View Full Version : R U Really a Beverage Distributor??

05-27-2006, 08:40 AM
I read all of these postings, and I am thinking to myself, what is the goal here?? Has anyone actually ever been to a c-store and made a presentation to a manager or owner, and made a sale. What people, store owners, managers want from a distributor is SERVICE!! They could really give a damn about the name of your product, etc. When you visit your store locations, do you clean the cooler door where your product is displayed?? Do you make sure that all of your beverages are easily viewed and the facings are faced forward.?? Do you sample inside and outside the store, potential customers, to help familiarize the consumer with your product?? Priming the pump is the key to any new beverage success. Ask 5 people inside and outside the store, have they heard of your product?? IF not, you better stay @ that location until they KNOW and recognize your brand. I have so many people say they have tried distributing a brand of beverages and they DO NOT SELL, then I ask them how many locations did you sell the product to?? They will say well about 20-30 locations, and I just shake my head thinking, well if you only had 20-30 locations, why in the hell are you thinking about distributing anything. If you can not have blanket penetration in your market, as you should have 100% of the independent locations, and 50% of Corp locations, then stay away from distributing. It is NOT for you!! If you would like to be a distributor then get serious, penetrate your market, and get busy. This is the reason RB, AB, Coca Cola are so successful, they are in every location. Make it your goal to establish your brand in every possible outlet.

I wrote down the other day, 20 different outlet applications for energy drinks by themself. Believe me, C-stores is @ the bottom of the list.

Till next time, all the best, JSC

05-27-2006, 08:55 AM
Very well said !!! SumPoosie sells well because it taste great. Yes... the name will get you to try it but its the taste of the Pure Cane Sugar that brings you back. C-stores sell tobacco, liquor, porn, and speed do you think they are worried about selling SumPoosie? We give distributors plenty of shirts, hats, inflatibles, posters, stickers, and door racks.
In return they make sure our product is out there and available because we look at it this way... if you can't sell SumPoosie you might as well go home.

05-29-2006, 12:37 AM
"I wrote down the other day, 20 different outlet applications for energy drinks by themself. Believe me, C-stores is @ the bottom of the list."

What do you mean by that?

05-29-2006, 01:17 PM
What that means is there are so many other outlets for energy drinks outside c-stores to create sales and product awareness. The old saying of bringing the horse to the well, in this case you bring the well to the horse. Locations where you know the demographic works, such as car dealerships, lawnmower shops, body shops, stereo shops, tire stores, tattoo parlors, etc. If you have a good tasting drink and are willing to do some sampling to these locaitons, I can personally tell you that alot of them are happy to put a counter top cooler in there location and purchase the product at a wholesale price. This is great becasue you eliminate competition and you are bringing the beverage to a demographic that may already be drinking a can a day or more. In alot of cases, for the simple fact that the product is close, cold, and convenient the employees of these locations will consume more than there average one or two cans a day. A sale is a sale, whether you are at a c-store or a body shop. You would be suprised what these locations can produce if you have a good tasting beverage.

05-31-2006, 11:31 AM
Big Energy----How are you going to drive volume in a Car Dealership? How about in a tire service store? If you "give" these guys a cooler, then sell them product at below wholesale so they can buy it at wholesale, how many cans are going to have to sell to the 10-15 sales guys or tire mechanics to make your money back? Furthermore, If these guys are already drinking 1-2 cans per day of another brand where do you think they are getting it? I bet the C-Store. C-Store stands for CONVENIENCE! C-stores are where the volume is at because of the broad range of demographics that use them day in and day out.

05-31-2006, 11:34 AM
JSCNitro2GO----How many stores do you visit per day? 5? I understand about word of mouth and getting the customer to know about your product but that is what POP or POS is for. Let the material talk while you go to the next store and service it. Drive your volume and let people "SEE" your name.
Your approach reminds me of some of the training videos we would watch at PBG. If you did everything that the training video suggested it would take you 8 hrs to service 1 mass market account.

Mr Zabe
05-31-2006, 12:34 PM
If I may add my some what uneducated point.

For those who doubt the traffic and sales patterns of C-Store customers; park your car from the hours of 6am to 10am in a popular C-Store parking lot. Observe what the customers are holding in their hands. Yes you will see coffee and donuts.
I bet you be surprised at the number of energy drinks that customers from all walks of life will be holding in their hands. Some with two cans.

My point is that a popular,well managed C-Store has the traffic of repeat customers that are very comfortable in paying for the convience of getting what they want.

