Published 1st July 2021 in Food And Drink Network
Many people have a treasured family recipe, or perhaps a dish inspired by something tasted on holiday, that they believe will take the food and drinks market by storm.
However most home-prepared recipes cant simply be moved from the kitchen to the factory, The recipe is likely to need quite a few changes it becomes it a marketable reality.
So, with a family favourite or a new take on an old recipe. how do you know if it will work? The simple answer is research.
Life moves fast. What will sell today may not sell in 12 months’ time. So, research is the key to establishing whether there is a market for your idea and the chances of success. Start by looking online and visiting your target stores venues. What’s the Is there anything similar in the market either in the UK or Internationally?
HOW is it selling? is it communicated and what recipes are they using? The more knowledge you have the stronger your chances of breaking into the market.
Once you feel confident that there is an opportunity for your idea, the next stage is at mass production.
You could hire a commercial kitchen and staff to how you make the product, but that will only give you limited production.
The best idea is to your recipe to an experienced manufaaurer (co-packer) that will make and fill the product for you. However, before you do, you wil need the help Of a professional recipe developer, as what works in your home kitchen usually cannot be directly translated to mass production.
It is so important to understand that co-packers will be locking at volume. Unless you an give them confidence that this project will grow and fast, very few will consider takng it They need to believe in your product as much as you do, so before speaking to make sure your cornpany and brand look professional. Many co-packers won’t respond to Hotmail or Gmail addresses, so get brand ready.
Also remember that many co-packers will only take on a prcHuct if it’s going to be produced in ttousands (rot hundreds). To ensure that can be done correctly and safety, with a reasonable shelf life and all the right information on the packaging you need a professional recipe developer to guide you.
Your product could the most delicious product in the world, but the hardest pill many of my clients have to swallow is the recipe will simply not taste the same when produced at scale. At home, your recipe be filled with the most expensive good quality fresh ingredents which provide the best end result; but mass production may mean you have to change igredients to ensure the product isnt ridiculously expensive, can be mass produced, cost effectively and has a suitable shelf life.
Look out for allergens e.g., milk or peanuts as, many co-packers will refuse to fill your product due to the process of informing every client Of the potential exposure. But more importantly you also need to make all allergens VERY clear to consumers.
Check out the top 14 allergens (https:/fwww.food.gov.uk/safety-hygiene/food-allergy-and-intolerance), and wherever possible remove them. If not. find a co-packer that can cope with the allergens. and that your packaging makes them clear-
Novel Foods is another one to look out for: beware of ingredients that may be legal in other countries but not necessarily in the (JK. For this, check the Novel Focxis website https://www.food.gov.ukbusiness•guidance/regulated-products/novel-foods-guidance)
Consider fre shelf life of your product. For example, we know of a lady who owned her own bakery vhich provided skinny low-calorie alternatives to sugary cakes. It was a great product, but it only has 10 days shelf life. By the time it ended up on the retailers’ shelf it only had a few days left to be consumed, As a result, lots of stock went out of date and brand failed. New brands move slowly, no matter how good they are. So, factor this in.
As a new product your initial movement into the market will be slow until you get some decent listings, Often, the only offer way to retain the shelf life is to put preservatives in
your product, however, many wholesalers and retailers refuse to accept this as part of their range. So, avoid this, if at an possible. so, when developing your recipe, you must take into consideration whether your product be stored for a lorg period of tine, preferaby at annbient temperatures, or if necessary, chilled. You then need to adag your recipe to ensure it will just as
good at the end of its Shef life as it did at the beginning,
Getting your product is packaging right is of primary important. Your packaging needs to be adaptable; what worked at a farmers’ market want necessariy work in a major retail oudet The packaging needs to be sturdy and protect the product. whether it is stacked on pallets, manhandled by the wholesalers, Shelf-stackers, or mail order fullfilment companies. It must remain in pristine condition – preferably with a minimal amount of plastic included in the packagng,
It is important to understand the best materials to pack your product in, Plastic is lightweight and durable, but currently very unpopular due to environmental reasons. Glass is more sustainable, however many wholesale buyers won’t consider it due to its weight and chance of breaking in transit. So, you need packaging appropriate to the product, sturdy and protective, minivnal environmental impact, easily recyded and preferably not too heavy. It’s a lot to ask. And options are changing all the time, so get up to date advice before you make a decision.
Communicating with your target consumer is essential if you are to sell your product. However, different platforms need different approaches. What worked at the farmers’ market will not work in-store. And often what works in-store wont also work online. So, you need to create messaging that suits the audience and the platform, you need to make your target consumer understand what you are about and why you are preferable to the competition, Today, consumers don’t just switch price; they want to understand the benefits of your brand and they want that information and understanding FAST aim to educate your target consumer so they understand what they will (and won’t) get from the product.
Remember that even once all these steps have been completed, you’ll still need to get sdety certification like HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) or SALSA (Safe and local Supplier Approved) before anyone will entertain stocking your product. So, this mustbe factored into each step as well. As this will lie with the manufacturer, make certain they have these relevant certifications or are BRC (British Retail Consortium) certfied.
Developing a new brand is a long slow journey can be a very expensive one, if not done correctly. The food and drink market is very tough and a lot of brands fail, but it’s also a fun industry and I wouldn’t do anything else, so good luck.