The Four P's of the Retailer Pitch

Kim Heinen of Heinen’s Grocery Store Shares Her Experiences as a Retail Category Manager


Kim Heinen is the Manager of Packaged Goods at Heinen’s Grocery Store. Kim currently leads the Category Management team for the Grocery, Dairy and Frozen departments. Kim and her team are primarily responsible for product assortment, pricing and promotions within the Packaged Goods departments. Prior to joining Heinen’s, she worked at PwC as a Pricing and Promotion Consultant for retail clients. 


Kim recently worked with Central Kitchen Media and Craft Food Classroom to develop a class, “How to Pitch to Retailers”. It includes a video, presentation and a printable workbook. Below is a segment of Kim’s class highlighting “The Four Ps of the Retailer Pitch”, which she considers the bare minimum for approaching any potential retail partner—product, passion, pricing and promotion!


Here are the key takeaways:


MUSTS: According to Kim, the four P’s are the bare necessities for a retailer pitch. You will need to know these details inside and out and express them clearly and concisely in your pitch to retailers.


IDEA: Consider creating a one page sell sheet that hits the four points. You can use it as a piece to leave with prospective retailer partners, or send it to them as a follow-up. Plus you can use it as your quick reference sheet!


REMEMBER: A pitch should encourage continued dialogue. Listen, be open to input and think collaboratively.


TASK: Here are the questions to ask yourself and things to consider as you determine how to best communicate your four P’s: 

1. Product

What is your product? How many flavors/varieties are there? What are the best sellers? How is it different from other products on the market? What product attributes does it have? Is it low in sugar? Low in sodium? Gluten Free? Non-GMO? Organic? Certified or not?

2. Passion

Show retailers your passion for your product! How did you come to create this product? What need did it fill that you could not find elsewhere in the market? Tell your story and make the audience feel your excitement.

3. Pricing

What is the cost to the retailer of the product? How many units are in a case? What is the Suggested Retail Price (SRP)? What is the margin for the retailer at the SRP? If other retailers in the area carry the product, what do they price it at? What is the price of your competition on the shelf? How much more or less expensive is your product than theirs and why?

4. Promotional Support

What promotional funds can you provide? Scans? Off Invoice discounts? For how many weeks of the year? At what price do other retailers promote the product at? In the absence of demos, consider reallocating those funds to promotional funds. It is imperative that you find a way to get customers to try your product when it’s new to the shelf. Deep discounts are an effective way to get customers to sample.


Got the basics down? Learn more from Kim in her “How to Pitch to Retailers class. And in the meantime, you can check out our How to Start Your Own Successful Food Business for a practical how-to guide on launching your craft food business!