New producers often start with one or two products that sell successfully at craft fairs or flea markets. A customer or store buyer may show interest in the product which gets the producer thinking about wholesaling. But how does that transfer into the wholesale arena?
One or two products often constitute a crafter peddling their hobby, whereas three or more items represents a line of products that position you as a serious company in the wholesale marketplace.
A company simply does not look credible with only one or two products. Buyers typically prefer large lines of products to choose from, with new products coming out twice a year, to get their store customers hooked on repeat purchasing in a line. As a rule of thumb, a producer should have at least three products – which are related in some fashion – they won’t earn significant consideration or shelf space, and buyers will find it tough to justify investing in their line.
And a product line should offer some type of common thread, showing a logical relationship between and among the individual products. Someone offering a bread mix, a salsa, and a candle – even though that totals three products – will not find many buyers willing to take them seriously, unless the graphics are absolutely spectacular. The magic of three would be three salsas, three mixes, or three candles, etc. Or maybe if their specialty was “blackberry”, and the odd lot was a dry mix, salsa, and candle – each with a blackberry flavor, ingredient, and/or scent – that would meet the relationship criteria.
As a sales rep, I seldom consider a potential line that doesn’t have AT LEAST three products – and then, I want to know what products are in the works for the next selling season. Unfortunately, anything less, and the products will get lost in the mix or lost on the store shelves. But every sales rep has a different criteria for choosing lines!