IMO....C-Store are at the very top of the list for energy drinks sales (gross volume).

[ 05-31-2006, 11:36 AM: Message edited by: Mr Zabe ]

05-31-2006, 03:43 PM
Agreed. I see the point JSC is making...there are OTHER distribution points where sales can be made. But, to be successful, one must concentrate on the locations that will drive volume and repeat sales.

On the flip side - even if you service the heck out of a c-store and take good care of the owner/manager - if your product doesn't move it will get the axe eventually. Service can't replace lost sales $$$...

05-31-2006, 09:09 PM
Greg - When I say "give" them a cooler, what I meant is let them use a cooler as long as they are purchasing product. When you are selling these locations product at wholesale in alot of cases the owner or manager of the location will in turn sell it to there employees for the same price. It is convienent for them and easily accessible. I know the potential in a c-store is greater. Remember I am talking from a point of a E-drink that you are building market share with. I can tell you from experience that I have a small Mexican resteraunt that employs around 15 people and they go through 8 cases a month on a regular basis. Now if you are a new drink to a market and you a fighting for space in a cooler and if your lucky you get maybe one or two sleeves for your product, when you talk in terms of sales in that store eight cases a month is great. This is a good avenue for getting your product out there. It should by no means be your bread and butter. Again, if you were caring a product like Monster or RockStar or Redbull you would not need to do this.

05-31-2006, 11:38 PM
Hello, GREG

I appreciate your comments, but I can easily service 20-30 locations a day. In some cases I have went to over 50 locations in a single day.

I also, call on the phone over 100 accounts a day pre-selling, so maybe now you will better understand. Once you have established your core accounts, with POS and POP displays, you dont have to do this everytime you visit the store. You should know that you just have to make sure some other bulldog is NOT ripping your decals off of the wall, and make sure the customer is happy with your service. Well there is no training video available presently, but if you need to one, I am sure I could come up with one.

When you have done this as long as I have, there is nothing to it. Stay Tuned. JSC

06-01-2006, 12:12 AM
C Stores is where we are focusing for 2006 and 2007. We expect triple digit growth because of our C store business.

06-01-2006, 11:42 AM
Big E- Where does the money for that cooler come from? I would suspect YOU! Coolers aren't free. I understand it is a "loaner". I just feel that low volume sales areas are a waste of valuable resources.
My point is, the beverage business is a VOLUME based business. Manufacturers and distributors rely on multiple repeat business. That is the basic tenets of our industry. Sell as much as you can to as many people as possible.

06-01-2006, 11:51 AM
JSCNitro2Go- I was not implying that you do not see that many accounts per day. I was begging the question because in your opening statement you told us of everything you do in a store from facing to standing outside talking to everyone until at least 5 people know about your product and its function.

Would you mind sharing some of your thoughts with us concerning new areas of oppertunities to sell drinks other than the lowly C-store? I just don't understand why a C-store is not important to you in selling a volume product.

06-02-2006, 01:57 AM
I post here cause I consume lots of good energy drinks and like to hear when new ones are released. I wish some distributers in Phoenix will get off there asses and hook it up. I want Sum Poosie lol!!

06-02-2006, 08:32 AM
C-Stores are great vessels for all types of drinks, however, the RED and BLUE ARMY already have 90% of the cooler space, so this leaves little room for someone else. Also, take into consideration the beer spacing, and this leaves us with almost NO SPACE.

IE: Let us say there are 30 C-Stores, in a market that average 3-5 cases per month of Energy Drinks, for a total of 150 cs. I can take
5 Truck Stops or Grocery Stores and do the same volume. These outlets are not bickering about pricing or telling me all of the good things that someone else has given them. The bottom line here is $$ PROFIT. Do you want to service
30 stores or 5 stores and make the same profit.??

You can ask the question, well, why not do both?

Have you seen the price of fuel lately?? Two years ago it was about $2.00/gal, and now it is almost $3.00/gallon, so unless you are delivering a 5 cs minimum, keep driving to the larger retail store and focus on them.

Everyone has this great idea about c-stores, and I am just NOT on that page.

I will take a 40 cs order to one location, and merchandise it. This is highly more profitable than (8) orders of 5 cs, going to (8) different locations. My main point here is c-stores are last on my list, as the profitability is NOT there compared to BIG BOX retailers.

