The following few pages are taken from the “Growing Pains” section of Mission in a Bottle, and draw a picture of one of the dilemmas many beverage entrepreneurs face as they try to become better known and more widely available: moving across retail channels.
Many beverage companies start in retail and specialty channels and feel lucky enough to get there – with Whole Foods at your back, a lot of key consumers can see your product. But it’s hard to fulfill your mission and to satisfy your financial goals within the narrow margins of UNFI and Whole Foods – so a move to more “touch heavy” distribution options who can take you into more conventional grocery, drug, bodega and foodservice accounts is often the key.
Here we see Seth and Barry struggling with the smaller, independent distribution operations, trying to build a track record that will eventually get them into mainstream retailers. As you’ll see, it’s a struggle all the way around.
Reprinted from the book Mission in a Bottle: The Honest Guide to Doing Business Differently—and Succeeding by Seth Goldman and Barry Nalebuff, illustrated by Sungyoon Choi. Copyright © 2013 by Seth Goldman and Barry Nalebuff. Published by Crown Business, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company.