When will the USPB work with one of my retail accounts? If you are a fresh shipper, perhaps you have asked yourself this question.
Maybe you have watched from the sidelines, wondering how you can get involved. If you'd like to offer your retailers a category management and development program, with assistance from the USPB, the ball is in your court.
It has always been a goal of the Retail Program to include fresh suppliers in the work we do.
While supplier involvement does occur, fresh shippers we are not working with ask many times throughout the year, "When will you be starting a program with one of my retailers?"
It would seem that the fresh suppliers who would most like to be included in the program are not working with the retailers we have partnered with in our retail programs.
In an effort to ensure suppliers are more involved in this process and those who wish to participate are included, the USPB created a nomination program.
Fresh suppliers are encouraged to nominate their retailer for a Retail Outreach Presentation.
The goal for Fiscal Year 2009 (FY09), July 1, 2008 - June 30, 2009, is to complete 10 presentations; to date, six presentations have taken place.
Of the six Retail Outreach Presentations we have conducted this year, surprisingly, only three were nominated by fresh suppliers. There are still four remaining positions for nomination; however, time is running out.
WHAT EXACTLY IS A RETAIL OUTREACH PRESENTATION?
Retail Outreach is a one-time, interactive, face-to-face meeting with key produce decision-makers that takes approximately two hours. Retailers nominated must be substantial enough in size that AC Nielsen is collecting their scanner sales data for use in this meeting. General guidelines include:
- At least $2 million in sales per year, for the chain
- Not a club store or Wal-Mart
WHAT WILL BE EXPECTED OF ME IF I NOMINATE MY RETAILER?
The supplier will receive a form letter to use in soliciting the meeting from their chosen retailer. After that, the only expectation is the suppliers' time involved to solicit and deliver the presentation.
The USPB, in conjunction with The Perishables Group (PG) will create and deliver this "10,000-foot level," big picture view of the category to your account with you.
Prior to the meeting, USPB and PG will walk the supplier through the presentation and ensure they feel comfortable with the information.
WHY WOULD A RETAILER WANT TO PARTICIPATE?
In this presentation, the retailer will learn more about his consumers and how to connect with them, best practices that have been tested and proven to increase sales, as well as a free analysis of their potato category data against their competitive rest-of-market.
At the end of the presentation, both retailer and supplier will know the specific recommendations on how to improve the potato category at that chain which would serve as a platform for any future work together.
WHO CAN USE THIS PROGRAM?
Any supplier seeking to enhance their relationship with their current retail accounts.
WHOM DO I CONTACT TO GET STARTED?
Carroll Graham, Director of Retail Programs, at the United States Potato Board will provide you the form letter/email that informs the retailer what you are offering. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 303-369-7783.
WHAT IS THE NOMINATION DEADLINE?
Time is running out. Don't wait; nominate your key accounts now. This offer will continue through FY09, ending June 30, 2009.
Editor's note: According to the USPB, "Retail Programs work to transform the potato category by demonstrating to retailers and suppliers the value of connecting with consumers." A portal providing "consumer information, promotion materials, comparison market data and a Best Practice Interactive Planning Tool ..." is available at www.uspotatoes.com.