How to Sell Produce Wholesale

By
Nicole Georgiev
Table of Contents
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    These days, the produce distribution industry is growing in order to meet client demand. Retailers and distributors are always searching for new ways to sell to their customers. At the same time, people want to learn how to sell produce wholesale as vendors and distributors. You can learn more about the wholesale definition by reading about it on our blog.

    For some, purchasing produce wholesale means freezing, dehydrating, canning, or baking these products. However, for others, like restaurants, buying wholesale produce is a must in order to get through a week’s worth of food orders. 

    Even with sizable gardens, there are some produce items that you can’t grow on your own or enough of. This is when wholesale products are necessary. If you’re looking into how to become a wholesaler, learning how to run a wholesale business and how to run a wholesale distribution business, this article has the basics of how to sell produce wholesale.

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    3 Things to Know When Learning How to Sell Produce Wholesale

    Wholesale distributors are key players when it comes to purchasing, collecting, and transporting bulk volumes of food to customers. In most cases, wholesale distributors sell their products to the following customer groups: 

    • Restaurants (both independent and chain)
    • Grocery stores
    • Catering companies
    • Institutions (hospitals, schools, and universities)
    • Corporate cafeterias

    Distributors often act as the middleman in the supply chain between the consumers and farmers. This is what allows farmers and producers to reach out to multiple customers and increase their brand recognition. 

    Benefits of Selling Wholesale

    There are many benefits for farmers and producers who sell their products to distributors. These include the fact that they can: 

    • Efficiently sell larger quantities of product to their consumers
    • Access various markets and in turn, increase their brand presence and sales volume
    • Reduce the resources and time spent on marketing to consumers
    • Have more time to focus on production

    Challenges In Learning How to Sell Produce Wholesale

    With benefits also come challenges, especially when it comes to selling wholesale products. As a wholesale distributor, you’ll have to take on various tasks. These include handling on-farm operations, marketing, food safety certifications, product packaging, pricing, and logistics. 

    These components of the wholesale process ensure successful relationships between suppliers, distributors, and customers. 

    Where to Buy Wholesale Produce

    Whether you’re looking to purchase wholesale produce for your restaurant or for your household, the big question is, how can you buy it? It’s likely that the cost of produce at your local grocery store has been on the rise. This can make it hard for you to get all the products you need to make various dishes. 

    Purchasing wholesale produce is a way for you to save money and get the produce items you need When you buy in bulk, you’ll be able to use it fresh, freeze it, and more. 

    So, where can you buy wholesale produce? You can buy wholesale produce in the following ways: 

    Wholesale produce distributors are located everywhere. Most buyers choose to stay local when it comes to their suppliers, but that’s not always the case.

    Many wholesale distributors ship their products all over the United States and some even ship worldwide. This is something that you should pay attention to when you choose the ideal wholesale distributor. 

    If you’re looking for new suppliers that you can trust, we’ve researched some for you. Some wholesale produce distributors include: 

    Z-A Specialty Foods

    Based in the Bronx, NY, Z-A Specialty Foods is a wholesale food distributor that serves all kinds of businesses. These include schools, supermarkets, restaurants, hospitals, hotels, private catering companies, and commercial kitchens.

    They guarantee garden fresh and crisp produce products, on time deliveries, the highest quality standards, and exceptional customer service. Z-A Specialty Foods sources the freshest and finest seasonal produce goods from all over the world as well as from local farms. This is how they ensure their customers get the best products. 

    North Bay Produce

    Since 1984, North Bay Produce has been distributing fresh produce all year round from 32 growers in South, Central, and North America. Their headquarters is in Traverse City, MI; however, they distribute their products worldwide. 

    Alvarez Organic Farms

    Alvarez Organic Farms is a family-owned business that has been around since 1981, specializing in wholesale produce distribution. Their farm is located in the Lower Yakima Valley in Mabton, WA. Alvarez Organic Farms has a farm-to-table wholesale program that connects their fresh produce to their customers.

