Natural Grocers Vendor Demo Guidlines
At Natural Grocers we believe every person can improve their own health and well-being when they have access to quality foods, stay informed about nutrition, and learn to trust their own experiences. Our mission is to empower customers through education and easy access to healthy affordable foods. We encourage vendors to demo in our stores as this supports our mission and contributes to our values.
To schedule a vendor demo in one of our existing stores, please contact the appropriate buyer at the store you wish to perform the demo in. Confirm the date, time and that a sufficient amount of product will be stocked prior to your scheduled demo appointment. All demo appointments are to be made 1-2 weeks in advance.
While in our stores, all vendor representatives and independent demo contractors must adhere to the following:
WHEN YOU ARRIVE AT THE STORE
- Arrive prepared: if demoing during a Grand Opening event, keep in mind these days are extremely busy, so have all supplies and equipment ready when you arrive.
- Arrive ½ hour before your demo so you have ample time to set-up
- Vendors must supply their own demo table and cloths, cutting board, cutting knife; all demo supplies needed, i.e. toothpicks, sample cups, etc.
- Bring all cookware needed for the demo including extension cords, thermometers, grills, cooking utensils, crockpots, etc.
- Bring product to be demoed. Product is not to be taken from the shelf for demos.
- All food sampled must have been prepared in a health department certified kitchen.
CANCELING A DEMO: If for any reason you need to cancel a previously scheduled demo please do the following:
- Call the store manager at least 24 hours in advance to cancel your demo.
- Find a replacement representative, if possible.
- A demo representative is responsible for setting up, demonstrating and cleaning up after their demo is complete.
- Professional demo company personnel must have proof that they have the required insurance; Certificate of Liability Insurance. A demo representative MUST be covered by the company whose product is being demoed.
- Vendors are required to sign-in before beginning a demo; ask an employee for the sign-in sheet.
- We encourage that you showcase the products being demoed; placing product on or around your demo table is acceptable.
- Brokers and sales reps may not re-merchandise (rearrange their lines on the shelves according to vendor guidelines) or cross merchandise product without permission from Home Office staff.
- Brokers and sales reps may not place or recommend manufacturer signage be placed on Natural Grocers shelves; all signage must be approved through Home Office staff. Brokers and sales reps may not pull shelf tags from any product without permission.
- Demos must be for approved products that are currently carried in the store; check for placement before demoing your product.
- Vendors doing demos in the store will need to use the break room if prep work is required. Do not prepare your demo in the front of the store due to customer allergies and to prevent accidents.
- Wear gloves at all times to prevent cross contamination and for safe food handling.
- Demo staff may NOT sell products to customers from their car stock during demos.
- If our stores run out of product due to increased sales in relation to the demo, demo staff may NOT ever replace product with car stock. We will place an order and you will be encouraged to come back and demo once stock is replenished.
- Check that all products in your line(s) are correctly stocked on the shelves. Remove miss-stocks and snaked product and stock it appropriately or put in back stock if there is no room on the shelf. Notify the department manager if you find miss-stocks.
- Face your line(s) on our shelves.
- Please assist customers in the aisles if they ask you questions.
- It is against the law for Brokers and sales reps to diagnose or prescribe when working with customers in the aisles in a Natural Food retail setting. An example of diagnosing is telling a customer what “disease” they may have based on symptoms they describe to you. An example of prescribing is telling the customer what product to take for a given disease condition and/or the amount of a supplement to take (other than what is on the product label). It is also illegal to provide disease-treatment testimonials (e.g., this product helped my allergies; this product cured my psoriasis; I no longer have IBS because of this product.). We appreciate your efforts to follow the structure function language guidelines while talking with customers in our stores. Please remember to use only NGVC approved reference materials when working with customers. That includes items in our Customer Literature File cabinet and any books on the shelves.
- No broker or rep may add anything to the Customer Literature Files. All approved company literature must be placed in appropriate literature racks in a designated area of the store.
- Always identify yourself as a representative of your company when working with customers.
- You may not pass out samples of unapproved products to staff or customers.
- Replacement product must come direct from the manufacturer and NOT from car stock.
- You may not answer/make calls on your cell phone while on the sales floor. If the situation requires the use of your cell phone please do so in our Community Room or outside the building. Demo Kitchens are prohibited for cell phone use.
- Only company literature may be given out during demos; no third party books, studies or literature.
- If an employee is solicited for employment by any broker, the store manager needs to be made aware of the situation.
- If you hire a Natural Grocers employee for demos they are only allowed to perform demos at Natural Grocers stores; excluding their own store. The employee will not be allowed to do demos at other competitor stores.
- No products may be prepared off site; all products must be prepared on-site using ingredients that are available at Natural Grocers.
- All applicable local, state and federal code standards for the preparation, storage and food service must be met.
- No one under the age of 18 may demo unless accompanied by an adult.
- Cleanliness and appropriate clothing is required.
- Allergen statements must be present at all demos.
- Never leave your demo station unattended, especially is there are hot items or sharp utensils.
ONCE YOUR DEMO IS COMPLETE
- Thorough clean-up is required, this includes trash.
- Return all products used during the demo for display back to the shelves.
SENDING AND PROVIDING SAMPLES
- Demo kits may be shipped to the stores directly; these should only be sent for approved products carried on the shelf at the store you are doing the demo in.
- Employee and customer samples may not come from product on our shelves or customer returns, they must come either from your car stock or direct from the manufacturer.
- If you are sending passive samples during a Grand Opening celebration please send INDIVIDUALLY servable items. It is extremely time consuming for our staff members to prep and actively serve individual tastings during a Grand Opening. If full size items are delivered they may be pushed to the side until the events slow down and allow for prep time (samples will NEVER be discarded, all support is greatly appreciated).
- All samples which have barcodes need to be marked through vertically with a permanent marker prior to demoing. Example:
For questions or concerns regarding Natural Grocers demo expectations please contact the Home Office Demo Coordinator.
We truly appreciate your support and participation in our stores; if you have any questions or concerns regarding in-store demos please contact the Demo Coordinator at Home Office; Jessica Veit at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 303-986-4600 ext. 573.