During this challenging time, we’ve seen a surge in demand hit the food and beverage industry. CPG brands are working around the clock to complete orders, but the sheer scale of demand retailers are facing is leaving many shelves across the country still bare. The situation was impossible to plan for and necessitates added support of essential personnel to keep products flowing from the stockroom to store shelves.
We sat down with OTHRSource CEO Mark Feinberg to discuss how this unique technology is helping emerging brands get back on shelves faster and is keeping grocery stores stocked.
ForceBrands: Can you tell us the inspiration for OTHRSource and how it came to life?
Mark Feinberg: It all began when I worked with an emerging ice cream brand. It was growing so rapidly that it was often out of stock. Knowing that being on shelves is essential, we tried every possible solution to keep our product available. We quickly realized other brands were facing the same challenges. Our team set out to create a service that would enable smaller brands like ours to better compete on crowded store shelves.
FB: What type of services does OTHRSource offer?
MF: We have a team of more than 4,000 highly-trained on-demand Brand Helpers nationwide to restock, manage inventory, and merchandise at shelf-level. This allows our brand partners access to real-time data and analytics, custom reports with in-store photos, competitor analytics, expiration date verification, damaged product audits, and more.
FB: What sets OTHRSource apart from other on-demand merchandising services?
MF: Our biggest differentiator is that we understand the unique needs of emerging brands because we’ve been in the situation ourselves. As passionate emerging brand veterans, serving the needs of this growing community has been our focus since day one. We understand that every brand has its own specific needs and a one-size-fits-all approach is not what serves them best. With this in mind, we offer flexible solutions — for example, we don’t require long contracts, which enables brands of any size to better merchandise and keep their products fully stocked on store shelves.
FB: How do your Brand Helpers elevate the level of service OTHRSource offers?
MF: Unlike other platforms, our 4,000+ Brand Helpers undergo robust onboarding and training, making them some of the most skilled and detail oriented in-store merchandising and stocking on-demand personnel in the country. Our team has logged hundreds of thousands of hours, and our level of training ensures unmatched and personalized service, ensuring shoppers have uninterrupted access to food, drink household items, and other necessities.
FB: What impact has COVID-19 had on OTHRSource and the services you provide?
MF: While we’re seeing increased demand for our shelf stocking and merchandising services, we’re also always thinking about new ways we can help extend the reach of our brands and support their business goals. For example, we just launched a new online marketplace for challenger brands called OTHRStore to help those brands who may not have the resources to sell directly to consumers. We’ve been working on OTHRStore behind the scenes for a while, but decided we wanted to fast track the launch to help rapidly growing brands reach their target consumers directly. During this time when in-store demos are on hold, the best marketing tool is ensuring that products are readily accessible to consumers.
FB: Can you tell us more about OTHRStore? What makes it different from Amazon or other online hubs?
MF: OTHRStore is home to innovative specialty products from around the country, serving as an avenue for consumers to safely shop from the comfort of their own homes. Brands selected for OTHRStore reap the benefits of a much lower cost to transact compared to other e-commerce platforms. Due to the focused and curated nature of the platform, these companies also receive a host of brand awareness and promotional advantages, including increased exposure, digital marketing, and cross-promotion through multiple OTHRSource channels.
FB: What type of products can we find in OTHRStore?
MF: We have a variety of products featured in OTHRStore. From grass-fed beef and free-range turkey jerky from Think Jerky, to plant-based soups from Simply Soupreme, and Chinese Southern Belle’s flavor-bursting sauces. Other brands include Lil Bucks, Treehouse Milk, and Wild Orchard Green Tea.
FB: What else can we expect to come from OTHRSource?
MF: The most important thing we have learned is to listen to and adapt to what our brand partners need. Every day brings about new challenges, and we’re always looking for new, innovative ways to support them. For a limited time, we implemented free restocking services for all emerging brands across the country. We also sincerely appreciate the relationships we have built and continue to build with our Brand Helpers, who play a vital role in ensuring OTHRSource continues to offer top-notch service. With this in mind, we’ve partnered with UnderWing to bring OTHRSource Health & Wellness to life. This virtual telemedicine and prescription medicine plan comes at a time when access to medical services is more important than ever. This is just the tip of what we have planned, so stay tuned.