News / What Do Farm Shops & Delis Look For From Brands?

Farm Shops & Delis

This month we are looking at what independent Farm Shops and Delis look for when choosing brands to stock. After reaching out on LinkedIn, I was delighted when local "shopkeeper", Christine Hope, got in touch. 

Christine is a top 100 Independent retailer and business mentor running her family business, Hopes of Longtown, which is nestled in the shadows of the Black Mountains. The shop is a community hub providing the local post office as well. 

Christine's criteria for choosing brands to stock comes down to three key points:

  • Taste - no branding in the world can hide a less than tasty product
  • Locality - the demand for hyper-local produce prevails
  • Price - the price has to be right for the local consumer 

For Christine, supporting smaller brands is also key as it gives people a reason to visit her and underpins the ethos of her business. 

Only recently, The Grocer reported the multiples' increasing stock of "local" and "craft" products, and argues that it might make those same products less appealing to independents. After all, the convenience of a supermarket is only to be outweighed by the more unusual and more local products an independent might stock (and perhaps the more personal experience). 

For Christine, if she sees a brand advertise in trade magazines, she becomes disinterested and assumes that brand wants listings in the multiples. 

In fact, Christine is backing a campaign to encourage independent shops to only stock products from within a 30 mile radius to encourage originality of stock and raise the bar in independent retailing.

It therefore becomes apparent that a brand must have a strategy when it comes to distribution. Do you want to champion the independents or are you targeting the supermarkets? If the answer is both, perhaps you need to offer exclusive products to the independent market that will never be sold through the multiples? 

We'd love to hear your thoughts or experiences. 

You can find out more about Hopes of Longtown on their website - www.hopesoflongtown.co.uk.

Phia Folkes