This article is for those small business owners that are interested buying olive oil in bulk. If you have read our initial discussion on making the leap from wholesale to bulk buying, and you’re still feeling like you may be ready for bulk oil, we’ll walk you through the next steps.
Common advice for small businesses
In a first consultation with a small business, we ask a number of questions to get a better picture of what and how they’re buying to be able to make a practical recommendation. Below is the most common questions I ask and answers I give in our small business consults. These answers can give you an idea of if bulk is worth researching more, or where to go if you don’t think you’re quite ready to make the leap.
1. What volume do you buy per month?
If you buy under 30 gallons per month, it’s going to be cheaper to buy from one of the other suggested wholesale suppliers (see below). Buying bulk oils before you’re ready is not the best option for a growing small business: it ties up capitol on inventory, packaging can be difficult to move and store in a smaller facility and it can actually be more expensive depending on where you live and how much you need.
For businesses that are moving to their own small manufacturing facility or are using more than 30 gallons per month, it makes sense to make the leap and start buying in bulk because it can save you money and time. Plus, you won’t have to spend time driving to a local store and stocking up so often.
2. What packaging have you been using in the past?
If you’ve been using a 1 Gallon Jug or smaller: You might want to consider the 35 Lb. Containers; they have a lower per pound cost and you can buy an attachable spigot and store them on a shelf to dispense out of. If you like the 1 gallon size, stick with it-- they’re easy to use if you do a lot of handling and pouring on a daily basis.
If you’ve been using a 35 Lb. Container: This is an easy to use, low-cost packaging size. If you do production in your home or commercial kitchen, this is the largest size we would recommend. Consider buying this size it larger quantities (like a full pallet). The savings you’d see by switching to drums is not worth the reduced ease of handling.
3. What is your work space like?
If you work out of your home or rent a commercial kitchen space, stick with the smaller 1 Gallon or 35 Lb. Container sizes. If you’re moving into your own small manufacturing facility (and even better, if you have access to a fork lift), consider the 35 Lb Containers or drums.
4. What type of facility will this be delivering to?
Where your items will be delivered to will affect the freight cost, if you’re looking at ordering a full pallet of bulk oil. Freight carriers charge extra for any deliveries that are not at a warehouse with a loading dock because they take more time. There are extra charges if you’re delivering to a residential location (it’s a residence if someone sleeps anywhere on the property), rural location or if you need a lift gate or delivery appointment.
This increased shipping cost makes it all the more important to ship a full pallet, no matter the packaging size. If you’re not ready to purchase in that volume, it’s better to choose from one of the options below.
Other suggestions for good places to buy wholesale oils:
- Centra Foods’ Online Wholesale Store
- Food service supplier
- Ingredient or soap making supplier (preferably, by the pallet)
- Costco or other wholesale store
Still wondering if bulk buying is right for your business?
Contact us to set up a consult with one of our team members. Prepare all of your answers to the questions above, and we will walk you through the cost comparison to see what would be best for you.
To help you prepare or to answer these questions yourself, download The Small Business Guide To Buying Olive Oil.
Topics: Small Businesses Advice