Whether you’re running a large chain of superstores or a small family grocery, your store is only as good as the products you carry. As important as service and pricing are, if your customers can’t find the products they want, they won’t return.

Ultimately, it all comes down to your product suppliers. Choosing the right one will affect your business and your livelihood. However, there are countless suppliers throughout the food export business–an industry worth over 5.3 trillion MYR. So how do you find the best ones?

How to Choose Product Suppliers for Your Grocery Store

To identify which food suppliers are the best fit for your store, try these tips below.

Talk to Manufacturers

Depending on how long you’ve been in business, you may know certain brands and products your customers like best. If certain food brands are must-haves in your store, contact the manufacturers of those brands. They’ll be able to tell you which distributors they use.

Work Your Network

Some of the best resources for finding distributors are the people you already know in your industry.

First, find out if you have any direct connections with food suppliers. If you know someone at a particular company, you may get access to special pricing and/or more attentive service.

Second, contact people in the food retail industry for recommendations. They’ll know which suppliers they like best and which ones you should avoid.

Shop Around for Pricing

When you’re looking for a food distributor, price is an important consideration. Take your time and compare prices between different suppliers.

Be sure to take your volume requirements into account. A supplier may say a certain product can be “as low as 0.50 MYR per item,” but the price may only be available if you order triple your usual volume.

Get a Supplier Who Specialises in Your Niche

There are a few important distinctions to make when you’re looking for suppliers. First of all, know the difference between a wholesaler and a distributor and choose the right one for your business.

Second, note the difference between a restaurant food distributor and a grocery food distributor. Some companies may do both, but choose a grocery supplier to get a selection that works better for your store.

Picking a Grocery Distributor and Building a Relationship

Choosing the right grocery product suppliers is a major step toward running a successful grocery store, and the tips above can help. If you find the right distributors, you can build a relationship and loyalty that will benefit you both.

To start shopping for your perfect suppliers, learn about our grocery distribution system and the brands we carry.