Warehouse management and scanning solutions

Why Your Sales Team Needs To Push Provenance

Why Your Sales Team Needs To Push Provenance

Modern Customers are well aware of the effect that food and drink can have on their physical appearance and social standing, influencing choices made at the bar. 

Mintel’s Global Food & Drink Trends 2017 report noted a rise in natural, simple and flexible diets among consumers. There has also been a corresponding rise in demand for products produced in small batches to novel or traditional recipes – best demonstrated by meteoric growth of the craft beer sector. Sometimes disparagingly referred to as ‘hipsters’ these fashion-conscious consumers are fascinated by new tastes and ‘authentic’ experiences. 

Still An Important Trend For The Drinks Industry

The desire for “simpler” recipes and ingredients has also fuelled increased interest in authentic drinks. People want drinks that are made in the “original way” to traditional recipes, using natural ingredients. Brands like Vardy’s, BrewDog and Bikini exemplify this trend, emphasising their unique recipes and relatively small size as key differentiators in the drinks market.

With this in mind, drinks sellers will need to revisit their offerings, ensuring a good balance of products that cater for these (growing) niche markets. The Sales Operation Manager will need to work with the sales team, helping them to understand the importance of knowing these authentic drinks, so they can re-target their pitches highlighting the ingredients as a major selling point.

Movements like the Rainforest Alliance and Fair Trade have also raised the profile of ethically sourced foodstuffs. And ethically-aware consumers are actively choosing these products with a view to improving living standards for people across the world.

Thinking In Terms Of Ingredients

Authentic recipes involve more than simply being vegetarian friendly however. The Mintel report also found strong demand from consumers for authentic flavours, like Madagascan Vanilla. In this instance, people would often choose the Madagascan variant over “regular” vanilla due to the appeal of exclusivity and novelty, and the notion of premium ingredients. Even established brands Like Absolut are getting in on the act, expanding their range using flavours like natural vanilla and South American açai berry.

As well as stocking drinks that contain more of these authentic ingredients, the sales team needs to be equipped with the knowledge about where these drinks come from, also known as the “provenance”. When discussing volumes and pricing, the source of the drink and its ingredients may seem extraneous, but to consumers obsessed with novel ingredients and remote destinations, these details can be a powerful selling point.

‘Authentic’ Brands

Many drinks manufacturers also emphasise the authenticity of their products by retelling the legend, or story behind how they came to be invented. Consider best-selling whiskey Jack Daniels, which has used the story of their founder and traditional production techniques to increase the authenticity of their marketing and brand image. As consumers become more interested in these story-driven brands, your sales team will need to up their game, helping customers learn and share the story behind these authentic products to maximise sales potential.

The Brexit/Trump/Local factor

Whatever your personal thoughts on the Trump presidency and Brexit, both events highlight another important buying trend, the increase in interest for products sourced nationally. And it’s not just a political decision either. Environmentally aware buyers are keen to reduce their carbon footprint in any way they can; locally sourced products, or those using local ingredients do not have to be transported very far, reducing the amount of carbon produced when moving them.

These purchasing trends are not limited to solo outlets either. Major UK pub chain JD Wetherspoon operates a policy of buying British & Irish products to support local suppliers, with over 400 UK brewers, delivering over 5,000 ales through real-ale festivals, exhibitions, meet-the-brewer events and the promotion and stocking of their beers. As part of this commitment they aim to have at least four British ales available at all times, preferably from local breweries.

There are many reasons why people are interested in provenance, and your reps will need to understand all of them in order to properly promote products to their contacts. Your sales team may also need to adjust sales tactics and pitches to cater to the demand for story-driven products that deliver authentic tastes.

This new level of interest in products, ingredients and provenance looks set to continue for the foreseeable future, so the Sales Operations Manager will need to move fast to make the relevant supporting information about product lines available to reps. By better understanding ingredients, your reps can answer the questions that matter most to your customers’ customers, and sell the right product lines to meet their needs.