Distribution Questions and the like for New Product?


New member
Oct 22, 2004
Visit site
I'm working on a coffee product for an Entrepreneurial class that I'm taking. We're looking into developing a product similar to the Nissan Thermos - Coffee Cup Insulator
Click Here (www.cafemaison.com)

There doesn't seem to be any other product like this in the market. Does anyone know of one?

Our product would differ in that we use a patented Thermodynamic model (some type of material sandwiched between the outside of your to-go-coffee cup and the inner lining of a SS travel mug) to reduce the temperature of the to-go coffee to the high end of the optimal drinking temperature. The heat that the material absorbs will then radiate back into the coffee as the coffee cools. This keeps the drinking temperature of the coffee hoter, longer without the need to preheat it with hot water.

Anyway, we would try to sell this product to local area coffee shops. We're specifically targeting the SF/Bay Area as a starting point. When the product is ready for shipment, where do we go from here?

What are typical business relationships between a product manufacturer and distributors in :shock: the coffee distribution chain? Generally, how does the distributor's revenue model work?
How much margin does the distributor want from the supplier? How wide an area do local coffee distributors typically cover? Do most distributors work on product placement (selling to) with coffee shops? or do they simply deliver products where you tell them to. Is product placement simply an agreement with the local coffee shop and the manufacturer, and the manufacture is responsible for getting the product to the coffee shop?

Generally, any info on the logistics involved in this industry is very appreciated. Thank you for your time and input.

Have a Happy Turkey Day!!