A Guide to Getting Your Product into Pick n Pay

Updated on 18 September 2018

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One of the first things small business owners (suppliers) need to do to get their products into Pick n Pay, is to make sure that they comply with the legal requirements pertaining to their product and business.

Pick n Pay has a Small Suppliers Toolkit that guides small business owners on how to introduce their products to the retailer.

“This toolkit is the first step for small suppliers to make contact with Pick n Pay,” said Mishinga Seyuba Kombo, Pick n Pay Enterprise and Supplier Development Manager. “It shows you how to develop your product to become a successful and sustainable supplier to Pick n Pay.”

Pick n Pay also has an Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) Scheme that assists selected businesses to enter the retail market by providing mentorship and guidance and business development support. This ESD programme ensures that small suppliers are given access to the tools, training and technical expertise.

Why Big Retailers Want Small Brands

Retail futurist, Howard Saunders is quoted on Xero.com saying that small brands hold real appeal for modern consumers. “Today’s customers are interested in authenticity – they want products ‘with values, not just value.’

“As a result, chain stores are looking for artisan and craft products from local producers. It gives them kudos and brings shoppers into their stores,” he said.

Here’s how to get your product listed in Pick n Pay:

Step 1: Business Registration

According to the Pick n Pay website, you must have a registered business that is already operating. You must make sure that your business complies with the industry-specific sector laws and regulations such as annual registration of CIPC Annual returns, health and safety, food safety, ethical employment, skills development levy and labour practices (UIF and PAYE).

Step 2: Product Development

Pick n Pay’s merchandising strategy has the following categories: Groceries and General Merchandise; Bakery; Butchery; fresh Convenience (chilled or frozen ready-to-eat products); Clothing; Private Brands; Perishables and Fresh Produce.

If you are supplying food products, you need to comply with Pick n Pay’s mandatory minimum food safety requirements. You also need to understand how your product fits into Pick n Pay’s merchandising strategy.

Step 3: Bookkeeping and Cash Flow

Create a solid business plan that includes cash flow projections and financials. It is advisable to seek advice from a professional like an accountant or bookkeeper.


Step 4: Products and Labelling

Before giving the green light for a supplier’s product to be made available on Pick n Pay’s shelves, the supplier must adhere to strict product, legal and labelling requirements, which differ from one product category to another.

According to this SME South Africa article, packaging and labelling of products must not mislead or deceive consumers, or make any representation about a supplier or any goods or services unless there are reasonable grounds for believing that the representation is true.

Product labels must contain the following information:

  • Name, trade name or description;
  • Name and complete address of manufacturer/packer, importer, country of origin of the imported food;
  • Net weight, number or volume of contents in metric units;
  • Distinctive batch, lot or code number;
  • Month and year of manufacture and packaging;
  • Month and year by which the product is best consumed;
  • Information about pharmaceutical and industrial products must be in English;
  • If food products have been genetically modified (GM) this must be indicated in the label.
  • Include a warning on all packaging with respect to unusual hazards that may be caused as a result of allergens, additives, or colourants.
  • The consumer must be clear on what the intended purpose of the product is and that harm may ensue should the consumer not use the product for that intended purpose.
  • Before packaging and labelling are released for any product, it should be reviewed in terms of the applicable labelling legislation, regulations and standards.

Step 5: Product Traceability

All ingredients and raw materials used in manufacturing your products will be required to have full traceability of the source, quality, shelf life and full ingredients statement.

Where necessary a Certificate of Authenticity will be required and any ingredients claiming to be organic or free-range must have the appropriate Certificate of Declaration.

Step 6: Food Safety Audit Requirements

If the relevant Pick n Pay category buyer is satisfied and indicates that they would like to list your food product, your facility will be required to meet the minimum food safety standards and undergo a Food Safety Audit.

This audit includes the following key requirements; requirements for safe food production, quality management systems, factory capabilities and supply chain management.

The Foodstuffs Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act covers labelling, ingredient declarations and the use of substances like additives, preservatives and colourants.

Step 7: The Food Safety International Standards Organisation

In South Africa, various laws govern the food safety aspects of a product. If you are producing a product with agricultural raw materials you need to be familiar with the various regulations of the Department of Agriculture.

All Pick n Pay listed products must be produced in a facility that has been independently audited by a third-party auditing company. The auditing process is managed and conducted in line with International Standards Organisation (ISO) ISO 17021 and ISO 19011 requirements, which ensures auditor competence and impartiality.

The audit standards are based on the standards required by the Consumer Goods Forum and are available from the Global Food Safety Initiative Guidance Document. Note that the requirements vary when supplying home brand products or Pick n Pay Private label products.

Step 8: Register on the PnP Portal

Once you are listed as a small supplier, you would need to register your company on the Pick n Pay Portal. The Pick n Pay Portal is a free service for all Pick n Pay suppliers (vendors).

The portal manages suppliers’ trading documents, article information and cost prices. The portal enables you to manage your business with Pick n Pay successfully and assists with the process of planning and tracking your business transactions.

You will need to have your Value Added Tax (VAT) number, your Global Location Number (GLN) and product barcode ready.

Step 9: Logistics, Warehousing, Distribution and Supply Chain

The specific category buyer will be able to guide and advise you on delivery and logistics.

If you meet our internal criteria, you will be required to deliver directly to their centralised distribution centres (DCs) in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Deliveries will be direct to stores in KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape until the DCs have been built in these regions.

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