Customer Stories

Foodstuffs integration in Upstock means easy expansion into supermarkets

Doing business with supermarkets requires serious leveling up – learn how these food & beverage producers did it the easy way

Flip Grater and her team at Grater Goods were starting to panic. The producers of luxury vegan meats were rapidly expanding – in particular, their supermarket sales. But they didn’t have the right systems in place to handle supermarket orders, so their expansion plans were at serious risk.

“This year's big plan is to expand into the North Island supermarkets. That wouldn’t be possible without Upstock’s Foodstuffs integration. It’s been a game-changer in every way for us. Having that streamlined system is making our growth a hell of a lot easier.”

Product manager Sonya Tweeddale explains some of the complexities of dealing with Foodstuffs.

“Foodstuffs runs two completely separate systems in the North and South Islands. So we would have had to use multiple systems to run our operation. But with Upstock, the most amazing thing is we now have everything in one place.”

Best of all, it’s enabled Grater Goods to speed up their expansion even faster and sooner than they hoped.

For Rutherford & Meyer, a producer of popular crackers and fruit pastes, Foodstuffs was already a major customer, but receiving and processing those orders was very complicated, expensive and not very reliable. National sales manager Simon Allen described the ordeal of their previous solution. 

“We were running multiple systems for ordering and invoicing, that didn’t always talk to each other and there were so many opportunities for human error – it was very stressful emotionally and financially.”

Now the team at R&M is able to easily handle all their orders in Upstock, without chopping and changing between the Foodstuffs Exchange and their internal finance software.

“We sell 90% of our product into Foodstuffs outlets. So when it came to revamping our order management systems, choosing Upstock for its Foodstuffs integration was a no-brainer.”

Now they’re experiencing major cost reductions and time savings, which is providing new opportunities for growth. 

“Instead of manually entering invoices, it comes up pretty much automatically. Human errors just don’t happen anymore, because everything is integrated. It’s saving us well over two hours a day. That time saved is going into growing our sales and developing new product lines.”

Rutherford and Meyer have an established relationship with Foodstuffs, but what about businesses newer to the supermarket game, trying to prove their worth? 

For Waitoa Beer, it was vital to make the right impression with the supermarkets, so they’d be taken seriously and clearly establish their brand as a credible operation. Head of Sales and Distribution James Mobbs explains the difference it’s made.

“With the Foodstuffs integration in Upstock, it gives us a ‘seat at the table’ with the supermarkets. The smooth ordering process means we avoid embarrassing errors and mix-ups as we build a reputation as a high quality, reliable supplier able to compete with the big players.”

As Waitoa flew into a high growth phase, Upstock was exactly the right solution at exactly the right time, just as they were struggling with their messy email and spreadsheet ordering process.

“It's truly changed the game for us with supermarkets. We're trying to gain shelf space, we don't want to seem like just another ‘homebrew'. We're trying to become a bigger brewery up and down both islands and we don't want to look like we don’t know what we're doing.”

Angela Howell of Dunedin chocolatier Ocho had those same concerns about making the right impression. Ocho is currently in 17 Foodstuffs stores and coveting more supermarket shelf space – but they needed the certainty as they grow they can deliver on their promise. 

“Having the Foodstuffs integration has given us full confidence – we've now got our ducks in a row.”

Angela was first attracted to Upstock when a missed Christmas order caused a last-minute scramble to get it fulfilled. She turned to Upstock to get her systems sorted – the big attraction for her was the Foodstuffs integration because she knew it would put Ocho in the best position with the supermarkets.

“Basically, Upstock gives me the confidence that we can go and aggressively market to Foodstuffs, knowing we can fulfil whatever they need, without any drama.”

Best Ugly Bagels is also a newcomer to Foodstuffs, but a tight labour market meant it was struggling to find the expertise to ensure its supermarket orders were kept in order. Mike Lawrence, Brand Manager for Best Ugly Bagels and Al Brown Group, explains why staffing is such an issue.

“To use the Foodstuffs Exchange, it's complex to learn and you almost need an expert doing the work. With Upstock connecting directly to Foodstuffs, it’s much better because all our staff can do everything so easily in Upstock. Plus, Upstock does so much more – it's not just for one task, and it works with all our customers.”

The pandemic and border closures meant they lost their usual steady supply of young travellers, resulting in more staff turnover which put a huge strain on staff training.

“We’re new to Foodstuffs, so having a platform like Upstock that we use across our entire business simplifies everything. Now we can train up new staff with no hassles, and everyone loves it!”

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