Q: I am a wholesale beverage distributor and am interested in your product line for my area. What do I need to know? First: Elliott's is a super premium juice line. Consumers think it's the best tasting, highest quality compared to the competition. We go for taste. How can we make it taste better by using more and better ingredients. Second: The packaging is 60's retro. Bright, contemporary colors, embellishments such as famous quotes under the bottle caps and amazing facts and stories on the labels. Third: Once people discover Elliott's Amazing Juices in the cold box (POS helps to speed this up) and try it, they become very loyal, repeat customers.
Q: I distribute other food products to retail stores and am thinking about adding juices and other beverages.
A: An upscale, super premium juices gives you incremental sales volume. Our juices require no refrigeration and special handling. A broad variety of flavors for both the breakfast only and the breakfast and all day business. Elliott's is positioned as a hip, upscale, eclectic product which appeals to a wide demographic array.
Q: How long has Elliott's Amazing juices been
around and how did you get
A: The first bottle of Elliott's Amazing Apple Juice was bottled in March 1983. However, I had made and sold Elliott's Old Fashioned Lemonade and Orangeade business in 1978 which only made it six months. This was packed in paper milk cartons which had to be refrigerated and distributed in refrigerated trucks. I had an old milk truck-a wreck of an old milk truck- that had to be plugged in every night. First the compressor went and when the transmission went, I drove a stake into the radiator and had it towed away.
Then in 1982, With a $9,000 family loan I bought an old eight bay beer truck then had the cider mill press and filter the juice then pump it into tank trucks and transported to a small brewery in South Jersey. There the juice was bottled in the generic stubby , brown beer bottles used by the brewery. I had the truck parked on a fenced in lot and one night kids ripped a hole in the roof of the truck and heisted some cases of what they thought was beer. The truck did have a Schmidt's Beer decal all over the front and sides. They were disappointed. I had to find a warehouse and park the truck inside.
I then once again sold the cases of apple juice myself to about 500 accounts in Philadelphia before finding a soda distributor interested in selling the juices along with their carbonated beverages. Soon Elliott's Amazing apple juice in the little brown beer bottle was available in 18 states.
Q: Do people really care about quality?
A: I don't know how to make stuff that is mediocre. We don't sit around and figure out how to say a nickel here and two cents there. The best ingredients, savvy techniques, a sophisticated palate results in the best tasting juice drinks...anywhere.
Read what "BevNet" has to say about my products in their June 1997 review.
Q: Do you have a list of the flavors you make?
Q: Are your products kosher?
A. Yes. Here is a copy of our OU certification in PDF format.
Q. What do I have to order to get started?
There are 108-12 pack cases on a pallet, 21 pallets on a full truck.
Each case weighs about 19 pounds (2,200/pallet). That's 2268 cases on a full trailer.
We can ship 10 pallets economically by combining your orders.
Less than 10 pallets is costly, but may be possible to do.
If you find a trucker from your area who can "backhaul" 4-6 pallets from the Philadelphia area (12,000 lbs) at an affordable cost, we'll be glad to load the truck if you want to arrange the trucking.
You should figure 1/2 of your existing customers will try a six case intro deal,
so if you have 200 customers, you should figure 100 x 6 cases= 600 cases=6 pallets with no backup inventory...10 pallets would be the right size order.
Q. I have some sales experience and would like to start up a distribution business. What do I need to know?
A. First, you will now have to deal with the logistics of ordering, receiving, warehousing, loading trucks, delivery the merchandise and collecting your money. You have to be organized, work efficiently and expect to do the work of three people in the beginning. I have put some reference materials on line to guide you concerning selling, setting up a warehouse, serving customers and other tidbits. Partnerships can work successfully by pooling resources and splitting responsibilities. Having someone with a warehouse willing to rent you some space who has the material handling equipment to unload the incoming product, secure space to store it and allow you to come in an put together your orders for delivery is a MAJOR PLUS. You can not really work out of a self-storage unit or your basement or garage without a doing a lot of hard, unnecessary physical labor. Read about the best way to approach warehousing.
If you starting out from scratch without any customers, then you might want to consider fewer pallets for the first few months. And here's some idea of how you approach potential customer making cold calls. If you make 20 cold calls a day, you should expect an average of 3-5 customers, but some of those who you saw that did not buy the first time will eventually by something from you if you come back again. Sometimes you have to make 4-5 calls on a new buyer before they warm up to you and what is you are selling. This is not hard, but frustrating for some people because of the rejection that occurs. Eventually, most buyers will warm up to the idea of buying something from you and some buyers see their role in challenging you to come back. So persistence and reliability will pay off and you will build your distribution business up to a few hundred accounts within three or four months. Some people think you can just make phone calls. It really isn't effective and makes it too easy for the buyer to tell someone who answers the phone "tell him I'm not interested". Face to face 20 knocks on the door will work in the long run.
Here's another helpful guide to selling.
Here's an Excel spread sheet that may help you showing a barebones budget with incremental expense increases as you add resources.
Terms of Sale:
Net 15 days with approved credit.
First order may require full payment or 50% in advance at our discretion based on supplied credit information and other factors.
In some cases, we can offer you extended terms on a case by case basis.
Start-Ups require a personal guarantee from an individual or established company with adequate assets willing to provide a personal financial statement
How Many Flavors Should
I Start With?
We recommend starting with 6-8 flavors.
There is a basic core of juices and drinks we will recommend
based on the type of accounts you service
and the type of business they do and customer base.
-Breakfast vs. Lunch and all other times
-Blue Collar workers vs. white collar office/professionals
-Teens vs. Adults
-Men vs. Women
-Ethnic (Afro-American and/or Hispanic)
Sales Kick-Off Meeting and/or Training Manuals
Professionally designed hand outs and mailing pieces
Point of Sale Materials
We will support the distributor's purchase of coolers by
paying $3.00/month per shelf with documentation. So if you have Elliott's in 50 coolers, we would give you $150/Month allowance
We will discuss other programs on a case by case basis.
Buy 10 cases (6 different flavors) get 1 case FREE is our standard intro program. We will deduct this from your first two invoices.
Extra commissions for each placement for your salespeople on a case by case basis.
We're competitive!!! Will discuss this when we talk!
The 100% juices cost more than the drinks, but we have
a level price program based on the mix of juices and drinks.
You should be able to work on 25-30% Gross Profit on your delivered
cost and still be competitive in your market.
Download a distributor and credit application here in Acrobat Format
Download this file and print out a map of the states you service and indicate the counties you cover.
Please fax back the completed application and documents
Get Acrobat Reader Plug In Here.
Or call me at