Evaluate these four factors first.
Innovative retail brands are reaching into the foodservice vertical for its sheer volume potential. If your food brand is poised for growth, you may be contemplating a similar move. But how do you know if you’re approaching your target buyers the right way?
Before you invest in making the leap, consider a thorough assessment to evaluate your brand’s viability in front of foodservice buyers.
A deep brand-conversion assessment should focus on the following four areas:
1. Product Offering.
Identify the relevant emerging trends and established buying habits of your target foodservice decision-maker, whether that’s a restaurant chef, university foodservice director, or registered dietician nutritionist in a healthcare setting. Determine which products in your portfolio have the greatest opportunity to break through – zeroing in on any gaps and how to solve them in the process.
Certainly your brand messaging will need re-sculpting for the foodservice space, but to what degree? Assess your current brand positioning and core messaging and its ability to translate to foodservice. Construct a competitive/comparative set to map out specific opportunities and articulate an ownable, relevant, believable, and sustainable niche that your brand can occupy in the minds of buyers.
3. Assets, Aesthetics, and Packaging.
Conduct a thorough review of existing brand assets and packaging through the lens of your target foodservice decision-maker. What does the front-of-pack communicate, in terms of aesthetics and function? Does it inspire chefs? Reassure an owner/operator? Consider how it could be optimized to perform in a fast-paced back-of-house environment. Or achieve grab-and-go greatness. Check on any capabilities you can flex to extend your packaging to bulk and other foodservice-friendly formats.
4. Visibility and Availability.
Assess your current and planned sales and marketing efforts and determine the right mix of Paid, Earned, Shared, and Owned channels that will reach the right type of buyer for your brand.
It’s critical to avoid fumbling your initial foray into foodservice. Stepping in strong to the foodservice arena will not only build your sales potential – it will build your long-term brand equity.