Are you considering exporting your products to Denmark?
If so, it's essential to lay the groundwork for a successful entry into the Danish market. To assist you in this endeavor, I've delved into the recommendations provided by Danish experts for manufacturers looking to place their products in Danish food store chains. Following these guidelines can streamline the process and save you valuable time and effort when crafting presentations that yield results.
While these insights can certainly be applied to other countries, they are particularly tailored to those with cultural backgrounds similar to Denmark. Your exceptional product has the potential to captivate Danish consumers and find a prominent place on the shelves of local store chains, cafes, and specialty shops that may not currently carry your offerings.
Undoubtedly, you've poured months, if not years, into perfecting your product and building your brand. The crucial first step in acquiring new customers is making your product readily available to your target audience. This entails investing time and effort into meticulous preparation, as it all commences with effectively presenting your products to store owners or purchasing managers. Only then can you start gaining traction in sales.
How to successfully get your products on the shelves of Danish stores?
One thing is for sure - the competition is tough and there are also many others who want to get their products into the selection of physical stores and online stores in Denmark - both among local entrepreneurs and exporters from abroad.
Therefore, you need to prepare yourself carefully - so that the buyer would find it difficult to say "no" to you.
There are, of course, several ways to achieve your goal. Here, I share some of the options that I have picked up from Danish retail and sales-related websites.
Determine which stores are suitable for your product
If your goal is intensive export, where you plan to get your products to as many shelves as possible, then there are four main groups of retailers in Denmark, two of which have multiple chains - these are Salling Group and COOP, and in addition, two operate independently, each focusing on one chain - LIDL and REMA1000.
However, if you operate in a niche field, you will need to do proper research and find those stores, cafes, salons, or other outlets that align with your product.
Consider your product's target audience, features, and advantages, and then see if you can offer your product in the budget sector, organic sector, luxury sector, etc.
Before reaching out to potential retailers, conduct a comprehensive analysis of all potential resellers.
Before the first meeting with a buyer:
1. Align your expectations with the client
If both parties have different expectations for the meeting, it can turn into a failure and a waste of time.
Buyers and store owners are usually very busy and hard to reach. Therefore, use the opportunity to get in touch and align both sides' expectations as soon as you're setting up the meeting. Agree on what each party wants to achieve from the meeting, what topics you will discuss, who will participate in the meeting, and how long it will last. Then create a clear schedule that both parties agree to before the meeting.
2. Prepare a presentation that focuses on the client
Unfortunately, it often happens that product providers spend too much time introducing details about their products.
Of course, you should also bring knowledge about your new product. But this is not where you should start.
Instead, start with the client's mindset first. Put yourself in the client's position and think about how you can make their day better. What are your client and their company measured by?
Build your client presentation on four key areas:
a) Why is selling your product relevant to your client?
Here are a few ideas to consider:
- Why is it important for your client to add your product to their product range? What does your client gain from it?
- How does your product fit into your client's own strategy and plans?
- What are the market trends? How can your product be included in this potential?
- How is your product relevant to the consumers entering your client's store?
- How does your product create value for all consumers who shop in that store or retail chain?
- How does it benefit your client's business if they include your product in their range compared to the existing product range?
- Does it increase sales or profits for the entire product category? If so, how?
- Substantiate your arguments with statistics, databases, and consumer analyses, wherever possible.
b) What can you offer?
Now that you have made it clear to the customer why your product is the best solution for them, you can start highlighting the cool features of your product.
Of course, the customer needs all the basic information: technical data, delivery capacity, etc. But also passionately describe the advantages of your product, what problems it solves for whom, how much it should cost, and why.
Highlight the benefits and values of your product for the customer, compared to the products currently available for sale. How does your product differ from others? How could it help elevate the profile of the store or retail chain?
c) How do you plan to launch your new product?
Explain how you plan to launch your product.
Your main focus should be on demonstrating how you can help create awareness, demand, and traffic to the store so that the customer can increase their profits:
- When could the launch take place? Remember that it often needs to fit into the client's calendar year and perhaps also their intake window.
- How will your new product be marketed? And how will the customer's customers see your marketing efforts?
- What does your marketing and action plan look like?
- How can you help attract customers to the store?
- What would a successful in-store execution look like?
- Where should your product be offered in the store and why?
- How do you want to activate the product in-store?
- What visibility materials are possible and expected? Can they be approved by the store or chain?
- Can you carry out some activities in cooperation?
d) How well should it be done?
Agree on the ambition of the launch:
- What are the sales forecasts for a specific time period?
- What are your joint sales and profit goals and under what conditions?
Practice your presentation
The outcome of the meeting is usually of great financial value to both you and the client.
Therefore, it is a good idea to carefully practice your presentation before the meeting. Find a partner or someone who knows the client well and can challenge you. Store owners are really good salespeople. Prepare your pitch as well as possible questions and arguments from the client to respond to them smoothly and effectively.
During the meeting with the store owner or buyer
4. Focus on your body language
Whether your customer decides to add your product to their shelves or not depends on whether your product fits their strategies and brings profit to the store.
But that's not always all.
People do business with people they like. Interpersonal chemistry and personal relationships also play a big role - even if it's just subconsciously.
Therefore, be aware of your body language, both during physical and online meetings. Maintain eye contact, smile, show interest and excitement, listen, and be present. And remember: if you're meeting for the first time, the first impression is created in the first 7 seconds.
We all know the saying: "Dress for success". If you're exporting to Denmark (or any other foreign country), it wouldn't hurt to look at the local dress culture. Try to imitate it, so you create a familiar impression.
