Do friends and relatives often comment on how good the food you make is? If so, perhaps it’s time to think about taking your culinary skills to the next level and consider the prospect of bringing your own new food product to market. But before you start getting too excited there’s a few things you need to think about first.
Setting up a your own food business is incredibly exciting, but like all small businesses it comes with its own risks, and it’s important you are aware of these. We’ve put together some of the things you should think about before bringing a new food product to market.
Research Your Market
Before committing to anything it’s really important you find out whether there is any kind of market for your new food product. Sure your nearest and dearest have told you how much they love it, but they won’t be the only ones buying it. Start off by researching your competitors. Are there similar products to yours already out there? If so what makes yours different? How can you make yours stand out?
Depending on the type of food product you have, think about who your target market is and when they might consume it. Is it an ingredient, a meal, a snack? Is it vegan, organic, gluten free? By narrowing down and creating an image of who your consumer is it will help you to focus on lots of different areas moving forward. From how you market it, to your branding, packaging design (you might be using pillow boxes for your pies, chocolates, or sweets) and even to some extent your pricing point, this initial research is crucial to the success of your new venture.
Check Your Finances
The creation of a new food product and setting up a business is inevitably going to cost you, which means you need to work out how you’re going to finance it. It makes sense to start small and to test the waters so to speak before fully financially committing yourself. You might also like to think about raising funds through platforms such as Crowdfunder or Kickstarter, which will allow you to promote your business while also gaining valuable feedback from people willing to test your product.
Friends and family who love your product may also want a slice of the pie (pun fully intended!) and may offer to invest in your business. This could work really well, but be sure to make it clear in writing what is expected, so as to avoid any potential arguments in future.
Once you have done your research and you are 100% certain that your new food product has the potential to be a huge success then it’s time to think about other ways to fund your business. It may seem a bit extreme, but one option is to think about either downsizing or remortgaging your home. Soldier to Soldier Hawaii Realty have lots of great advice on how to sell your home for a flat fee that will enable you to get your hands on some extra money fast. However, you don’t want to end up homeless, so make sure you sit down and work out your budget and if need be seek advice from a financial adviser to check whether what you are proposing is financially viable for you.
Food Hygiene Regulations
Bringing a new food product to market differs to other products in that there are various health and safety regulations that must be adhered to. This is to ensure that what you are selling is deemed fit for human consumption, that you can prove it has been produced in a safe and hygienic environment, and that it is labelled correctly. To ensure you follow the best food manufacturing procedures and adhere to the correct guidelines it is essential you seek help from the professionals and check with the relevant governing bodies.
Different food products will be subjected to different rules and it is your responsibility to know what those rules are. In the UK for example, any products sold at farmer’s markets and farm shops must meet the standards as set out by the National Farmers’ Retail and Markets Association (FARMA), and in the USA food products must be FDA (Food and Drug Administration) compliant.
The labelling process is by far the trickiest. It must contain very specific information, not just about the ingredients it contains, but also detailed nutritional information and whether it contains any allergens such as nuts, wheat, dairy, eggs etc. Incorrect labelling could end up in a lawsuit if someone ends up in hospital because of eating a food you have labelled incorrectly.
Work Out Your Marketing Strategy
As you get closer to the launch date for your new food product it’s time to get your marketing plan into place. It is important to have a good email marketing campaign so that you can build up a solid and loyal customer base. These days most platforms you use for your email marketing will be set up to be GDPR compliant. However, you can still use any data you receive from people for your own analysis and this is highly recommended. An example of how this is beneficial to your business can be taken from the crm for mortgage brokers who use the pre-templated email campaign to streamline their communications with their clients. A time saving practice such as this will be highly advantageous to you further along the line.
If your product proves really successful, the market can move very fast and you need to be able to keep up with it. Think about the future of your business and look at the ways you can scale it up should you be fortunate enough to reach that position. Will you be able to meet demand if sales rocket, or will you need to think about hiring people to help you out? Do you have the facilities to manufacture your new food product on a larger scale or do you need to think about investing in larger premises or even to outsource the production?
The most important thing you can have when it comes to bringing your new food product to market is the passion and belief that you can make a success of it. We hope the advice above will help you on your way and we look forward to seeing your product on the shelves very soon.