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Erin McCulloch-Crume Discusses Bay Food Brokerage's Retail and Vendor Value

Erin McCulloch-Crume Discusses Bay Food Brokerage's Retail and Vendor Value


TAMPA, FL
Wednesday, January 3rd, 2024

Brokers are the eyes and the ears at the store level—for both the manufacturer and the retailer. This level of care, service, and advantage cannot be overstated in a highly competitive industry like deli and specialty foods. With the new year upon us and consumers looking for fresh ways to reinvent themselves and their shopping lists, now is the time to take advantage of operational excellence like that of Bay Food Brokerage.

Erin McCulloch-Crume, Director of Deli and Emerging Business, Bay Food Brokerage“There are many ways that a broker adds value to the supply chain and to the relationship between the manufacturer and the retailer. A strong broker partner is your expert for a specific retailer,” Erin McCulloch-Crume, Director of Deli and Emerging Business, shares as she easily tackles the question of what benefits may lie in working with a broker. “If a manufacturer had to hire a staff to sufficiently support every retailer at the store level, their overhead would be astronomical. They would have to hire a greater workforce.”

These days, with the reality of rising operational, labor, materials costs, and more—a hiring spree might be far from practical. While direct-to-retail or -foodservice relationships are a priority for much of the industry, Bay Foods can help enhance a relationship in its own way.

Bay Food Brokerage helps advise retailers on what the most advantageous trends are by partnering with strong manufacturers to make sure retailers can achieve their own goals around excellence

“A broker is an extension of the supplier, so it is important to ensure the representation a broker is providing directly reflects the company’s mission and goals. The right broker partner will enhance a manufacturer's sales efforts by adding value in both sales and administrative needs for each specific retailer. Our goal is to always represent our suppliers as the Best-In-Class partner they can be for the retailers,” Erin continues.

On the other side of that relationship, Bay Food also helps to advise retailers on what the most advantageous trends are by partnering with strong manufacturers to make sure that retailers can achieve their own goals around excellence.

While direct-to-retail or -foodservice relationships are a priority for much of the industry, Bay Food can help enhance a relationship in its own way

“Retailers lean heavily on us to help source items and help secure good vendor partners,” Erin says. “Manufacturers rely on us to set them up for success with that retailer based on what that retailer's priorities are, whether that be promotional cadence, margin expectations, or marketing support.”

This leads us to the element that both sides of the relationship, vendor and retailer, seek to polish and hone: executing in-store. 

A really strong broker partner is going to have a team of retail representatives who visit every single store on a regular basis. They communicate directly with that deli manager to ensure that a vision and strategy are executed from inception to sale. 

There are many ways that a broker adds value to the supply chain and to the relationship between the manufacturer and retailer, serving as an expert for a specific retailer

“We are the eyes and ears in the store for our supplier partners. It is our responsibility to ensure our manufacturers' products are well represented with quality checks on shelf and proper signage and coupons. We help with secondary displays and get creative with suggestive selling in-store by cross-merchandising with complimentary items,” Erin details. 

With so much at stake between the cost of business and the changing consumer, having a partner that can consistently be a solution can be complicated to find. Bay Food Brokerage and companies like it are helping vendors and retailers be that partner.

Bay Food Brokerage
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