All distributor members are screened for their professionalism and visited by the CEO before accepted by a board decision.

Criteria: distribution full member


  • Ownership is transparent and we feel comfortable with it
  • “branded” products are an important part of the business
  • most product categories fall into FMCG (or form part of the value chain)
  • the company is well established in its market (at least 3 years on the market)
  • the company has been checked by the CEO according to a check list
  • one recommendation of one other member


  • the company has a 1-3 market position in one of the important segments (ambient food, fresh, frozen, confectionary, speciality food, food service, non food)
  • the company expresses an interest developing the distributor /sales services industry
  • the company has leading expertise in at least one of the business functions (sales, key accounting, merchandising, logistics, marketing)
  • the company shows some intent to participate in ESMA activities


The ESMA logo indicates that the sales & marketing organization has been accepted as a professional member of ESMA. The logo can be used on letter-headings, business cards, websites and other company communication tools.


In addition to the above benefits ESMA is also working on behalf of its members in many other areas, including lobbying and legal contracts, exhibitions, workshops, and its website. For further information contact ESMA.

New Business Promotion


The ESMA website is visited by companies from the whole world. ESMA is in constant contact with major trade magazines and promotes the idea of outsourcing and use of 3rd party sales and marketing associations to all members of the value chain.

ESMA is promoting its Website as the most effective tool for the search of proven distributors.
ESMA is active on most important fairs in the FMCG field to promote the idea and the awareness of the organization.

New business support

ESMA receives enquiries from manufacturers wanting to appoint distributors in European markets. Details of our members are provided to them. ESMA is also pro-active in promoting all our members to manufacturers.

ESMA members promote colleagues to their principals at many occasions.
ESMA is launching interesting business opportunities to members to evaluate and follow up.

Corporation value chain

ESMA is the platform between manufacturers and distributors to discuss issues of the value chain. ESMA is constantly looking in the process of the value chain until the purchase act from our end consumers.

Market Information

ESMA supports their members with an additional perspective to their deep market knowledge.

This perspective is an international one based on senior resources of market research. This perspective is tailored to the needs of our members and provides a very selected view of top developments in times of information overflow. Usually members receive weekly this overview on European trends.

ESMA is member of CIES, IUCAB and IGD to have a deeper understanding of the market trends.

It has ties with developments going on in the US market and other important market regions.

The annual convention is providing members with deeper analysis and innovative thinking and offers learning from best practice cases.

Members have the opportunity to get in touch with other members concerning specific points of interest and in most cases there is a positive reaction and help.


ESMA is conducting seminars to feature the cooperation of manufacturer - distributor and retail functions. It is offering the leading platform in Europe to share knowledge on the FCGE distributor specific topics.





Target group:

  • Distributor members successfully running their own food brands
  • Distributor members interested in evaluating brands of ESMA member partners
  • Distributor members considering creating their own brand or joining into a joint-venture to create such brands.


  • Every participant is invited to specify his objectives and his expectations in a first round
  • Every participant who wants to present his/her success story is invited to present
  • Conclusion on the underlying reasons for success - sharing of reasons for market failure
  • Interest group discussions for deeper understanding
  • Summery and conclusions for future work

Summary of experience

Why built an own brand?

  • Necessity
  • strength, independence!
  • trade
  • balance of power

How to build an own brand (in my market)?

  • Find a unique product.
  • Buy an old brand.
  • Top management will.
  • Sufficient human resources
  • Focus on “small” target groups – specialized, affinity retailers.
  • Tight budgets- challenge marketing team.
  • Be prepared to fail!

Why own brands can be successful?

  • Big companies do hardly innovate.
  • “new” ways to built brands – community!
  • Local orientation, consistence!
  • no overreaction to competitive pressures!
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