Are you starting a Food or Beverage brand, or looking to expand your current inventory or product line? Finding wholesale ingredient suppliers can be challenging, but it’s a great way to source your ingredients at a lower cost with reasonable Minimum Order Quantities (MOQs). In this blog post, we will explore some tips and tricks for finding wholesale ingredient suppliers in the UK, as well as how to evaluate and choose the right supplier for your business needs. If you want an additional helping hand, we’ve built the world’s largest network of ingredient Suppliers at Opply – and it’s free to get started finding wholesale ingredient suppliers.
Every year across the UK there are dozens of trade shows where wholesale ingredient suppliers exhibit. This is an opportunity to meet new suppliers, ask them about their product lines, and assess how suitable they are for your business’ needs.
Online directories can be unreliable, but they are sometimes a good way to identify potential ingredient suppliers for your business. Directories list wholesale ingredient suppliers by name and often categorise their products, too.
For key ingredients where you regularly order larger volumes, it can be easier to go directly to manufacturers or growers for your product. It’s important to bear in mind, though, that MOQs for manufacturers will be much higher (with these likely to be full pallet-loads all the way up to container loads).
The F&B Brand world is a small one, and we always encourage Brand owners and Operations Professionals to ask their networks who the most reliable and best wholesale ingredient suppliers are for different ingredients.
Opply has the largest network of wholesale ingredient suppliers in the world. We can help you source new ingredients, manage your orders with new and existing suppliers, and finance your ingredient supply chain. Find the best wholesale ingredient suppliers for free using Opply!
Reviews from previous customers, as well as what your network might have to say about a wholesale ingredient supplier can be a reliable way of determining whether they will be a good fit for your business. If in doubt, you can always ask a supplier to provide a customer reference and check that out yourself.
When choosing a wholesale ingredient supplier, you need to determine what’s most important to you – quality, service, or price? Every wholesale ingredient supplier will offer something different so it’s important that you know the criteria you’ll use to choose. When you source a new supplier through Opply, we ask you what your priorities are and use this to guide you towards the right supplier.
Wholesale ingredient suppliers will have a number of policies and procedures, as well as industry-standard certifications, that you may wish to consider when choosing which one to use. Whether these policies related to safety, anti-slavery, or technical compliance, it’s always worth doing your homework!
One of the biggest gripes customers make about their wholesale ingredient supplier is the levels of service and communication they receive. Make sure you find suppliers who are quick to respond, knowledgeable and helpful in their dealings with you.
If you require certain certifications (e.g. SALSA) for your ingredients, it’s important not only to look for the logo on wholesale ingredient suppliers’ websites, but also to ask for proof of current certifications. Every supplier will be able to provide documentation for this.
Ingredients are at the heart of your product, and it’s vital that you build relationships with wholesale ingredient suppliers that you trust. Watch out for anything that doesn’t feel right from the get-go and make sure you always ask for proof of any claims made by the supplier. At Opply, we conduct due diligence on every supplier and conduct exhaustive “Know Your Business” (KYB) checks to ensure security and safety of every transaction.
Check online for reviews and feedback from other customers of potential wholesale ingredient suppliers before transacting with them. Wherever possible, ask for customer references and make sure you order sample quantities of the ingredient you want to order to test for quality and consistency.
Wholesalers can offer lower prices due to bulk purchasing and lower overhead costs. Buying ingredients from supermarkets, or even “cash and carry” businesses is not sustainable for most Food and Beverage brands. These may be options for your smaller production runs and NPD, but at Opply we encourage Food and Beverage brands to work with wholesale ingredient suppliers from the beginning of the product development process, to ensure that the ingredients you use in your final product are consistent with those used in your recipe development.
The percentage wholesalers make can vary depending on the product and supplier! This is a hard question to answer accurately as different products and suppliers will have different margins. Some commoditised ingredients, like sugar and flour, will have very small margins whereas speciality trademarked products (particularly chemicals and functional ingredients) may operate with much higher margins.
It is possible to buy ingredients from some online wholesalers! These online wholesale suppliers include Ali Baba, Ali Express and even Amazon. However, the lead times on these products can be incredibly long and you receive very little certainty around the product quality. At Opply, we always recommend using verified wholesale ingredient suppliers
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