Food Gifts 101

Shana Gardner, MAS, Operations

Food gifts are rather a different beast from virtually any other promotional product. They can present challenges, but they also provide new and exciting opportunities. Food gifts satisfy needs that soft and hard good lines are intrinsically unable to while making it possible to imprint memories with taste sensations—one of the most powerful types of memories! Creating those connections with your client's gifts can give you a leg up on the competition and offer an impressive boost to your sales.

That being said, how do you get started selling food gifts when you've never offered food before?

Often, clients are not even aware that they can get food gifts through their distributor; they automatically think of candy boxes from big box stores or gift baskets from online retailers. It's up to you to educate them! There are many ways you can do this, but here are a few of the top ones:

  • Send your clients a food gift as your self promotion.
    • When it comes to food gifts, self promotions are best sent before the holidays, as early as August or September. This allows your clients time to include them in their own holiday gifting plans.
    • Maple Ridge Farms offers an excellent Taste of Success self promotion program. Contact one of our helpful gift specialists for additional information.
  • Bring tasting samples to in-person meetings and presentations.
    • It doesn't matter if you aren't presenting food—samples provide a subtle way to segue into food gifts.
    • Even if your clients don't decide on food gifts in the end, they'll remember you and the delicious treat you brought. It's an effective way to enhance your relationship with them.
  • Send your clients virtual samples with a friendly email.
    • Who doesn't like to see their logo on things? Virtual samples are an inexpensive way to put ideas in front of your clients—in fact, we offer them at absolutely no charge.
    • We're also happy to put together flyers and storyboard presentations for you!

Which clients are the best ones to present food to? All of them! We've shipped orders for everything from mining companies to technology giants, plus anything you can imagine in between. Everyone loves good food, no matter what industry they're in.

Now you've got the idea of food gifts in your client's head, but where do you go from there? Before you meet with your client, prepare your tools and a list of discussion topics to make sure your bases are covered:

  • If they did a gift program in the past, review it with them.
  • Discuss this year's gift program.
    • How many people are they sending gifts to?
    • Will they be for individuals or groups?
    • Do they have a specific budget in mind?
    • Will they be shipping the gifts to one location or multiple locations?
    • Do they have any specific requirements, such as recipients who keep kosher?
    • Do they want to focus on the food or provide a leave-behind, such as a branded cutting board?
    • Are there any other items they would like to include?
  • Provide your customer with a catalog to flip through after the meeting or refer them to the website for even more options.
    • Need catalogs? Contact us for your complimentary copies.

Don't think of 'gifts' as just being for the holidays, either—companies will send food for anniversary celebrations, recognition programs, special events, and more. The sky's the limit when it comes to food gifts! We offer options for year-round gifting, including treats and snacks that are friendly for shipping in warmer weather. (Truly, we can ship any gift year-round, though perishable gifts like natural cheese and chocolate may require additional packaging and expedited shipping to accommodate higher temperatures. Contact one of our gift specialists for additional information.)

Now you're ready to sell food gifts! With a little preparation, you can break into a market and boost your sales in ways you never expected.

Looking for some additional information and tips? We've put together a list of top questions from distributors new to selling food gifts. Contact one of our gift specialists for your copy.

Still have questions or tips of your own to add? Connect with us on social media! We love to hear everyone's feedback.


Sign up for our newsletter