My goal is to introduce you to new and exciting foods each week. This way you will not need to try out every single snack pack out there. Let me do it for you!
I am over the moon to say we are starting to see real change in our food system. This is long overdue! The days of empty calorie snacks and TV dinners are nearing an end, at least I hope so, and instead, passionate food entrepreneurs are coming up with innovative and nutritious fare that even the pickiest eater will like.
It’s hard to hear about all of these new food brands and not wonder if this is something you should do yourself.
Have You Considered Starting Your Own Food Company?
The Winter Fancy Food Show is happening January 21-23. This show is the largest specialty food and beverage show on the West Coast.
The show features showcases from foodpreneurs all over the country. The culinary scene is evolving and expanding rapidly. This is great news for all of us! We’ll now have even more options when we go to the grocery store or buy online. And, with all this new focus on food, this leaves it open for you to enter the category too! This is the first time in history where the little guy is stealing grocery shelf space from the big brands!
Life is so incredibly hectic and it’s hard to find the time to make one home cooked meal a day, never mind three home cooked meals and snacks. These companies want to make your life easier while focusing on pleasing your taste buds.
There will be over 80,000 specialty food and beverages featured at the show! Yes, you read that right. That’s insane. There will be over 1,400 exhibitors from around the globe showcasing dozens of niche and artisan foods.
Becoming a Foodpreneurs Yourself
Have you considered launching your product, but not sure how? Or have you been told that your grandmother’s pasta sauce recipe is a showstopper and you should bottle it?
People just like you are becoming foodpreneurs and many are launching their new product at the Fancy Food Show.
They have shows twice a year in Winter and Summer. The Winter show is in San Francisco and the Summer show will be in New York from June 30- July 2nd, 2018.
It can take months to years to kick off your new food product so don’t get discouraged if you haven’t created something yet.
Check out this video by the association about the Fancy Food Show.
So You Want to Start a Food Line?
As a first step in figuring out if your product will be a hit is to figure out if your product is an improvement of something already on the market or is it something innovative or trendy?
Some of the biggest food trends including meatless meat, gluten-free everything and rolled ice cream. Yes, it’s a thing! Check out these other Food trends for 2018.
Now, try to figure out if you even want to be a food trend. Do you remember the huge bone broth craze? I’m sure some companies had to go belly up as the trend fizzled out. Don’t get me wrong, bone broth is still a thing, but not like it was. When a trend fizzles, not everyone survives. Is that a risk you’re willing to take? Can you figure out what the biggest trends in food will be for 2019? That’s the trend to focus on!
Once you figure out what product or products you want to introduce, then you need to figure out how to get it produced.
Manufacturing On Your Own vs Contract Manufacturing
Will you be manufacturing your food in a commissary kitchen or a commercial kitchen? Unless your product qualifies under the cottage food laws, then you can’t use your home kitchen to manufacture a product that will be sold to someone else. You can manufacture a product that will be given away for free that was created out of your home kitchen, but not sold. Check out this list of the cottage food laws in your State. Every State has different rules, so it’s essential you get familiar with your State laws.
If your product doesn’t fall under the cottage food laws, then you’ll need to contact a commissary kitchen or commercial kitchen to help you manufacture your product on a small scale. If you are interested in manufacturing on a larger scale, then you’ll need to contact a manufacturer.
Read more to learn about what the difference is between commissary kitchen and a commercial kitchen.
I found this book helpful when learning about contract manufacturing, called Separating the Con Man from The Co Man. There is so much to learn when getting into the food business. You may think you will spend most of your day making your food product, but you’ll quickly figure out that most of your day is spent working on logistics like shipping, warehousing, manufacturing, margin calculations, etc.
As you work through the details on how to get your product manufactured, you can then move on to creating the brand for your product and company. It can take time to figure out how you are going to get your product manufactured. I wouldn’t underestimate this part!
If you’re working with a contract manufacturer, it may take 6-9 months to get an opening for them to manufacture your product as all of their days might already be focused on making products for other brands.
If you find out that your contract manufacturer can put you right into their schedule, you may want to question why are they not busier? This might be a red flag. And then you may want to put the brakes on everything so you can work on your branding and your sales strategy. You don’t want to make products that are just going to sit in a warehouse somewhere. Most food has a shelf life, and you don’t want to waste yours as while you are figuring out your sales strategy.
I will focus on how best to branding your new food company in an upcoming article. There is a lot to cover!
In the meantime, you may want to read the book Good Food, Great Business: How to Take Your Artisan Food Idea from Concept to Marketplace. I thought it was a helpful book to get me thinking about branding a food business.
Here are Some Tips for Exhibiting at the Fancy Foods Show
You might be a long way from exhibiting, but it’s good to start thinking about all of this as you create your business and marketing plan.