This Article is for all Food Firms that target the Chinese Market, and want to distribute their Products to China via Distributors
What do we know about China food market?
China is the world’s second largest economy with still a lot of loopholes in various markets. Food market is one those markets which has a lot of room for growth. The truth is that Chinese culture used to be completely independent in the very recent past, and it absolutely impervious to any habits from abroad.
It was quite tough to make Chinese welcome at least some of the specific foreign food products. However, now, with the advent of more diverse traveling experiences, more insight into foreign eating culture, with more openness to food exploration, taste and product experiences, they finally can accept more and more foreign food produce.
Foreign food is still often taken as a luxury in China. It plays its particular role during some important occasions or events. Also it stands out once a Chinese has a special demand.
Together with that, they are not only willing to get acquainted with the unconventional products, nut also open to accept foreign brands when it comes to the well-known products.
Why is it good to use food distributors in China?
Distributors are locals. They are trusted, they normally exist for a long time on the market, they are dealing with wholesalers, they have the right channels to sell your food. Of course, this relates to the Right distributors.
Companies are normally looking for distributors when they don’t want to manage their sales on their own and are ready to pay to someone for doing that for them. In China this is helpful but not a plain sailing at all.
Distributors are also a good option if they are capable of importing food products. Like that they can facilitate the process for you as you have to undergo a lot of examinations and government checks. Food import regulations are not easy to follow in China.
Food certification is for no obscure reason rigorous in China. There are plenty of licenses and permits you will have to obtain, and a distributor might sometimes help with that.
Top Mistakes with Chinese Distributors
- You think they will help you to promote your product;
- You call them and ask them to be your distributor;
- You tell them you are well-known abroad and now you want to be well-known in China;
- You think they only need you or they need you a lot;
- You focus on one big distributor.
Why they don’t aim to promote your Products?
- Chinese food distributors don’t promote anything – they only sell products that can be sold well.
- They don’t want to waste their time while they could sell something that has already been promoted.
- They are not friends who help – they use your product to earn.
Why not to call them?
- Chinese food distributors mostly have their client base – if they need more they will search on their own.
- It is highly likely that if they don’t search for anything they just don’t have time for that and they would not bother to check who you are.
- If they still didn’t contact you, you might probably have a poor reputation for them or none at all, rather.
- You have to make them call you.
Why not to ask them to make you well-known?
- They already need you to be well-known to work with you.
- They have to be sure you will earn them a lot.
- They have to be sure you won’t spoil their reputation.
- They don’t want to make any special effort.
Why they don’t need you?
- If you are doing well in your country, it might not be the same here.
- They have many food merchants same as you or even better if they have a reputation in China.
- They can give up on you at any moment if your sales are not growing.
Why is it wrong to work with one distributor only?
- With more distributors, you get access to more audiences obviously. One big distributor can barely have nationwide coverage.
- Even if they claim to have nationwide coverage, they are superficial in dealing with other regions. A regional distributor has far more tight connections there.
- China is really large, sometimes a northern Chinese and a southern Chinese can barely understand each other – you can rarely expect the distributor to be performing perfectly well in any part of this versatile country.
- One distributor is a risk of getting Everything gone if something goes wrong. Plenty of distributors, in this case, lower the risks.
- There’s no guarantee you choose the best distributor when you have only one. Simple mathematical probability says you have to get at least a few.
- One distributor can also focus more on another product if he suddenly sees it sells better, while you have no other options.
- You might lose control over the situation if you only have one distributor responsible for your product.
- It might also happen that your product is copied by the exclusive distributor and then made redundant.
How to avoid these mistakes?
Generally speaking, to avoid all these mistakes with Chinese food distributors you have to make a lot of preparations to start your business here. This will both make it possible for you to attract distributors, feel interested in you and build a solid base for you to operate on your own if you want.
Your self-built marketing strategy is an absolute must if you want to be here. With distributors or no.
Once you develop a strategy and implement it with great precision, you will generate more distributors around you.
Let’s look at what you can do to get fully prepared to being contacted by food distributors in China.
Start with a website and WeChat/Weibo accounts
Why is that necessary?
When food distributors want to find a new product to spread over the country and earn money on that, they go and search on Baidu. They have to find you there and get redirected to your website to see who you are and that you are worth it.
So, the website. There are a few basic, easy, though crucial rules you have to obey when constructing your website for the Chinese food distributors, namely:
- Keep it in Mandarin – they won’t read it if it’s even in English;
- Make Chinese or Hongkongnese hosting because others might not be fast or might not load at all;
- Put a Click-to-Chat option there to contact you at a pinch;
- Put as much nice visual and verbal content there;
- Place necessary licenses to ensure safety of your product;
- Place your WeChat/Weibo accounts QR codes there to be reachable.
More about the last point now.
WeChat and Weibo are the most popular Chinese social platforms. Altogether they have up to million users – a large audience indeed. So if you want to have access to that audience, get your official accounts there. You can have a WeChat e-brochure to introduce yourself effectively. You might use these platforms for newsletters, promotions, later even for opening a store on WeChat maybe.
WeChat Ebrochure new way to connect to Chinese Distributors
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