There’s a high level of quality control
When you purchase directly from a manufacturer, you have a much better understanding of the quality control measures in place at the facility of origin.
The best example of this at El Popular is spices. If you’re buying from a supplier or elsewhere, you may be getting products that are seasoned with a cheaper version of a spice, which will change the taste of the sausage or sauces that you’re purchasing.
When you purchase directly from the manufacturer, we have complete control over the spices used in our products, and can guarantee that high quality spices are being used in all products. It depends on your needs and budgets, but a high-quality spice will mean a higher quality taste.
It’s cost effective
The primary benefit of buying your chorizo directly from a manufacturer is the cost savings. When you buy it elsewhere it is often privately labeled, which drives a 15% to 30% markup on that product. At the end of the day, the retailer is going to be at a disadvantage, which also puts the consumer at a disadvantage.
In fact, when you look at all the brands of chorizo on the market today, less than 20% are actually made by the manufacturer. The other 80% are from a cold pack or private label program.
In the Chicago and Midwestern U.S. area, El Popular is one of the only manufacturers of Chorizo, which gives you an idea of how truly rare it is. What sets El Popular apart in this regard is that we offer a co-pack program for most of our products.
USDA Compliance and SQF Compliance
Another benefit of ordering your chorizo directly from the manufacturer is that more often than not, the manufacturer is USDA compliant. This means that the manufacturer’s chorizo is allowed to be transported nationally and internationally.
This also means that the manufacturer is SQF (Safe Quality Foods) Certified. This certification means that the food being supplied has passed the highest level of food safety audits in the world, meaning customers can depend on it being made, processed, and transported safely.
El Popular, for example, is a USDA-certified Chorizo manufacturer, and we’ve sold our products to places as close by as Canada and as far as Japan, because it’s able to travel safely based on inspections.
Large retailers like Walmart, for example, likely would not buy their chorizo from state-inspected facilities, because they would only be able to sell it in one particular state, rather than across all of their retail locations across the country.
Think of it like your local butcher. He can only process and sell meat locally. His product is not legally allowed to be sold across state lines.
With a USDA inspection, most consumers feel more at ease, because they know it means that any facility that is run with USDA inspection and has a federal inspector on site during manufacturing, so it adds an extra level of quality assurance.
This also comes back to price, too, because instead of incurring the cost to ship products to a particular location, you can go directly to the source. So, at the end of the day you could be looking at a product that will vary anywhere from 20-30% or higher in cost.
Shorter lead times even among supply chain problems
Another key benefit of ordering chorizo directly from a manufacturer is a shorter lead time. Even now, with supply chain issues impacting almost every industry, the lead times are shorter by going direct than through a supplier. El Popular, for example, typically processes orders within five to seven business days.
In today’s market, everyone is experiencing supply chain problems, whether it comes to packaging, raw materials, or ingredients. And because there is of course still a demand for these products, manufacturers tend to put more focus on their own brand.
So, imagine that you have a customer looking for co-pack chorizo. More and more manufacturers are now excluding private labels because they can no longer handle that additional business due to lack of resources.
Supply chain issues largely boil down to packaging and raw ingredient availability. Manufacturers are being forced to adapt to this changing availability, and can often adapt quickly to these changes. They have to learn how to adjust packaging and ingredient inventories and become innovative when it comes to creating a new product or adjusting the product that they currently have.
A good example of this is, at El Popular, our Molé sauce. For decades, we sold this product in eight ounce bottles with a gold cap. When the price of that bottle and cap more than tripled after the COVID-19 pandemic, the packaging now costs more than the product itself.
Luckily, we were able to immediately change our tactic on product to evolve more of a plastic, deli-style container where the packaging costs were about 1/10 of what that cost of the bottle. So we were able to adjust the market and continue to give the same price that we did before; the packaging looks different now than it had previously.
Buying chorizo directly from the manufacturer means that the logistics of the order are much simpler to manage and understand.
Manufacturers like El Popular have existing relationships with DOT Foods, which is a master distributor. Getting this partnership yourself as a new vendor is a long, involved process that may take months to complete. Because El Popular and other manufacturers already have this relationship, there are no minimums when you’re placing an order, and you can count on it being delivered in a timely manner.
The alternative to a master distributor like DOT Foods is a standard distributor like US Foods. While both will get the product to the end destination in the end, DOT Foods also ensures that their partners have a good, reliable reputation. What does this mean for you as a broker? That you have a manufacturing partner you can count on, and that you have the opportunity to do even more business in the long run.
Speak with a rep directly