There has been a boon in food entrepreneurs – or foodpreneurs – in recent years. And if you fancy yourself as handy in the kitchen, perhaps you have thought about joining their ranks. Of course, there is a big difference between recreating your great gran’s best pasta sauce recipe for a dinner party, and making it on a massive scale to sell on the supermarket shelves. But, it can be done – and we’re going to walk you through a few of the things you need to know right now. Let’s get started with the basics.
Branding is, perhaps, the most important factor in your new food business. Put simply, if you can pitch your product just right – and to the right audience – then you might well have a winner on your hands. Your new food product has to stand out, and a quick look at your local supermarket will tell you how tough this could be: there is a lot of competition. So, consider using a particular angle – health, perhaps, or a comforting home cooked sauce. Don’t forget, your branding will go a long way to persuading the supermarkets to take a chance and place an order with you, so it’s essential you get it right.
If there is a genuine interest in your product, you will need to think about scaling. Of course, you are going to find it hard to pump out thousands of jars of jam or specially pickled onions from your home kitchen. Instead, you will need to consider going to a food manufacturer, or renting – or even buying – a large production unit yourself. The former is the easiest option, but the latter gives you a lot more control. That said, you will be entirely responsible for equipment, covering everything from hydraulics hoses and fittings to sealing machines, and maintenance. If you need extra info, there are plenty of guides out there on scaling a food product business which is well worth a look, and full of helpful advice.
One thing you have to be aware of when scaling your product is that it can be incredibly difficult to retain that home-cooked taste. If you need your product to last, for example, you are likely to need added preservatives of some description. All those little extra ingredients could have a significant impact on the taste of the final product, and it might take some time – and a lot of testing – to find the right balance.
When you pitch to the supermarkets, it can be an incredibly nerve-wracking experience. However, always remember that the buyers sitting in front of you want products that fly off their shelves, and will give you every chance to prove your worth. The idea is to see things from the store’s point of view and show them how your product will help them achieve their goals. Be realistic, nail your figures, and practice pitching before your big day – never go in unprepared. With a little luck and a lot of preparation, there is no reason why you can’t achieve your goals – good luck!