Slotting Fees


Food co-ops don’t require payment from foodmakers to access their shelves.

The shelves of most chain grocers are available to the highest bidder.

“One start-up ice cream manufacturer was dishing out an average $30,000 per flavor to access the shelves of the chain retailers. In another case, a manufacturer agreed to pay a single chain more than $500,000 for a 52-week deal to have its product placed by the registers of its stores.* Reports of bribes are also not unheard of. One buyer at a chain retailer asked a California foodmaker for a personal contribution of $10,000.”** [excerpt: Chapter 4]

Food co-ops on the other hand don’t require slotting fees to access their shelves. They’re providing foodmakers a level of access to eaters that is often unavailable through the large chains.

* Rigged: Supermarket Shelves for Sale.

** ‘Payola’ at the Supermarket, CBS News, February 3, 2000,

Jon Steinman