Are you responsible for the school lunch program, running a restaurant, a corporate cafeteria, or any food eatery? If so, then you must be concerned with choosing the best grocery food suppliers for your business.

Malaysia has plenty of grocery stores, and the suppliers work independently or simply fill orders while others work as partners. Together they try to bolster the texture, flavour, and nutrition of the food they supply, thus maximising its appeal to their customers. The relationship differentiates these food suppliers, and their efforts help products to succeed in the market.

There are many factors that you should consider when picking your food supplier or considering the best fit for a grocery food supplier. Continue reading the article for more insight.

Grocery Food Retailing in Malaysia

Malaysia is an affluent nation in Asia, and its retail industry is one of the main contributors to the economy. Retail Group Malaysia (RGM) reports that annual food retailers’ sales in 2018 was USD 26 billion and was projected to rise by 4% in 2019. Food and grocery form 51.2% of retail sales and is expected to grow by 10.1% CAGR for the period between 2017 and 2022.

The retail food market has both local and imported products. Some of the products you will find in a grocery food store are fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, seafood, meat, cereals, herbs and spices, snack foods such as nuts, frozen and fresh potatoes, and other prepared grocery products.


Factors to Consider When Selecting the Best Grocery Food Supplier

Grocery food suppliers can make the difference between your business’s success and failure. Thus there are several factors to consider besides the price, food safety management, accreditations, and delivery schedule. The following pointers will streamline your search for the perfect grocery food supplier.

1. Know What You Want

As stated Malaysian retail industry is well developed and has millions of suppliers; thus, getting a food supplier is an easy task. However, finding the best grocery food supplier will be a daunting task if you don’t know what you want.

Having a well-defined idea of what you’re looking for will help you find the perfect supplier that fits your business needs. Ask yourself some questions before hurling the same to your potential suppliers.

Some of these questions are whether the ingredients will be sourced locally or imported. Whether the supplies will be delivered to your premises or you will pick them at certain times.

Therefore, understand what you need before beginning the search in order to save your time and make it worthwhile.

2. Consider Your Budget

Understanding what you need or looking for will help you figure out the financials. It will help you know how much you’re willing to pay for each item that you need. Your budget will determine the number of grocery foods that will be supplied as well as how far you can stretch to obtain the best food products in the season or market.

More so, your financials will determine the mark-up that you add the foods to avoid becoming too costly for your customers or that can give you a comfortable profit.

Understanding your budget will help you when searching for the best grocery food supplier, particularly a small business.

3. Suppliers’ Food Safety Management Policies

Safety is the first priority of any business handling food, and consumers are sensitive to it. Therefore, you need to understand how potential suppliers guarantee the safety of their produce.

Some of the methods that suppliers use to ensure safety and integrity are automated food safety software and temperature monitoring systems.

Further, the grocery food supplier should confirm where they source their raw ingredients or finished products. If you care about food traceability and provenance, then your suppliers should do the same also.

4. The Suppliers’ Delivery Schedule

Now that you now know your requirement and financials, the next step is to look for a prospective supplier. One of the best leads to a potential supplier is recommendations from family, friends, or restaurants. These are suppliers that are well known to them and have a good reputation for sticking to their delivery schedules, offering consistent quality at a fair price, honest, and have strong service in addition to clear communication.

You should discuss how the products will reach your premises, the specific day, or set time. For instance, do you want them to supply fresh fruits and vegetables every day of the week, and can they offer that? Such information will help you to confirm whether their schedule fits well with yours.

5. The Types of Produce They Handle

Aside from understanding your requirements, it’s vital to examine the kind of products your prospective suppliers handle. General suppliers handle different products while others specialize in one product, such as herbs and spices, seafood, dairy products, grains, or potatoes.

Further, approximately 60 per cent of Malaysian consumers are Muslims; thus, the demand for halal foods. Thus suppliers of poultry and meat products, dairy products, and eggs should be halal certified. The Malaysian halal requirements or standards are considered more stringent than other nations because they factor in hygiene, quality, and safety.

6. Meet Their Existing Clients

Your potential suppliers should be willing to furnish you with their client list. This will offer you additional information, such as their target market. For instance, you will know whether they deal with multinational supermarkets or small independent retailers, their minimum quality level and whether they can guarantee enough supply of what you need.

7. Your Suppliers’ Industry Accreditations and Awards

All your suppliers should have food safety certificates in addition to the industry accreditations. You should ask whether they have won any awards; however, not having any does not signify that their products are of poor quality. On the other hand, finding suppliers with awards is a good indication that you’re on the right path and backed by the best grocery food suppliers.

Final Word

It’s important to understand that when looking for a prospective supplier is a two-way process. You’re not the only one looking for a partner. The supplier is also looking for business. For that reason, the supplier may have certain boundaries that affect the kind of businesses that they choose to supply to. That means that you should strive to tell your story and create the right impression.

The kind of grocery food suppliers that you select will determine the success and failure of your business. Therefore make a list of your priorities such as your budget, delivery schedules, food safety, awards, and accreditation.