I’m a foodie and I love to cook. If you sell a special exotic curry or a goat’s milk caramel, I’ll take two. Finding unique, quality products like Pan’s Mushroom Jerky or Rise Brewing Co.’s Oat Milk Lattes online makes my day.
And from where I sit as an online commerce executive, one of the most dynamic and interesting industry categories today is food & beverages. At Inxeption we’re in the business of bringing new channels and more flexible marketing and logistics options to innovators and makers, and the food & beverage world is bursting with both.
I’ve been thinking about this because my team is attending the virtual Specialty Food Association Show this week, where some of our customers are gathering and networking, Zoom-style. Also known for years as New York's Fancy Food Show, it’s traditionally an in-person gathering where thousands of brand reps compete for the attention of channel partners like Walmart, HEB, and Whole Foods. But this year, we are attending because we can offer attendees an exciting, alternative channel: At Inxeption, we are the pioneers of I-commerce, which means we can support our partners with every element of online selling on a platform built for business.
We know putting up an online store, which we have done for customers such as Liberty Water, is a necessary but not sufficient step for success in selling direct to consumers. Logistics issues are huge for food & bev companies, and we’ve got predictable rate shipping plans for all modes that take the surprise back-end charges off the table.
Another service we offer that resonates with our food & bev customers is financing. What often happens: A specialty food maker attends the Fancy Food Show, a big retail buyer gets a taste of that vanilla bourbon ball confection, and—hurray-—places an order for hundreds of cases to be delivered to a dozen stores in the Northeast. After celebrating, reality hits: This is the food company’s biggest order ever and just purchasing the ingredients could break the bank. At Inxeption, we get it. You need quick approval for a merchant cash advance you can pay back as sales from your product arrive. Now, make those bourbon balls and let’s get your product shipped.
By the way, do those confections go well with a cheese course and a dessert wine? Let’s add that recommendation to the “serving tips” online store we created for you!
Yes, tasting food or beverages is critical. But making buyers schlep food home from a farmer’s market they discovered on vacation is not the path to high growth…it’s making it easy for those customers to buy what they’ve sampled—and more—online. Maybe even before they’ve left your booth.
Going forward, even when we can taste and mingle in public again, I think online marketplaces are here to stay. I know it’s on our list of exciting new services we are creating that allow sellers to create themed marketplaces around events, ingredients, regions, you name it.
We love innovators and makers at Inxeption. The American dream is alive and well among our food & beverage entrepreneurs who care deeply about the quality and value of their products and the positive vibes surrounding home, family, and community that eating together nurtures.