Venor Resource Portal For Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage

Vendors Approved in Natural Grocers

Congratulations on being accepted into Natural Grocers! LoCo Food Distribution supports the Natural Grocers along the Front Range of Colorado from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs.

Once a vendor has been approved by the Corporate Office and it is scanning at the stores, it is your responsibility as the vendor to visit each store to introduce it to the appropriate store buyer. When the product is on the store shelves, it is important to do regular demos to introduce customers to your product and help ensure regular movement. LoCo Foods policy requires a minimum of three demos per month, but we encourage you to do more if you can.

As outlined on the main Vendor Resource Portal Page, LoCo Foods supports your sales efforts by contacting the stores regularly, maintaining a demo calendar and scan sheets Download the latest Natural Grocers scan Sheet here!

In order to maintain shelf space in all stores, you must continue to work with stores to do demos. You are the face of your brand, and buyers would much prefer to speak to you and hear your story directly from you. It may take repeated store visits, and vendor self deliveries - this process is normal, but persistence pays off! Below are some suggestions for working with new store and new buyers:

  • Speak Intelligently
    -Do a little secret shopping. See what competing products (if any) are already on the shelf.
    -See what section you would fit into best.
  • Find the Right Manager
    -Call the store and ask for the Appropriate Manager (not the Store Manager).
    -Explain the recent approval onto the vendor list.
    -Schedule an appointment for them to taste the product and see if it is something they’d like to carry. (Doesn’t necessarily need to be an exact time, but does give you an idea of when they’ll be in the store.)
    -Go to break room, demo your product to manager and staff.
  • Close the Deal
    -Review and understand the Vendor Self Delivery Procedure
    -Bring extra cases of product with you.
    -If all goes well, they will get scan gun, scan the bar code and print a PO.
    -Email their PO and your LoCo Self Delivery invoice to LoCo at: orders@locofooddistribution.com.
  • Follow Up
    -Be willing to volunteer a minimum of 2 sampling days per month for the first 2 months to establish the product (Demos to public and/or sampling to staff.)
    -Experienced managers will often know after first meeting but newly hired managers need time. These extra days of sampling may make the difference!
  • Keep LoCo in the Loop - We’re here to help!
  • Chain Vendor Demo Calendar

DEMOs

Upload your scheduled demo events to our LoCo Foods Vendor Demo Calendar so we can support your event.

LoCo Foods and Natural Grocers expect continued product support in all stores that order. Demos provide an excellent way to introduce your product to customers, and continue to build a loyal customer base.

Demos are coordinated at the store level, and vendors should contact each store directly.You can read about Natural Grocers expectations for demos by clicking here. Please be sure to let LoCo Foods know about your demo events! Informing the area sales rep, and our logistics team allows us to help ensure that sufficient product is in the store to support your demo. In addition, please take a moment to call the store a week prior to your demo to check on inventory!

Promotions

Vitamin Cottage asks for 2 months advance notice of in store monthly promotions. Vendors interested in running a monthly promotion should complete and e-mail the NGVC Promo Contract Form, and be sure to cc info@locofooddistribution.com.
Make sure to save your contract as an excel document either as:

  • DATE NGVC Ad (insert brand name)
  • DATE HGVC In Store (insert brand name)

It is important to keep LoCo Food Distribution apprised of your promotion plans, so can assist in marketing your promotion, and ensure that paperwork lines up. Please contact us directly for further information.

Glossary

  • MCB %: Manufacturers Charge Back Percentage; the amount that LoCo Foods will request from the vendor as a credit at the end of the promotional period.
  • OI %: Off Invoice Percentage; this is the vendor off invoice percentage amount provided to LoCo Foods.
  • Scan Down $ Per Case: The total amount discounted per case.

Switching Distribution to LoCo Foods

LoCo Foods is honored to have gained your trust in taking over distribution of your Vitamin Cottage accounts. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with the information on this page, as it details our expectations. The switch occurs when Debbie Knapp is notified by the vendor that LoCo will be taking over distribution. At this point LoCo submits the requested paperwork for approval. This can take anywhere from 48 hours to 3 weeks! Please be prepared for this lead time, and plan accordingly. We strive to maintain clear communication, and will let you know ASAP once scanning comes to LoCo. Until we receive a PO and/or confirmation you should continue to deliver all PO's! Once we receive scanning confirmation, please notify your existing buyers of the switch. In order to ease the transition it is suggested that you set up a time to demo your products with your existing accounts, while you work to expand distribution. Our team is here to help you, and can easily run reports of which stores have ordered, order frequency, and is always happy to answer logistical questions! Give us a call!

New Items and Price Changes

Product Changes: The majority of changes to products require approval by Natural Grocers prior to introducing the changes onto the store shelves. You should work directly with both LoCo Foods and the regional grocery manager to discuss these product changes well in advance of attempting to roll the changes out to the shelf! Product Changes are submitted by LoCo Food Distribution. Please contact us for more information on how to proceed! LoCo Food requires a 60 day lead time on these changes to ensure that sufficient time is allowed for the changes to be updated in the Vitamin Cottage system, as well as make arrangements for remaining stock of original versions of product. Changes that require prior approval include:

  • price changes, up or down
  • UPC changes
  • ingredient changes
  • product certifications (organic, nonGMO, vegan, etc)
  • unit or case size changes

Line extensions: Any additions to your product line must be submitted to and approved by the New Products Food - Beverage and GM manager. Samples may be mailed to or dropped off at:

12612 W Alameda Pkwy
Lakewood, CO 80228

If the new products are approved, the category manager will ask LoCo Foods to submit the pricing information. Once Natural Grocers confirms the new products have been entered into their system, the vendor will need to begin selling the products into the stores. Make a plan for which stores you want to target first, contact the buyers and be prepared to drop off samples and schedule demos!

New Vendors - How to Submit Your Products for Approval in Vitamin Cottage

If you are interested in submitting your brand and products for review at Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, please visit their Vendor Product Submission page.

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