Not too long ago, we had a meeting with one of the buyers at a supermarket chain. When you get invited to present to these guys (any of the big buyers), its a rush, it could mean massive distribution, and as a small business, this is everything.
You prepare, get everything in order, samples, and your shpiel. Usually, these meetings are short and to the point. It is a little like what you see on Shark Tank. For the next 15 minutes, these people will play “G-d.” The future is in their hands.
I love going to these meetings. It is very personal, another opportunity to tell our story. I will go on about how Tamalitoz is handcrafted, how we use natural flavors and colors. Each batch is unique, varying slightly every time. It is essential to make the point that Tamalitoz does not look or feel like mass-produced candy. In a time when people are selective about the candy they eat, you have to give them candy that is different and unique.
So after I say all of this to the buyer, she looks at the product and says, “It’s beautiful, but your candy is to fancy for Mexicans. ”
I was shocked. My first thought was, I must have heard wrong. The buyer said, “Mexicans like cheap candy, cheap-looking packaging, it stands out too much on the shelf… Can’t bring this in. If you make it look more inexpensive, we can revisit this later.”
I told her she was mistaken; first Tamalitoz is not meant to be “only for Mexicans,” and informed her that just because something is Mexican does not mean it has to look cheap. I also pointed out that Mexicans do luxury better than she thinks, said thank you, took my samples, and walked out.
Tamalitoz is expensive; they will always stand out on a shelf are made in Mexico, and proud of it.
Sorry, not sorry!