*View video on Mumbo Sauce below
After appearing in an article about mumbo sauce on the front page of a Sunday edition of the Washington Post, they were overwhelmed with orders for hundreds of bottles that took two to four weeks to fulfill by hand.
Today, the Joneses work with a manufacturer in North Carolina that produces the sauce and handles the bottling, labeling, and shipping. They were referred to several manufacturers but found the one they liked by doing their own research online.
“We went down there and gave them our recipe, which is kept private,” says Arsha. “You go through the entire process the first time to make sure it tastes the way you want it to when they scale it up from little pots to 150-gallon drums.”
She notes that partnering with large retailers requires having a system in place that can produce a large quantity of product in a short period of time. “To work with the Walmarts or Targets of the world, you have to be able to fill their orders,” she says.
The Joneses are looking to get Capital City Mumbo Sauce into Whole Foods Market and Walmart, which is building several stores in the District. “Every year we’ve had to expand,” says Arsha. “First it was to get online sales, then it was to get it into local stores based on demand, now it’s to take the brand to every major retailer in the area so that we can go national.”
5 Tips to Winning Shelf Space
Your ultimate goal may be to win shelf space in Walmart or Target, but big box retailers will want to see evidence that your product sells.
- Do your research. Find out what retailers need. Walk the aisles carrying brands and products similar to yours. Be able to show where your product can fit in.
- Contact a retail buyer to arrange an appointment. Prepare a brief presentation. Bring product samples to demonstrate their value and marketability.
- Provide testimonials from satisfied customers or comments on social media sites to back up your product claims.
- Provide details of product sales to date, including sales from online, brick-and-mortar stores, or alternative venues.
- Attend trade shows. This is a valuable way to meet various smaller retail buyers who can test or sample your product on the spot.