5. Present your presentation in a way that creates a foundation for long-term cooperation
Of course, you are deeply passionate about your own product.
Your passion and care should shine through in your product presentation. However, don't fall into the trap of focusing only on your product's features, forgetting to listen to the client, and not being able to answer very important questions.
Keep the focus on your product's advantages and how it solves problems for customers.
Create a dialogue based on the client's situation. Ensure that the solutions you highlight with your product are the same as those that overlap with your customer's needs. It should be a collaboration where both parties benefit in the short and long term.
If your presentation is customer-centric and you have carefully rehearsed your presentation before the meeting, you will be able to listen better during the meeting - without a flurry of thoughts in your head. Instead of talking about what you need to talk about, try to understand what your client needs to know!
6. Make your product tangible for the customer
If possible, bring physical samples of your products to the presentation.
Tangible products always convey more than photos of them. Perhaps you can even let the customer keep the product. It is also a good idea to leave your presentation with the customer - in physical or digital form - so that the buyer has all the important things collected in one place, in an impressive "package".
Expert recommends: How to get your products on Føtex's shelves
This information is a summary of an article previously published on FødevareWatch and advice is given by Søren Svenstrup Sørensen, the concept manager of Føtex Food, who you need to impress with your products. He is the one who says yes or no to your products.
Føtex is a popular Danish retail chain that tends towards luxury, but it is not completely exclusive. However, Føtex is definitely one of the retail chains to target when entering the Danish market. The number of their stores is constantly growing and they are a popular choice among locals for their everyday shopping.
Føtex Food increasingly chooses products from small businesses when introducing new goods, and I would like to add that there is a particular focus on increasing the selection of organic products.
Expectations for product quality are high; it is a chain of stores whose main concept is the sale of high-quality food and drink products.
The following is a summary of an article from Danish retail journalism, where the Føtex purchasing manager gave his recommendations for product presentations.
1. Product taste testing
The first step is to taste your product to see if it fits into the chain's product range and if a similar product already exists.
First, the product must be of interest to the store and its customers - primarily customers. Then, what is expected of Føtex's supplier is discussed.
The product is also tasted by the relevant product category expert from the Salling Group, to which Føtex belongs.
In addition to the taste of the product, its visual characteristics are taken into account: is it marketable? A good story behind the product that is original is also a big plus.
2. How often can you send your product to the shelves?
Next, Søren Svendstrup Sørensen asks the producer to consider whether they are capable of consistently and in the necessary quantities offering their products.
In addition, they must review whether the packaging in which the product is offered is suitable for Føtex stores.
3. Product price and quantities
The price of the product must also be considered - is it priced correctly?
Is the price competitive and how does it compare to the prices and quantities of other products?
As Søren Svendstrup Sørensen says, "I ask you to base the price on the size of the product. Is it wise to bring a 350-gram jar of jelly to the market, or should it weigh 200 grams and be priced accordingly? Or should it be a 600-gram product? But I can also help with that."
4. Product quality control
Before offering your product to the Danish market, go through a quality control check for shelf life and carefully research local requirements for selling food products.
Føtex's concept manager investigates the manufacturer's official approval of laboratory tests and shelf life. In addition to the shelf life, consider the nutritional value, product declaration, and product labeling - how does it look?
Be prepared for a major task
Supplying your products to a chain like Føtex Foods is not a small task, but they are fully aware of this - specifically considering the perspectives of small producers and being helpful whenever possible.
The concept manager explains to the manufacturer how cooperation with the Salling Group works and what needs to be particularly careful. They themselves do as much as possible to ensure successful cooperation with suitable product suppliers, already offering enough products that usually do not reach large stores.
However, what many may find surprising is the amount of paperwork that needs to be done and getting to know the Salling Group's system.
“This is a big task that is often overlooked”. Some small suppliers hire agents to help them because everything is so different from their usual work. “And this is just to get one product in,” says Søren Svenstrup Sørensen, but emphasizes that it may all seem very complicated, but it is something they can help with.
Therefore, it should be taken into account that getting into the portfolio may be a big and time-consuming task, but it can pave the way for getting into the product range of other retail chains. (For example, the Salling Group includes three other major retail chains - read more about them here).
After the meeting with a buyer or store owner:
Evaluate your presentation after the meeting
There is always something to learn from every meeting.
What went well? What could you do better next time? Ask the client for feedback after the meeting to use it to refine your approach for the next client meetings.
After launching your product, evaluate its performance regularly.
Get feedback from the market. What are consumers saying about your product? Share specific examples of the marketing activities you have done. How are sales progressing? How is profitability? Share these stories through appropriate channels and in future client meetings.
Agree on a post-launch action plan
After launching your product, it is important to listen carefully to market feedback.
Think ahead of time about how you will coordinate your post-launch marketing for your new product. There are many examples of new products that do not hold up in the long term because the focus was on launching. Sales may go up only due to the excitement generated by the launch plan and the target group’s curiosity.
However, the success of the product in a new market is much more certain when you also ensure repeat purchases.
Develop a plan to establish good basic sales and ensure the ongoing rotation of your product after launch. Otherwise, you risk having your product removed from the store's product range because it is not selling well enough.
These are the 9 steps that I could share with you if you want to export your products to Denmark or any other foreign country.
The content of these steps naturally varies depending on the type of store or retail chain with whom you want to start cooperating. However, if you follow these nine steps, you are already in a very good position and the chances of success are created!
Whenever you're ready, this is how I can help you:
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