HOW TO GET YOUR PRODUCT ON SELFRIDGES’ SHELVES
Ed Goodman, Selfridges’ director of food, buying and merchandising, gives us the lowdown. As buyers we travel globally to spot new trends, products and concepts, but more often they happen very close to home. Social media has become exceptionally relevant to how we spot, source and get in contact with media-savvy brands. Instagram is a great tool to use. Increasingly often, we’re tagged @selfridgesfood and then we make contact.
Although food products need to taste sublime first, packaging is also a key element to the product jumping off the shelves and grabbing customers’ – and our – attention. As buyers we look at the architecture of our range in store and plan around what we need or don’t need. Customers associate good packaging with a quality product. Show that your brand is invested in both elements.
Our philosophy is that we’re open to everyone, whether it’s a household name or a start-up. We have a number of pop-up spaces in our food hall so that we can activate brands in a big or small way. We recently worked with Heinz to create their first-ever baked bean bar but, similarly, we then worked with Blondies Kitchen, a twowoman duo who took the food hall by storm. We love supporting young, emerging food talent.
After buyers taste the product we pass it to our food technical team to make sure the brand has all the right paperwork to produce the product in their kitchen, that they have all their allergen information and packaging information to support their manufacturing process. We guide them through that process. After that, they’ll get the full support from our PR and marketing team to make them hit headlines.
Over the past year our buying team has been focused on what we call ‘buying better’. This journey started with a training program led by the Centre for Sustainable Fashion to understand the issues and impacts of the fashion industry. Innovation in food is key, but sustainability is also important. We love championing new brands who tick both boxes.