Posted: Tue 11th Oct 2022
As part of The Food Exchange Ireland, four small businesses will have the chance to pitch their wares to Sodexo.
The pitching opportunity is part of a full-day programme on Thursday 20 October 2022. Industry experts and successful entrepreneurs will be on hand to provide top tips for growing a great brand and considering sustainability for your business, while buyers will share how you can pitch your products.
The event also includes a panel discussion with representatives from sponsors GS1 Ireland, ENSO and AIB.
On the day, the four businesses will pitch live to Aoife Wycherley, head of food procurement and supply chain at Sodexo UK&I. Sodexo is a worldwide leader in "quality of life services", which includes catering services to a diverse range of locations.
We grabbed a word with Aoife to find out just what Sodexo is looking for, and to get her valuable advice on pitching to suppliers.
"The most important thing is, for anybody who pitches to any customer, to understand the customer that they're pitching to. To quickly identify how, in their pitch, they can add value to Sodexo.
"Do your research on us, be very clear on what it is your product will add to our end customer. Don't just come in and do a generic pitch."
When it comes to doing your research, it's important that your business fully aligns with the priorities of the business you want to work with. For Sodexo, net zero emissions is a priority.
"If I look at our priorities, net zero is quite high for us. Then within that is how we reduce our packaging and how we reduce our food waste.
"We're looking for innovation. Rather than being quite prescriptive, we are looking for people to come to us with the ideas."
The food and drinks industry, like most other industries, is going through some turbulent times due to the energy price hikes and the climate crisis. Aoife says:
"It is really tough now, because we've got so many issues going on – the uncertainty is the certainty.
"I think it's incredibly important for any supplier to nail their pitches to the specific customers. So it's not just going after any big name, but making sure that you truly align with the likes of Sodexo.
"You need to convey how you can genuinely add value to us, because if you can identify that, then there is a true opportunity for long-term partnership."
Get more details about the agenda for the event, how to pitch to representatives to Sodexo, and more. Secure your free place
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