Source your product in the United States

Our local teams will do the work

Finding distributors or retail sales channels might be straightforward, but discovering the right one that drives revenue for your business is a real challenge.

With our Scan-Launch-Grow approach we make this task significantly easier for you! Our local teams have a vast network of distributors and retail channels, know what is important to them and can reach out easily.

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Find the right retail channels in the United States

The United States of America has a population of 327 million. In 2022, 83% of the population lived in the cities, and this percentage is slowly rising. The average income per capita is almost 60,000 USD. This is promising to sell your goods, but you’ll have to know where to start.

Depending on your product or service you may best start with one agent, distributor or broker for a first state or with a specific target group. As soon as you get the first reference clients, you may scale up.

Market entry approach in the USA

Product type Possible strategy
B2B products, high value, small volumes One distributor or agent for the whole country may do, unless the sales process is complex and local service or maintenance is needed.
B2B products, high volumes For logistic reasons and if applicable for service and maintenance, you may choose for regional distributors
B2C products with regulations per state, like medicines and alcohol One distributor per state
Other B2C products You may start with one distributor first, who is the most eager to test the market for you and support the sales with brokers. Later on you may choose more distributors and set up you local company and do some sales directly.

Major supermarket chains in the USA

The supermarket industry in the USA is highly competitive. It is dominated by a handful of large companies that together control an impressive share of the market. The two largest supermarket chains in the US by marketshare are Walmart and Kroger. Walmart holds a staggering 29% of the total market share while Kroger has around 9%.

Other major players in this space include Albertsons Companies Inc., which accounts for 5%, and Publix Super Markets with 4%. Ahold Delhaize, H-E-B Grocery Co., Wegmans Food Markets, Aldi US and Whole Foods Market are all other notable competitors with respective shares ranging from 2-3%. Together these companies hold over 60% of the total market share across all supermarkets in America.

Walmart, Kroger and Albertsons

Walmart is one of the most well-known US retailers, with over 5,000 stores across the United States. Founded in 1962 by Sam Walton in Rogers, Arkansas, Walmart has become an iconic symbol of American retail. Despite its success and large footprint, Walmart’s presence in the US has been met with some criticism.

Kroger is one of America’s largest grocery store companies, with more than 2,700 stores across 35 states and Washington D.C., including Kroger Marketplace locations and convenience stores like Turkey Hill Minit Markets. Kroger offers an expansive selection of fresh produce, meat, dairy products and other items at competitive prices. The company also has its own line of private label brands such as Simple Truth Natural Foods and HemisFares International Specialties.

Albertsons Companies is one of the largest food and drug retailers in the United States. Founded in 1939 by Joe Albertson, they currently employ over 250,000 people across 2,200 stores located in 35 states and Washington D.C. In addition to their traditional grocery store format, they also own and operate supermarkets such as Safeway, Vons, Shaw’s Supermarkets, Jewel-Osco, Acme Markets and many more.

Role of distributors and wholesalers in FMCG

The role of distributors and wholesalers in FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) in the USA is significant. They are responsible for buying products from manufacturers and selling it to retailers, as well as providing services like inventory management, storage, transportation and more. Distributors provide a range of benefits to both manufacturers and retailers. By offering cost-efficient solutions for procuring goods from various vendors, distributors enable retailers to focus on their core competencies such as marketing or customer service.

Finding the right brokers for USA supermarkets

The role of brokers in supermarket distribution is an important one. Brokers typically work with manufacturers to determine which products will be stocked at each store; they also often negotiate prices on behalf of the retailer. In addition, brokers may provide marketing services such as coordinating advertising campaigns or managing product displays at retail locations. With their keen knowledge of the industry, brokers help ensure a successful supply chain for supermarket distribution operations.

The Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry is a highly competitive business sector in the United States, with a total of over 5,000 brokers operating throughout the country. FMCG brokers specialize in providing and managing logistical services for businesses that sell consumer-oriented products.

These brokers have become increasingly important due to the rise of online shopping. Online retail stores require more sophisticated delivery systems than traditional store fronts, making them reliant on FMCG brokers to ensure timely delivery of items sold through their websites. In addition, these brokers are also becoming an integral part of effective supply chain management for companies in the US market, helping them to reduce costs and increase efficiency.

Importing FMCG products in the USA

Importers of Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) into the USA must observe several requirements. The first requirement is that all goods imported into the USA must comply with domestic safety and quality standards, as outlined by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This means any food, beverage, drug or cosmetic products must meet relevant FDA regulations prior to import.

In addition to this, certain categories of FMCG may require specific permits from government agencies such as the Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms & Explosives. Furthermore, depending on what type of product is being imported, additional documentation may be required such as a Certificate of Free Sale or a Letter Of Exemption.

You can work with a 3PL (Third Party Logistics) provider who can help you with customs clearance, document preparation, freight forwarding, and delivery. They will also be able to advise you on the most cost-effective way to transport your product into the US. You will then need to ensure that your product meets all relevant regulations and safety standards for sale in US supermarkets. Once this has been done, you will need an agreement with a wholesaler or distributor who can handle orders from retailers such as supermarkets. They may have their own requirements so it’s important that these are met before they will agree to stock your product in their warehouses or stores across America.

Let us find the right distributors in the United States!

We know the market from inside-out

We work with local teams, who already know the market, speak the language and know the business culture.

We are active in over 30 countries

We can compare different markets and as we can help you in all of them, we only favor the market that may work out best for you.

You Reduce your risks

We help you avoid cultural misunderstandings, compliance issues, and other risks associated with entering a new market.

