Growing distribution... on our terms

 

A letter to our dear retailer,

 

Over the last year, I managed to get to know you much better, understand your pain points, learn the key qualities that make you tick as well as the endless challenges you face sourcing profitable products that satisfy your ever-changing customers’ tastes and expectations.

 

I’m beyond humbled you have shown a keen interest in our Alfajores!

 

You love the fact they’re different and taste great, an artisan product with a strong South-American heritage, yet handcrafted in the UK and free from nasty preservatives or artificial colours/flavours. You even said they’re very attractive and will look great on your shelves! 

 

No doubt they got your attention as we both share a mutual passion for naturally tasty, distinctive, eco-friendly products.

 

Indulgently Alfajores in store Alfajores on shelf

 

Yet, after lengthy prospecting, sample requests and evaluation of commercials, your main reason for deciding not to stock them is because they don’t last 6 (or in some cases 12) months.

Don’t get me wrong, I clearly get the commercial rationale for stocking products with long shelf-life, but please help me understand…

 

...how the same distinctive, clean-label products you are after, can last that long without adding synthetic, taste destroying and sometimes, health damaging preservatives?

 

We’re now in our third shelf-life testing run, using natural alternatives and identified a suitable packaging option to help us achieve a longer shelf-life.

 

Unfortunately, the results so far haven’t got us close to the 6-month mark expected. This is why: 

 

  • I wasn’t satisfied with the taste quality after a couple of months. Our passion is about delivering indulgent, mouth-watering products that customers can enjoy and share with loved ones. Anything else is not an option.

 

  • The packaging had to include non-recyclable, non-biodegradable plastic to aid the shelf-life extension, which is not congruent with our values as a brand and individuals.

 

  • I refuse to modify the composition of our products by adding artificial preservatives to reach that imposed shelf-life, as it seems to be the only remaining alternative (so I've been informed).

     

    I realise this stance may constrain our distribution opportunities, yet this is a risk I’m willing to take.

     

    We’re blessed to have a loyal consumer base and a selected number of indies who appreciate our authenticity, quality and values.

     

    They have been willing to bypass the shelf-life constraint by ordering little but often, and us adapting terms whilst we establish a direct and ever-growing win-win relationship.

     

    We will continue trying until the shelf-life is extended only with a natural recipe and eco-friendly packaging... whatever time it takes.

     

    Needless to say, if you know someone who can help us without extortionate assessment fees or attempting to become a millionaire at our expense, we welcome their support. That one introduction may accelerate achieving the goal and enable us to serve you sooner.

     

    In the meantime, we keep surprising and delighting current and interested customers in the only way we know… the friendly and passionate South-American way!

     

    Always grateful,
    Jen

     

    #smallbusinessviewpoint

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