I am focusing on selling drinks in outlets that have -0- drinks, and then once they buy them, establishing stores around them, so they can buy them @ the store. I have been on construction sites, and unloaded 50 cases of product a week.

I am selling Service and a good product, @ a fair price too. JSC

06-02-2006, 10:32 AM
Too many 16oz Energy Drinks, all the same ingredients, all around the same price. Coolers full of dead product,no innovation. Here is my concept as a distributor: Sell on the fringes of the category. Here is just and example: I have just picked up a 16oz Energy Drink that retails for .99 (No, it is not Rip It) Great product, great packaging ,great price! Plus I make my 25%PM! The store owner makes their 40% We just load up the vans and sell a ton! Think of how many new buyers a .99 16oz Energy Drink attracts. How about the current Rockstar/Monster/No Fear consumers that will at the very least, try one of these .99 Energy Drinks. (If you question my logic just take a look at Arizona Beverage)On the other end of the spectrum you have the new category in Energy Drinks: Red Line, Super Speed and Xtreme Shock. Totally unique to the market. Price is not in issue in this category!
All of these "no name" 16oz Energy Drinks will at some point be pushed aside to make room for the big boys. Unless you offer something unique and different You will always be 1 step forward 2 steps back....

06-02-2006, 11:42 AM
JSCNitro2GO- Your business theory is pure conjecture formulated by the folks that "sold" you on Nitro2Go.
You have already told me that you make 100 presell calls a day before you even hit the street. Furthermore, you say you hit 20-30 service stops and sometimes up to 50 per day. With that being said now you turn around and claim to hit BIG BOX retailers while focusing on outlets with -0- energy drinks in them. Makes no sense to me.

Furthermore, If you are in a place that has zero representation of energy drinks that means that that location is probably not the best place to put your product because a)The store owner doesn't know what the hell he is doing or b) It is not a place a consumer generally walks into to get a drink.

06-02-2006, 11:52 AM
Everybody has their own ideas and opinions, however the .99 cent energy drink will NOT make it in all markets, regardless of size, as my retailers do not want to make only .35 cents or .40 cents per can, when they can make .75 to .90 cents for the same can @ $1.99/each. All of the retailers that tried a .99 cent 16 oz can in my market threw them away 6 months ago. They have to sell 2 of these cans to equal to the same margin, and lets say they do this, well they want to keep the category @ 1.99 per can.

Greg keep up the great opinions, they are making my day. All of us have different approaches, and my personal sales tell me something is going right. JSC

06-02-2006, 11:58 AM
As far as people that sold me on Nitro2Go, my hat is off to them, and anyone else that sells Nitro2Go. But I could do the same thing with any other energy drink or beverage.

I sold myself on Nitro2Go by trial and error.


Ron Swedelson
06-02-2006, 12:36 PM
Here is your problem, Nitro has part of his approach down, but still playing with a magic calculator. If you are just starting up...stay with your C-Stores. It is the best way to get product placement, and visability, and get your repeate customers. How many people can or do go to their C-Stores more than once a week, some even every day. But how many go to the grocery store for multiple visits, and definatly not for the quick drink because they are thirsty. Plus, you talk about profitability. Most of your C-stores you can put on COD order. EXTREMELY important if you are starting off. I would rather start my busines by selling 40 cases to 15 stores, and having them be COD, than 40 cases to 5 chain stores, spending all my sales day merching the store, and then have to wait 20-40 days just to hopefully get my full check (we all know chains don't always pay everything ontime, or in full). Gas is expensive, but its more expensive to keep selling things on Credit, having to replenish your full supply, sell it again, and not get paid for anything yet. That is a disaster, and bankrupsty waiting to happen. The key is, unless you have a Red Bull or Monster or Rockstar, is to keep a good portfolio of items that will sell well. Don't pick things up just to pick them up. You may only bring in 2 cases every other week of your new brand, but if you are also bringing in 6-10 cases of another couple brands, well, you have a profitable stop. These are the accounts that are going to fuel your sales and busines. Then, and only then should you worry about the chain busines. It will take up time and money. And simply because it is a chain, it does not guarantee sales. I had 11 different Safeway stores to call on with my Red Bull Route. My top store would do 18-22 cases every week (30 if on sale), but my slowest store would do a case every other week. Walmart, I would bring in between 9-15 cases every week, but it would take up a good hour of my time to check everything in, merchandise everything, clean everything, check out, and all that fun stuff. In that hour, I could have hit my next 4 stores and sold 20 cases.
There is a reason why there are a few Great distributors and a lot of us that are trying to get off the ground. It takes a lot of time, and money. And like Nitro, looking at the big stores, not the big picture. The tattoo shops, the internet cafes, and bike shops. Definatly all great additional placements. The majority of which will not give you great, or much sales. If they are out of the way, concentrate on developing the rest of your business. If they are next door or just a block from your next stop...go get them...the more sales the better.

