For years, up-and-coming brands have gathered immense support via crowdfunding platforms, like Indiegogo and Kickstarter, that enable businesses to secure funding on their terms while simultaneously driving brand awareness and building a customer base. Grocery items, though, have had limited success with crowdfunding – until now. Recently, food-based companies have seen increased success on crowdfunding platforms, thus presenting grocers with new opportunities for growth.

The key to making the most of crowdfunded products is to distinguish those with the greatest potential for success among the endless selection of grocery items out there. Dedicating the time and effort to finding products that your customers will love can give your business an edge over your competition.

Here’s your guide to navigating up-and-coming crowdfunded grocery items!

Identifying Rising Stars in the Grocery Industry

From artisan hot sauces to instant ramen that’s both delicious and nutritious, crowdfunding gives every brand a shot at fame and fortune. And although crowdfunding platforms offer avenues for startups to collect tens of thousands — sometimes even millions — of dollars in funding, not every business succeeds. In fact, according to FoodNavigator-USA, between January 2014 and October 2020, only 23% of projects received full funding, raising an average of just under $35,000. At the end of the day, the brands and grocery items that manage to reach their funding goals deserve respect and consideration.

Fortunately, most crowdfunding platforms make it easy to sort through products and identify those with the most potential for success. Categories like “Most Funded” and “Most Popular” reveal exactly which grocery items consumers prefer, as well as how much they value such products. Furthermore, this information provides retailers with the power to keep track of products with rising popularity or even partner with emerging brands early on. Either way, researching up-and-coming products can give you a leg up on the competition.

Deciding Which New Grocery Items to Stock

Choosing to stock your shelves with a new grocery item is an investment, and as with any investment, you need to anticipate the products that will generate the greatest profit. Many grocers, understandably, hesitate to stock crowdfunded grocery items; after all, popularity on the internet does not always equate to popularity on your shelves. Luckily, there are several ways to ensure you choose the best products for your customers.

Excellence Industries New & Popular Grocery Items: Opening Your Shelves to Rising Stars

Thorough research is one of the most important strategies for vetting new grocery items. Understanding the wants and needs of your customer base provides insight into the products they’re most likely to buy. That said, the wants and needs of your customers are ever changing. Conducting additional market research can show how attitudes toward certain products evolve over time — like the growing popularity of meat alternatives or frozen foods, for example.

Once you’ve narrowed your list down to one or a few potential grocery items, you can test their success with your customers. In most cases, it’s best to start small. Ordering a limited stock of a new product offers a low-risk way to try out new grocery items. You may choose to facilitate this trial, in true Costco fashion, by offering free samples to customers and directing them to the product on your shelves. Afterward, you can assess how well the grocery items sold and even ask for buyer feedback on each product.

Stocking Your Shelves With Emerging Grocery Items

Crowdfunding isn’t for everyone, but the businesses that succeed have funding and a prebuilt customer base. These nascent-yet-popular grocery items present unique opportunities to cater to your customers and distinguish yourself from the competition. Introducing such items to your shelves may very well prove to be a profitable investment.

That being said, the decision to carry crowdfunded foods must not be taken lightly because the performance of any new product is unpredictable. You can mitigate potential risk with proper research and preparation: start small, evaluate a product’s performance, and then decide whether it’s right for your store.

Are you looking to accommodate new products in your store? Contact us today to discuss your unique refrigeration needs!