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Iceni Magazine | September 25, 2021

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The Most Important Factors You Should Consider when Selecting a Food or Drink Ingredient Supplier

Food or Drink Ingredient Supplier

A food and drink business – such as a restaurant, hotel, a food or drink product manufacturer, and the like – relies heavily on its suppliers, and access to the ingredients you need is vital.

If you cannot have your food and drink supplies on time or when you need them, this can very well be disastrous to your operations – and even your reputation. All the ingredients you require should be readily available, and this can only be possible if you have a good food and drink supplier. But not all suppliers are created equal, so you should choose wisely. Here are the most important factors you should consider when selecting a food or drink ingredient supplier.

  • Get the right information about your potential supplier

You need to make sure that you know your potential supplier/s and you can have all the relevant details about their company. It’s important to find out about their services and whether or not their products fulfil your requirements (in other words, if they are good enough). Check for information about their terms and conditions, lead times, maximum and minimum order requirements, and so on. If it’s important to you that the ingredients are sourced as responsibly as possible, check for information about where they source their products and how they value the traceability of their ingredients.

For example, there may be many organic fruit puree suppliers out there if you have this as an ingredient requirement, but you have to ensure that the organic fruit puree suppliers on your shortlist are really sourcing their ingredients from organic farms, as confirmed by suppliers like You can even check reviews online if there are any, and talk to other food and drink businesses if they have any recommendations.

  • Check and confirm product availability

Big suppliers may not necessarily have the specific ingredients you need, especially if you are particular about your ingredients and the kinds you require, so make sure you check and confirm the product’s availability from the beginning. Some specific items may not be carried by bigger suppliers, but on the other hand, there are specialist suppliers who seek to fulfil a niche, whether you are looking for pickled products, seafood, special or seasonal vegetables, and so on.

  • Ask important questions regarding their services

You should also confirm with your potential supplier whether they can fulfil your requirements in regards to their services. For example, should they be able to accommodate your schedule and time frame? Can they give you a quick turnaround for an order? Do they offer different options depending on the season? Another important factor is their terms of payment – especially credit. If they accept credit, what are the conditions?

Delivery is another vital aspect, so check with them regarding their delivery schedules. Do they deliver on holidays or at weekends? How will the items be packaged? All these will give you a better understanding of the supplier and whether they can really offer you goods and services that are in line with your expectations and standards.

You should consider having more than one supplier, as it follows that one supplier may not be able to supply all your requirements. If you need staple items, you can rely on a bigger supplier, but if you have speciality items, you need to find a supplier that specialises in those items as well.


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