Ahhh, vendor fairs. As soon as one is done, there’s always one around the corner. I look forward to them, and they are absolutely critical to our success in foodservice here in the US.

But wait. Before I tell you Everything about Vendor Fairs that you were Too Afraid to Ask, let me back up and make sure we are all on the same page with what “foodservice” means. It’s a way of selling our cookies that is everything OUTSIDE the supermarket. So if you see our cookie squares in the plane, in a stadium, in a theater, or in your cafeteria at work – that’s foodservice. That’s my world!

We’ve had a lot of exciting victories getting into large companies in Silicon Valley and New York – funnily enough, a lot of tech companies seem to be really into our buttery French shortbreads. The likes of Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, Facebook, Twitter, Zillow and (I think we can say it now…), Spotify, have us in their cafeterias!

These amazing companies are full of young, talented people and are on campuses the size of small cities, and hard-working, so spending a lot of time at the office. AND they generally get free snacks – these are not vending machine set-ups (I know! So lucky!). It’s an audience that any snack or food company in their right mind would want to reach.

But you can imagine that it is not easy to get in front of such a valuable audience. You have to earn their love!
So, the answer? Vendor Fairs. What happens? Generally a company like Twitter will set up a small forum of 20-50 snack companies that they have pre-selected to come, set up a booth, hold a tasting, bring swag, show off their product and also their personality. Next step? They hold a vote. It’s a vote to the death! Sometimes only a few snacks get selected. It’s a jungle out there, especially with so much amazing food these days.

We work together as a team – sales and marketing – to make sure we have everything we need to stay top of mind and show ourselves off accurately. Our last vendor fair was at Spotify. To give you an idea, in 1 hour, we gave out 400 Banana bags and over 7,500 cookie squares! They went so fast we didn’t even have enough for the second hour – so we stuck around and made fun conversation. But as you can see, it’s madness – and we love it!

Hope you enjoyed this little behind-the-scenes look at a very niche aspect of my job. Questions? Write to butter@micheletaugustin.com and I’ll get back to you!

-Alix

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