Our structured approach for finding distributors abroad

Alliance experts has a proven methodology to start or increase your sales in a new market. Our local teams in over 30 countries help you define your pitch and to find and convince the right sales channels or clients. Select your target country and click on the package to see what we do for you each month.

Month 1

Scan phase

  • Tell us more about your company and offering
  • Get a first long-list of potential distributors, partners or clients
  • Receive feedback from them on your product or service
  • Get an overview of the competition

Market pioneer

  • Intake questionnaire
  • Product knowledge call
  • Long-list with up t0 10 targets
  • 1 feedback interview
  • Listing up to 3 competitors
  • Monthly review call

Market explorer

  • Intake questionnaire
  • Product knowledge call
  • Long-list with up t0 20 targets
  • 3 feedback interviews
  • Listing up to 10 competitors
  • 1 competitor investigation
  • Bi-weekly review call

Market conqueror

  • Intake questionnaire
  • Product knowledge call
  • Long-list with up t0 50 targets
  • 5 feedback interviews
  • Listing up to 20 competitors
  • 3 competitor investigations
  • Weekly review call

Month 2

Launch phase

  • With our help, develop the right pitch for this market
  • See the list of targets growing 
  • We pitch your product to the right decision makers
  • Evaluate with us and adjust the approach where needed

Market pioneer

  • Pitch for the local market
  • Adding up to 10 leads to the long-list
  • Outreach to 10 targets
  • Monthly review call

Market explorer

  • Pitch for the local market
  • Review of your marketing materials
  • Adding up to 20 leads to the long-list
  • Outreach to 20 targets
  • Bi-weekly review call

Market conqueror

  • Pitch for the local market
  • Review of your marketing materials
  • Jointly developed pitch deck with translation
  • Adding up to 50 leads to the long-list
  • Outreach to 50 targets
  • Weekly review call

Month 3 and further

Grow phase

  • See the list of targets growing until we have all relevant ones
  • We continue pitching and also follow up on your leads
  • Follow-up on interested prospects or leave it to us
  • Every month you receive a full report on all contacts we had

Market pioneer

  • Adding up to 20 leads to the long-list
  • Outreach to 20 targets
  • Follow-up with 10 targets and 3 of your leads
  • Hand-over of interested parties
  • Monthly review call

Market explorer

  • Adding up to 50 leads to the long-list
  • Outreach to 50 targets
  • Follow-up with 25 targets and 10 of your leads
  • Hand-over of interested parties
  • 3 follow-up meetings
  • Deal closing support for 1 deal
  • Bi-weekly review call

Market conqueror

Custom proposal that we discuss with you after completion of the Scan and Launch phase, for example a dedicated (part-time) sales person

 

Select your target country to see prices:





    Select a package to see what we do for you:

    Market pioneer

    per month

    Market explorer

    per month

    Market conqueror

    per month

    Customer Experiences

    ” Invaluable local insights led to great distributor matches. Their approach revolutionized our market entry strategy. Highly recommend! “
    Francis Huang

    Francis Huang

    Würth

    ” During our cooperation Alliance experts showed an effective approach and tracking, professionalism and provided the services reliably and on time. “
    Nouraldine Banaeinejad

    Nouraldin Banaeinejad

    CAN Home appliances

    ” Alliance Experts’ tailored strategies boosted our Europe market presence phenomenally. Exceptional service, highly recommended! “
    Jing Zhang

    Jing Zhang

    Kamtec

    ” Alliance experts has helped us with clear insights in a market which was relatively new to us. Even under difficult circumstances they found good dealer candidates. “
    Alliance Expert found distributors for Harley Davidson

    Vitello Benevetti

    Harley Davidson

    ” Outstanding service! Found the perfect partners in within a few months. Our international sales skyrocketed thanks to their expertise. “

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    RR Engineers

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    James Martin

    Brabantia

    Companies we have helped with distributor search

    Apart Group
    EEPC India
    Golden Red Trade Solution
    De Heus
    Verantis
    Hydrologic
    HCP – the sweetener company
    Oklas
    Brabantia
    CAN Home appliances

    Frequently asked questions

    The best way to find a distributor in the United States is to first decide who are the most likely end-users for your product, whether it are consumers or businesses. Then determine where they now buy your product of an alternative. Before starting to push your product, approach a number of them to ask what they find important and for what reasons they would switch supplier. This way you can position and document your product better before you reach out to a broader group.
    First check whether your product normally is sold through an agent in the United States, or that other distribution structures are more common. Then determine the characteristics of your ideal agent, and find a number of these, or outsource this search. When you approach the first few, you will learn what they find imporant and who your competitors are, and you can get a feeling of the commissions they want.
    For the major supermarket and drugstore chains in the United States, this may be the case, but it always is difficult. You need a very well documented story and preferably a product that is proven to sell in other countries. Working with a distributor who already has relationships may be easier. Smaller chains and independent stores always buy through a distributor.
    As in any country, convincing a distributor or retailer to put your product in his assortment is difficult. Also in the United States, distributors look at the rotation of the product, how easy and often they can sell it, and multiply this with the margin they can make on it. The result should be higher than they earn now from any competing product. Only if you have proper sales data, for example from other countries, they will engage in a discussion with you.
    Resellers and dealers mostly not only look at how much margin they can make on your product, but also what additional services they can provide, like installation or maintenance. If you are already active outside the United States, and you have data from other dealers or resellers you work with, this will make it easier to convince them. Preferably use a local party like Alliance experts to find and approach any potential resellers or dealers.

    We are active in over 30 countries