Every maker wants to get their product on shelves. However, product-store fit is extremely important for emerging F&B makers to keep in mind. You want your product on shelves where your audience is, where it can stand out, and where shoppers can go to have an authentic in-store experience. Enter, Rachel Krupa and her brilliant rethink of the traditional convenience store. Rachel has thoughtfully curated her all-natural bodega, The Goods Mart, with locations in New York City and LA, with better-for-you alternatives to the usual big-box convenience store fare. So how does she and her team decide what products get shelf space at The Goods Mart? We had a conversation with her to find out.

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When curating products for The Goods Mart, what makes a brand stand out?    

Packaging and transparency are two things that set one brand apart from another. Especially packaging that doesn’t look like anything else on the shelf – you want customers to be intrigued to pick it up and buy!  Also, being transparent with consumers is crucial – do you talk about where your product is made, the brand story, what ingredients you use? All of this makes a compelling brand.

Taste or packaging (brand “look”), which is more important?

Asking taste or packaging is like chicken or the egg… you can’t have one without the other. Packaging is important to gravitate customers to pick up the product, but taste is what keeps them coming back. To me, it’s not either, or… BOTH are equally important.

What role does a brand’s marketing play when selecting products (i.e. Instagram/social presence, brand voice, etc.)?

Marketing is the megaphone for a brand. It educates customers/buyers on who you are and why was the product created. Instagram is the most important platform for a brand, but it’s not about the number of followers; it’s about the overall vibe the profile conveys.  Authenticity over everything else!

What makes you and your team select one product offering (in same category) over another?

For us, taste is most important once it meets our pillars of health…then price.

What qualities do you look for when considering products (organic, paleo, keto, vegan, etc.)

We only carry products that are non-GMO and contain nothing artificial. We do definitely lean more organic, but accessibility in price is something we consider. More customers are asking for vegan and low sugar items, but they are also looking for low sugar items that do not have stevia or monk fruit.

How can a brand that is just starting out up the “cool” factor?

Increasing cool factor translates to creating a buzz. Start to seed your product at fitness studios, clothing stores, salons… sample your product at the places your key demographic is frequenting!

Any other insights from your experience working with brands? Success stories?

Build an authentic brand.

Talk about why you started it and what makes you different.  Why is your product needed in the world or are you just another product? Really accentuate and educate your customers so they can go out and tell 10, 20, 30 friends. Word of mouth is still queen!

  • Learn more about Rachel and her consulting agency, Krupa Consulting, here.
  • Learn more about The Goods Mart here.

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