In the age of the 'side hustle' and unique culinary concepts, it is not surprising that foodies are using their own culinary ideas and turning them into small food businesses. But, how do you successfully become a foodpreneur? How do you transition your concept from your kitchen, to store shelves and then, ultimately, into the consumer’s hands?
Be one-of-a kind. Before launching your business, research your marketplace. Get out there and do some competitive analysis; study food trends, visit local markets, and attend specialty food tradeshows. What makes your product special and how can you capitalize on it?
Set goals for success. What does success mean to you? Does success mean killer sales as an artisanal food vendor at your local market, or is it when your product shares shelf space in a big box store? Is it your dream to start a meal delivery service? Define your ultimate goal and devise a plan to get there, making sure your growth happens at a pace you can keep up with.
Be efficient and consider costs. Moving your product from your kitchen to a big box store is possible, but not practical. You will have to invest money to produce enough product to fill their shelves, without any guarantee they will keep it there. If you are ready to enter the world of major retail, hiring a broker and co-packer will help with the process.
Educate yourself on your marketplace. If you plan on opening a café or meal delivery service, network and make friends with current business owners. Ask them so share their stories, and get an idea of the do’s and don’ts in the industry.
Build your brand. Whether you decide to keep it local, or sell in larger chains, you will have to pitch your product at some point (realistically, at many points) so you must have a story and a strong brand identity. Your brand story should answer questions like- How did your product and company come to be? How are you different than all of the other food products out there? What are your company’s core values? People want to feel an emotional connection so if you can humanize your brand, people will connect. Learn how to market your innovative food product to help build your brand’s reputation. If have the time and money, invest in a food business course like those offered by The Food Business School.
Running a food business takes determination, effort, and most importantly, passion. Do you currently run a succesful food business? We would love to hear your story!