Before starting any in-depth analysis or research take half of an hour to inventory your idea and your current expectations for your product:
• Describe your product as it might entice a consumer. What sets it apart from other products of the same type?
• Where do you see this product being sold? What need is it satisfying for your audience?
• Describe your product as you would see it as a consumer on the shelf. What packaging is there? What does the label say?
Having a clear vision for your product will help you better seek and advocate for the resources you need to make it happen. Moving forward, it is likely that you will have to adapt your vision
of your product to food safety regulation and business feasibility.
Vision… and Revision.
Preparing for the Road Ahead?
Owning your own business is a thrilling enterprise. You are your own boss and can join many others taking pride in the goods they market. Before taking the next step into entrepreneurship
consider the following:
Successfully growing a food product from an idea to a sellable item and then into a brand involves making informed choices about goals and parameters for the business itself.Such choices require thought and planning.
• Business Plan – Writing a business plan-a document detailing the human, financial, and ideological organization of the entity- can seem to be a large undertaking but clear goals guide you in the right direction, and will help define your business in the eyes of a regulatory agency.
• What is the business goal? – Is this a business you are hoping to build and sell once it gets big or something you plan to invest in until your retirement? Some of these decisions will influence how you will invest for your product development.
• Understand the business: There are several business considerations that should be accounted for before, during and after the product development. Often times, the product development will need to be adjusted based on business shifts. Examples include: formula costs, product claim deliverables, shelf life expectations, etc.
There are a variety of expenses associated with a food product and it is important to be mindful of these finances from the beginning of your product development. Some examples
• Labor – There will be many hours invested in sorting out the technical and business logistics.
• Product – Ingredient costs, packaging costs (primary and secondary)
• Operation – Equipment investments or equipment rental fees, processing yield lost during production, processing parameters, storage fees for ingredients, distribution costs
(i.e. frozen trucks are significantly more costly than ambient trucks), insurance.
The primary goal of a new food product is to deliver a delicious product that satisfies a consumer need. In addition, it needs to be compliant to the regulatory policies and
safe for consumers to eat.
• Regulation – Be sure to you research which federal governing agency your product will follow (i.e. USDA vs FDA). In addition, it is important to understand what regulatory
requirements your product will need to follow. Note: Different processed foods have different regulatory requirements.
• Safety – Foods need to be prepared to ensure that they are free from microbial, chemical and physical health.