Marketing and selling a new food product to grocery stores involves demonstrating its appeal to two separate, but related, sets of customers: the retailers who will stock your product on their shelves and the customers who will take it home with them. To convince retailers to stock your product, you must show that it is appealing and well packaged, and that you will manage your account with them in a professional manner. In addition, you must convince them that their customers will buy your product, justifying their decision to allot it shelf space.


Design packaging that shows off your product and also keeps it fresh. Grocery store purchasing departments are extremely concerned with packaging because appealing presentation is vital to consumer purchasing decisions. In addition, thoughtful, intelligent packaging can extend a product's shelf life, lessening the need to discard unsold product or deal with customers returning spoiled items. Your packaging should also be informative, articulating selling points such as whether a product is healthy or organic, and containing legally required information such as ingredients and nutritional content.

Informational Materials

Prepare a professionally presented packet containing materials detailing information that a grocery store sales representative will want to know about your product. Include a sheet with product information, such as wholesale price, suggested retail price, case price, volume discounts, weight or volume, shelf life and number of individual units in a package, if applicable. Also prepare a sheet containing information specifically relevant to the retailer such as payment terms, delivery date, return policy and sampling allowances.

Marketing Materials

Prepare marketing materials that a retail grocery will be able to use when marketing your food product. Include items such as shelf talkers, or colorful cards that a retailer can showcase where your product is displayed, calling additional attention to it. Offer sale ideas, such as offering a discount the first few weeks your product is available to encourage customers to try it. Develop an appealing and informative website, as well as informational brochures. Show these support materials to retailers when presenting your product, to demonstrate that you are committed to the process of marketing it to end users.


No matter how professional your presentation of your food product, most retailers will want to know that it tastes good before they agree to stock it on their shelves. Call the grocery store where you plan to market your products and ask about the protocol for bringing in samples. Some stores require you to make an appointment to bring samples to a corporate officer or department manager, but smaller stores will often allow you to bring samples without making formal arrangements. When bringing samples, time your visits and appointments so you'll arrive at a time when employees are likely to be hungry, such as right before lunch.