Getting Into Whole Foods: One Entrepreneur’s Journey

For many new food and beverage companies, landing placement in Whole Foods is often an important goal. The influential retailer is viewed by many as a powerful launching pad for expanded sales and distribution within the natural channel and beyond.

However, we’ve heard from plenty of brand owners and distributors about how difficult it is to get a product into Whole Foods, a process that has become increasingly competitive amid the natural grocer’s use of local “foragers,” who are tasked with finding new brands for its shelves.

We wanted to hear about what entrepreneurs should know about the process, and the best approach to getting their products authorized for sale at Whole Foods.

Recently, FBU sat down with Sherie Grillon, the owner of NoLA’s Fresh Foods, who sells her fresh salsas in over 75 stores in the New England area, including some Whole Foods locations

We asked Grillon about her journey on getting into Whole Foods, including how long it took and the grocer’s requirements for brands.

While she noted that every Whole Foods store is different, Grillon told FBU that getting in touch with one of company’s forager wasn’t the hard part. It was the immense paperwork she had to go through after making her initial pitch.

“[The paper work] was extensive,” Grillon explained. “It took me about two months to fill out, going back and forth with everything you need. It’s pages and pages long and it has to do with everything down to your auto insurance.”

Catch the rest of this informative interview as Grillon talks more about how to make your way into Whole Foods as well as the requirements to stay on the retailer’s shelves.

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