How to Become a Snack Food Distributor

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Snack food distributors have the potential to serve a wider range of stores than the average grocery distributor because many outlets, such as gas station convenience store, vending machines and movie theaters, sell almost exclusively snack foods. As a snack food distributor you can either focus on readily available mainstream snacks or you can choose to distribute higher-quality, more expensive snacks with superior nutritional value.

Choose a product line for your snack food distribution business. Familiar, mainstream snacks offer the advantage of easy, convenient sourcing and product recognition. Healthier snacks can be a tougher sell at some locations because they are unfamiliar to many customers and they tend to be more expensive than most other widely available snack varieties. But if you are passionate about offering customers convenience foods that won't compromise their health, you might find it interesting and satisfying to distribute healthy snack foods. In addition, the decision to offer healthy rather than mainstream snacks could offer you the opportunity to serve many outlets that already purchase major snack brands from large-scale distributors.

Rent storage space for your snack food inventory or dedicate an area in your house for storage. This area should be well sealed to keep out rodents, and it should have adequate shelving to keep all product off of the floor.

Buy a delivery vehicle to use when delivering your snack food. Choose a truck or van with plenty of space in back. Design shelves or racks for storing product that will allow you to access multiple items easily.

Develop a price list and a delivery schedule, and approach potential accounts. Arrange payment terms and establish whether you will be stocking inventory yourself at the stores you service or leaving product for the store clerks to shelve.


About the Author

Devra Gartenstein founded her first food business in 1987. In 2013 she transformed her most recent venture, a farmers market concession and catering company, into a worker-owned cooperative. She does one-on-one mentoring and consulting focused on entrepreneurship and practical business skills.

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