back to news

BLOG: Want to sell your food/drink products online? Use this handy checklist

30 September 2020

Online shopping has never been more popular with consumers being less able to visit high street stores and supermarkets. Due to the events of recent months, many food and drink businesses have looked to make changes to the way their products are sold with many considering online sales platforms and ecommerce sites. However, there are a number of areas to consider before subscribing to an online platform.

Bryony Whiley, Facilities and Marketing Manager for the Food and Drink Forum provides her handy checklist before you take the plunge.

Compliance – food and drink businesses looking to start selling online should check that they meet Food Standards Agency legislation for distance and online selling by visiting this link as well as informing their Environmental Health Officer of their intentions

Product labels – with labelling legislation being so strict for food and drink products, it is essential for businesses to check the legislative requirements for selling online to ensure product safety during storage and distribution.

Choosing a channel – a number of online stores selling food products already exist and so businesses need to decide if it will be more beneficial to access existing online platforms or to set up a new one.

Product photography – consumers buy with their eyes online and high-quality photographs of the products and packaging will be essential for increasing sales. Where the product is an ingredient rather than a finished product, businesses should consider including photographs of serving suggestions.

Product descriptions – it is essential for food and drink businesses to provide good product descriptions, including key information from the product label and allergen advice to appeal to a wide audience.

Sensible pricing – businesses should aim to be competitive and sensible with pricing, whilst ensuring the price includes the costs for the time taken to prepare the product, ingredient costs and packaging costs.

Packaging – businesses should consider how well their packaging holds up during storage and distribution, to ensure that it arrives with the end consumer in a presentable manner, and any additional packaging costs should be considered within the product pricing.

Arranging delivery – there are many delivery options available to food and drink businesses, however, it will be essential to assess the reviews and COVID-19 safety measures the business has in place to avoid a weak link in the supply chain.

Thanks to Bryony for this blog (pictured 4th from left with the Food and Drink Forum Team on a visit to a local gin distillery).

If you are a food or drink producer in Leicester or Leicestershire take advantage of a series of free webinars taking place this October.

06 October: Online and distance selling – food technical support: https://bit.ly/2E4xrzG
07 October: Working in collaboration to increase sales and exposure: https://bit.ly/32ugcAZ
08 October: Extending product shelf live with MAPP gases: https://bit.ly/3mmkAde
09 October: Writing social media content for food and drink producers: https://bit.ly/3kkmucL
14 October: Selling food and drink products into independent retail: https://bit.ly/33pcRCJ
15 October: Flavour trends – staying ahead of the crowd: https://bit.ly/2ZCJGLb
20 October: Promoting your food and drink products through Instagram stories: https://bit.ly/3bZ7uOd
22 October: Tips for selling successfully on Amazon – a producer’s experience: https://bit.ly/3bWMSGm