The Sunshine Retail Expo provides an opportunity for suppliers and distributors from all product and service categories, from fuel to beer, to network with convenience and small grocery store owners. Walking into the massive expo hall you feel the excitement of the 400 suppliers and distributors and 3,000 retailers in attendance. The Sunshine Retail Expo provides an opportunity for brewers, distributors and retailers to strengthen relationships, share market knowledge and build brands.
Craft Brew Alliance’s, Jarrod Lord, represents brands like Kona from Hawaii and Red Hook from New Hampshire. In Jarrod’s second year at the Expo, he explains the importance of his relationship with local Florida distributors, “Our wholesalers in the State of Florida are great. They put the Expo on our radar and got us set up. They help nurture our brands and bring them to market, so retailers and consumers can enjoy great products from as far away as Hawaii. We have seven breweries across the United States and if it wasn’t for the distributor tier we wouldn’t be able to bring all these products to retail.”
Most suppliers cannot attend the Expo, so many distributors step in to help create awareness for foreign, major and regional breweries like Anheuser-Busch, SweetWater, Magic Hat, Kona, Red Hook and Montejo. For example, Southern Eagle Distributors VP of Sales & Marketing, Dane Jones, has worked with local retailers for years. “As a distributor, being here for the suppliers and brands that we carry, we’re able to bring a strong relationship when brewers are not able to attend. It’s important that we have the relationships, brands and service.”
Asian American Store Owners Association (ASSOA) Director, Gary Bhatt, explains the importance of wholesalers to his business, “Wholesalers provide great advice and service. Without this relationship, small, independent retailers wouldn’t be where we are today. I’m glad they participate in the Expo.”