The experts give their opinions

Hillary Graves Managing director, Little Dish

We’re still learning, but here’s what we know so far: a high quality product makes things easier. We focus on provenance and highlight natural ingredients and delicious taste.

Is there a gap in the market? Take your buyer through market research and product-testing feedback to illustrate customers’ level of interest.

Will it help build relationships with a key target group? As an example, mothers of young children are very valuable - they’re loyal, with a higher than average basket spend.

Show the buyer how you plan to support the launch, encourage trials and drive sales. This doesn’t require big marketing budgets, but thoughtful, strategic ways of informing your audience about your product’s location - PR, instore marketing and sampling, and community initiatives help. Innovative and creative packaging can also bring your proposition to life and show your point of differentiation.

Phil Barnes Central buyer, Waitrose

As buyers we’re looking for suppliers who believe passionately in their products and have identifi ed an opportunity with customer appeal.

Buyers want to work with suppliers who provide complete solutions to customers’ perceived needs. We’re constantly reviewing assortments and are keen to introduce products that help close a gap in the assortment.

Little Dish had the product and the passion high quality ready meals targeted at helping young mums provide children with nutritious meals containing clean ingredients.

The company believed in more than just its product, with a real desire to bring it to customers’ attention by supporting marketing initiatives, such as sampling and PR, in-store and across young mums’ publications.

Little Dish’s production plan inspired our confi dence in its capacity to meet demand, and it was clear that it wouldn’t compromise quality in the hunt for quick volume gains.