    Yankee Produce

    Specializing in sourcing quality, fresh food products, Yankee Produce has been in business since 2001. They maintain annual access to fresh produce from all over the United States and the world. This is one of the ways they maintain existing relationships and build new ones with brokers and dealers. 

    Wholesale Directories

    Restaurants tend to work with wholesale directories and eCommerce platforms, like BlueCart, to order the products they need. BlueCart is an all-in-one ordering management platform that allows buyers to place their bulk orders with ease. This not only makes it simple for buyers to get the products they’re looking for but also for inventory management

    Subscription Boxes

    With subscription boxes, you can get the items you need delivered right to your door as often as desired. Produce subscription box services, like Perfectly Imperfect Produce, From the Farmer, and The Fruit Guys make it easy to connect with customers. 

    Download your free Wholesale Produce eBook

    How to Sell Produce Wholesale As a Business

    A wholesale produce business can be very profitable. It’s similar to starting wholesale meat or wholesale seafood businesses.

    Most eCommerce businesses start small, but selling wholesale can help any business take a big leap in the right direction in terms of growth. Researching 2022 food trends first ensures you're selling high demand products in your produce business, too. It provides an opportunity to reach a broader audience, increase profits, and worry less about individual sales. 

    By discovering how to sell produce wholesale, you’ll increase your brand visibility since it’s likely that your customer base will be able to expand naturally. As a business owner, your time is valuable, and focusing on wholesale can help you quickly increase profits. 

    As a wholesaler, you’ll likely be selling your produce in bulk quantities to companies, restaurants, and individuals. It’s common for wholesalers to also connect suppliers with retailers, commercial, and industrial companies. 

    If you start a wholesale produce business, you’ll want to conduct thorough research to determine the exact products you want to sell. This can include a combination of fruits and vegetables, or maybe you’ll choose one specific product. 

    In most cases, those who decide to get into the wholesale produce business have a farm; however, this isn’t the only way to get started. Either way, you’ll need to secure the necessary legal permit and/or wholesale license to distribute your products. 

    Characteristics of Wholesale Produce Distributors

    Wholesale produce distributors need to understand the flow of their business. Chances are the price of your produce goods will continue to fluctuate. This can depend on a number of factors including the weather. 

    Be aware that this will cause your rates to change. It can also mean that you’ll need to act quickly in various situations to ensure customer satisfaction. Proper communication is also key.

    ​​Factors to Consider

    When you start your own wholesale produce business, you’ll want to consider a few factors. These can include securing a commercial warehousing facility.

    Having a commercial warehousing facility will allow you to store your produce before you ship it out to the consumer. This is how you can also keep your produce fresh, crisp, and high-quality. 

    It’s also crucial for you to guarantee that all of your food items are safe to eat. Your warehouse should be temperature-controlled.

    You should also have access to resources that can help you with order fulfillment. This includes trucks, 3PL companies, and the proper eCommerce packaging

    Promoting Your Business

    With a wholesale produce business, you’ll want to advertise and work on wholesale marketing. In order to do this, you won’t have to spend a ton of money. You can target your niche market through professional networks, create a website, and even organize free seminars for food retailers.

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    Frequently Asked Questions About How to Sell Produce Wholesale

    1. What Is Wholesale Produce?

    Wholesale produce is bulk produce that is purchased by consumers throughout the supply chain, including restaurants and individuals. Produce items can include all kinds of vegetables like carrots, lettuce, onions, peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers. It’s common for produce wholesalers to also carry select fruits such as strawberries, oranges, apples, pineapples, eggs, and even dairy products. 

    2. Where Can I Buy Wholesale Produce?

    You can buy wholesale produce from wholesale produce distributors that accept payment online, through wholesale directories, and produce subscription boxes. Buyers can choose to have the vegetables and fruits delivered to them as needed.

    3. What Is a Wholesale Produce Subscription Box?

    A wholesale produce subscription box is a home delivery of produce that you can choose to have delivered on a weekly or monthly basis. These boxes can be customized based on your preferences, or randomized with various fruits and vegetables. 

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