06-02-2006, 03:22 PM

Great posting, but C-Stores are the # 1 Vessel to sell energy drinks or beverages as a whole. I am just trying to point out that Big Box Retailers move more volume per month per location. Surely, someone gets this point.

Would you rather go to 20 C-stores and sell them
5 cases each == 100 cs or go to 10 Big Box Retailers and sell them 20 cs each. ?? A combination of both, works well.

06-02-2006, 06:37 PM
It took me a while but I just figured out that JSCNitro2GO IS Nitro2GO. He is selling us his idea.

So You have mentioned that BOG BOX retailers are the way to go, what are the other 15 or so retail outlets that are better than C-Stores in your opinion?

How do you convince the big box retailers to take your product? I mean, most BB retailers expect a broad and effecient distribution network be in place before they take your product.

06-03-2006, 12:10 AM
There is plenty of room for a cool new products in c-stores. Most of my c-stores hate dealing with Coke or Pepsi. But they have no choice. I totally agree with Ron.. Focus on a few "quality" brands, build a solid relationship with the c-store owner and you can do very well. Here is my question to JC Nitro; What makes Nitro-2-Go so unique as compared to all other 16oz Energy Drinks. Please do not give me the standard answer "it is the best tasting energy drink on the market" or "It has a higher profit margin" Is it stronger than the competition? Is it authorized in chains such as 7-11, QuickStop, Chevron, etc. Why would I want to distribute it? Or more important, why would my customer want to make room on their shelves for it. In an earlier post you mentioned that alot of customers will shy away from the .99 concept, But, I know that Nitro runs a buy 2 for $3.00 all the time, so Nitro is also trying to be a "value based" brand.

Super Jay
06-04-2006, 01:05 PM

Is Nitro 2 Go (the energy drink not supplements) authorized at any of the top 25 c-store chains in the US.
Is it authorized in any of the top 10 "Big Box" chains in the US.

The only places I have seen it (around Albany NY), it was just sitting there at 2 for $3. Store owners bought once from an independent dist (that nobody has seen for a while) and have been sitting on their initial purchase.

[ 06-04-2006, 12:05 PM: Message edited by: Super Jay ]

06-05-2006, 01:04 PM
Super Jay,

Authorized Locations:

Arco AM/PM, 7-Eleven, Circle K, Albertsons, Walgreens, Long Drug Stores, Quik Trip,Handee Mart, but really what does the distributor have left to do if the manufacturer does all of the foot work for the distributor?? I think it is great for the Manufacturer to assist the distributor with placement of shelf space, etc. I think the distributor should have to do something,rather than just being a delivery vessel. McClane also carries Nitro2Go.

Have a great summer!! All the best, JSC

06-05-2006, 01:16 PM
JSC - unfortunately, there is a big difference between "authorized" and "on schematic" or on the shelf. I can tell you for a fact, Nitro is not on approved planograms/schematics for Arco AM/PM or 7-Eleven here in SoCal. It is in Circle K (because I just completed the schematics). Are the authorizations you mentioned regional?

06-05-2006, 02:48 PM
I honestly think JSC is phishing for business.

06-05-2006, 04:17 PM
Go Fish!

06-05-2006, 06:48 PM
JSC is NOT Nitro2Go inc. maybe a 2nd hand "Rep" pushing the product, which is cool..
I think I'll bite that little fish

06-07-2006, 11:24 PM
You are correct OSU, JSCNitro2GO is NOT Nitro2Go, Inc., but merely a sales representative, maybe even 3rd hand Rep, but give Nitro2Go Corporate a call and ask them who has sold more Nitro2Go than anyone else in the company for 5 years in a row, and they will tell you immediately the truth. Nuf Said. JSC

06-08-2006, 11:47 PM
JSC you have sold more nitro last 4 1/2 years in row. From what I hear another company has dwarfed your sales. Get honest!!

06-13-2006, 07:44 AM
Thank you for all of your postings, it is summer time now, and trust each of you have a great productive season. Time to get busy, and make a go of it. See you this fall @ NACS. JSC