handshkaeAre you thinking of hiring a distributor to sell your product? There are a lot of distributors ready to work for you, but how can you narrow down your options and choose the best one? Look for these key traits:


When your distributors have success selling your product, your brand has success, too. That’s why the number one trait that you should look for in a distributor is a competitive spirit. For example, convenience store distributors must be willing to fight for the small amount of shelf space available to brands instead of letting a competitor step in and take it. Without the will to win, distributors are not successful, and either is your product.

Diverse Portfolio

Distributors with a diverse portfolio are more likely to bring unique strategic ideas back to suppliers since they have more experience in the industry. In addition, distributors with a diverse portfolio will probably have a more loyal group of retail customers. Why? As a retailer, you want to make strong connections with a distributor team that can fulfill all of your needs. Therefore, a food distributor with a diverse portfolio of food and beverage items is more beneficial than a food distributor with one or two product offerings.

Strong Values

You should never want to involve yourself with a distributor who doesn’t comply with rules and regulations, so find one with high ethical compliance. Distributors should respect the laws in place and work within them instead of trying to find a way around them. Remember, these distributors represent your brand when they sell your product, so how do you want the market to see you?

Willing to Learn

A main function that distributors serve is educating retailers and consumers about the products that they sell. Therefore, if distributors are unwilling to learn the ins and outs of your product, they won’t do a great job selling it. Look for distributors who are eager to learn, especially if you have a more complex product that requires a higher level of knowledge. For example, convenience store distributors selling a new brand of electronic cigarette or beauty supply distributors selling a new beauty treatment both must be knowledgeable about the benefits that their products bring and what makes them unique on the market. Without this trait, distributors will not be successful selling your product.


Markets change quickly, and so must distributors. When choosing a food distributor, look for one who can think quickly on his feet and adjust a marketing strategy at a moment’s notice to fit the new demands of the consumers. Food distributors should consistently bring market insight back to the suppliers and advise them on upcoming trends and competition that may impact the business. Remember, distributors are much closer to the final consumer than you are as a supplier, so you have to listen to the valuable insight that they have and be ready to take their advice to stay competitive.

What traits do you look for in a distributor? Tell us in the comments below!