lines. The failure rate on new products for both mass market consumer goods companies as well as smaller specialty food suppliers is substantial. Careful analysis of marketplace opportunities, changing consumer needs, competitive actions, developing technologies, and raw material/ ingredient availability combined with old fashioned creativity and experimentation are all necessary to the process. Blackpoint works with clients to balance enthusiasm and excitement with defined steps designed to build support and confidence behind new products demonstrating a strong success pattern while identifying likely failures early enough to make corrections or avoid additional investment. Leverage Food Distributors Retailers stock specialty food and beverage products because the most profitable customers are also the heaviest users of specialty items. Without the rapid replacement, store specific system provided by distributors many retail outlets would be unable to efficiently source specialty lines. Distributors offer a powerful sales coverage and delivery system that can expand volume and product availability. For many companies, the leap from self-distribution to distributors is mismanaged from the initial contact. Not understanding the system and the new costs involved frequently results in underpricing, frustration, loss of control, and eventually a complacent attitude. Even well-established companies retain outdated methods no longer effective in a changing marketplace. Blackpoint helps management understand how to avoid unproductive activities and maximize the benefits of the distributor system. Start, Grow & Manage Your Business Testing your product idea in real world conditions increases your chances of success, provides actionable information to guide your growth. Blackpoint has a proven, step by step process to take you from an “idea” to a solid growth plan. Start right …. Grow Smart!