If you have a great idea for a food product, it may be worth pursuing. Many of the best food products in history began as an idea in someone’s home kitchen. Think about Colonel Sander’s chicken, or Mrs. Field’s cookies. They both started from humble beginnings. Now their brands are recognized the world over. All you need to launch a food product from scratch is a quality food business consultant, knowledge of your target niche market, self-confidence and perseverance. Here’s a short-hand guide to launching your food product from scratch.
Educate Yourself About Local and Federal Laws
No matter where you live there will be laws and regulations about how you can market, label, and sell your food product.
Lease a Commercial Kitchen
You won’t be able to sell food made in your home kitchen, due to health department regulations. Find a commercial kitchen in your area to lease from on an hourly or weekly basis. Some places to look include culinary schools, vocational high schools, or even restaurants that aren’t open seven days a week.
Work With a Food Business Consultant
Once you think you have your recipe perfected, it’s time to bring in the experts. Work with a food business consultant that can assist you in launching your food product. The consultant can help you put the finishing touches on the recipe, design a powerful label, figure out marketing strategies, and even help you source less expensive ingredients so your profit margin is bigger. Don’t wait too long to bring in a food business consultant, because they will be an important factor in your success.
How you package your food product is almost as important as what’s on the inside. Keep in mind that it needs to able to be bulk-packaged and shipped and able to fit on existing store shelves or from hangers. You might also consider that consumers these days gravitate toward recyclable packaging and food products with minimal packaging. Your packaging choices will also influence the net cost of your food product, so you’ll need to carefully weigh design esthetics with practical considerations.
Look For Food Processors
Even if you have access to a commercial kitchen, once your food product takes off, you won’t be able to make everything yourself. You’ll need a food processor that is willing to take on your food product. It’s likely they’ll be in a different state, so you’ll need to schedule several in-person visits. Look for capabilities such as canning, bottling, pasteurization, and irradiation to ensure your food product is shelf-stable and safe to consume. Compare several food processors to ensure a good fit.
Once you and your food business consultant have decided your food product is ready to launch, you’ll want to work on a marketing campaign. Consider a combination of print, social media, and other online avenues to reach a broad consumer base.
There are many steps to launching a food product. But once you’ve done it you’ll be glad that you had faith in your original idea and followed through on it!