People who come to the greater goods for food start-up consulting either have an idea of what they want to do, or have created a product and have some branding and packaging ready…but they’re hitting a wall as to what comes next.
It’s a valid question. Most people have little idea how to navigate the food industry. If it looks complicated, it is. You need to know what steps to take and—critically—the order to take them in. Sometimes entrepreneurs get all the way to manufacturing and packaging a product before they find out that no food broker will sell it…unless they already have significant sales. A chicken-and-egg conundrum, to be sure!
But know this: your food or beverage product can absolutely succeed. You just have to start with the right foundation and then progress through all the steps efficiently and wisely.
Here’s how most early conversations with the greater goods typically go: we chat for a while, then the caller realizes that they are absolutely not ready to launch their product. They have done some things correctly, but they don’t have a solid foundation.
For example, we got a call from some nice ladies who had created a gluten-free muffin mix. They had already bought packaging, designed it, had it filled and were sitting on 1,100 cases of it. And they were so excited!
But everything had come to a grinding halt. As it turns out, they had bought a gluten-free muffin mix from a bakery distributor (hugely expensive), called a co-manufacturer, and had them fill packages.
Over the course of our conversation, we found out that sugar was the first ingredient in the product, which put it out of alignment with the gluten-free marketspace. We also ascertained that the costing was completely out of whack. If you buy an imported ingredient from a distributor, go through the design process and buy a small quantity of packaging for one-off filling, it’s horrendously expensive. Lastly, the branding was off-target and the labelling did not conform with regulations. Yikes! That’s over $20,000 down the tube!
It all starts with a validation process that involves proving that consumers will want the product you’re developing. It’s a crucial step, because the #1 reason for product failure is bad market fit.
We align your product with market needs by analyzing your target market and finding a position for your brand that resonates and that—importantly—is not already crowded with competitors. Then our designer mocks up some digital packaging images and we present your product’s Buyer Validation Presentation to actual retailers. This is a crucial step, because these are the people who will ultimately decide if your product is a go or a no-go. If it’s a go, we’ll give them a chance to get in on the ground floor with pre-orders. Those orders will help convince the food brokers that we know to take you on. Chicken-and-egg conundrum resolved! Nice!
There’s lots more to it, but those are the basics. For our Phase 1 services, Validation and Planning.
The Launch phase is much more involved than Phase 1. Now that we know you have a successful product on your hands, we roll up our sleeves and get to work!
We set many things in motion at once, in order to save time and to synchronize efforts:
Many food start-up entrepreneurs don’t know that there is government funding available for what they do. Yes: you can support your early-stage business through funding. While we don’t provide funding or fill out grant applications, we can certainly point you in the right direction.
If you need financing, we can help in another way. What comes out of Phase 1 with the greater goods is a plan you can take to the bank. A solid plan can mean the difference between begging for money and accepting the best offer that potential financing partners provide.
But first, to get rolling towards success you’ll need a great team. We hope that the greater goods can be a part of it!