Why Food Brands should consider the RangeMe Platform
So you have created a unique grain-free, paleo, or keto food brand that obviously fills a niche in the market. Your research reveals that there is definitely a high market demand for what your brand (literally) brings to the table, and an opportunity for future growth. Market testing has been a success and your online sales are consistently growing. How can a small food brand like the one described above take the leap from independent sales to nationwide exposure through major retailers? In many cases, small food companies trying to get their products onto the shelves of major food retailers like Walmart, Target, Costco, Kroger, and other large grocery stores would need either a bit of luck or some inside connections. Even if a small food startup had an innovative product with wide consumer acceptance, getting the attention of purchasers for major retailers is certainly competitive.
In the past, we have offered step-by-step guides on how food brands can get their products into major retailers such as Costco or Target. While these methods have certainly led some low-carb brands to success, purchasers and buyers for major food retailers are most likely overwhelmed by the approaches of thousands of potential suppliers. Whether you approach buyers through online forms and platforms developed by the retailer, or through more direct means such as phone calls and social media outreach, it is important to understand that your email or phone call will most likely be one of a hundred that they will have to filter through on a daily basis.
For small food brands who have not been able to get the attention of retail buyers through traditional channels, RangeMe is a unique, online platform that has been dubbed “the Google of the consumer packaged goods industry.” In this short article, we explain how RangeMe works and why our Certified Grain-Free, Certified Paleo, and Keto Certified food brands should consider utilizing this platform to increase their exposure to major food retailers across the country.
What is RangeMe?
According to the website, “RangeMe is a product discovery platform used by retail buyers to source new products for their stores. Suppliers can create free product profiles that detail all the key information buyers need to see when considering your product.”
Imagine yourself as a buyer for a major retailer such as Walmart or Costco. On a daily basis, you probably receive hundreds of applications from hopeful suppliers through the online portal the retailer manages. Your phone is most likely inundated with phone calls, text messages, and social media outreach from suppliers who have found your personal contact information. When you visit tradeshows in search of innovative new products, the sheer number of suppliers can make it hard to discern which products would have the most appeal to your customer base.
Instead of trying to manage the multiple approaches and requests from an ever-growing list of potential suppliers, many retail buyers have begun to prefer the RangeMe platform. This industry standard for product sourcing online literally puts thousands of products at the fingertips of retail buyers. RangeMe technology is designed to match retail buyers with new products in certain categories.
For example, let´s say a retail buyer for Target has been commissioned with the task of increasing the offering of low-carb food supplements on their shelves. Target, like many major retailers, has most likely taken notice of market projections showing that the global Ketogenic diet food market is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5.3% during the next five years.
Instead of reading through hundreds of applications and emails to find similar food brands that have approached the retailer, buyers can now use the RangeMe platform to search for certain food products in different categories and niches. Instead of suppliers fruitlessly attempting to contact buyers, the RangeMe website allows buyers to express interest in certain products through RangeMe Messaging. They can even directly request samples through contacting companies on their RangeMe brand page. Essentially, the RangeMe platform is increasingly becoming preferred by major retail buyers because it allows them to easily discover the most innovative brands and products, while also increasing their speed to market, innovation, and access.
Benefits of the RangeMe Platform
While the RangeMe Platform is certainly helpful for retail buyers, it is obviously also a great resource for small, startup food brands looking to grow and expand into new markets. Thousands of buyers for dozens of different retail stores use the RangeMe platform to discover products that meet their customer demands. Buyers for large retail stores such as Whole Foods, Walgreens, and Dollar General use the RangeMe platform on a daily basis.
In addition to large national retailers, however, there are also hundreds of smaller, boutique, and independent stores that also rely on RangeMe to source their products. E-Retailers are also beginning to use the platform, and the new buyers are joining the platform on a daily basis. For small Keto food brands, having success with a few smaller retailers is the perfect strategy to prove your market fit and “make your case” when approaching the larger national retailers in the future. You can see a complete list of the retail buyers that use the RangeMe platform here.
How to Get the Most out of the RangeMe Platform?
One of the best features of the RangeMe platform is that both buyers and suppliers can create a free profile without any obligation to invest large sums of money upfront. Once your Keto food brand has created a free account, you can begin to research how RangeMe works, which retailers are present on the platform, and how you can potentially use this resource to expand into new markets. You can even post your products for free in hopes that they will be discovered by buyers using the platform.
As with all platforms and online tools, however, the real benefits come once you are willing and able to invest money. The RangeMe Premium membership costs $1,400 per year but offers a number of advantages that can increase your visibility to retail buyers. The premium membership will allow Keto food brands to know when buyers will be looking for certain types of products through gaining access to their review schedules. You can also submit your product descriptions to selected retailers who have opted in as well.
Other benefits associated with the Premium membership include profile consultation, prioritized support, increased visibility, direct retailer submissions, and industry and profile insights. The powerful analytics offered by RangeMe will give you an inside look at which retailers are expressing interest in your products. Specifically, you can see which retail buyers have been viewing your profile, how long they spent visiting your products, and who has clicked on your links to your products in order to better develop a sound follow-up strategy.
The RangeMe Platform continues to attract new suppliers and buyers all the time. Recently added features include live streaming of Nielsen market data to help buyers make product purchases based on real data. For small Keto food brands, the $1,400 you spend for an annual premium membership will most likely be significantly less than what you could spend on presenting at one tradeshow each year. When utilized correctly, RangeMe will give you the opportunity to get your brand and food products directly in front of hundreds of retail buyers around the country.