If you are one of the many people who cook, make preserves and pickles or maybe even bake then you may have considered the possibility of turning your talents into a money making endeavor by selling your food products. It may be the case that your friends have urged you to sell the homemade preserves you make, or maybe you could just use a little extra income. However, developing your own food product is not as easy as it sounds. You may have a fan base among friends and family, but is your cooking really good enough to compete with others on the shelves of your local store?
Finding a Unique Selling Point
One of the key things to consider before attempting to sell your product is that there is a massive amount of competition out there. It is important to honestly evaluate your product and decide what, if anything, makes it better than the others already out there? This may not necessarily be based on taste. Your product could have one of many unique selling products. Perhaps you use only organic ingredients and recycled packaging? Is there an unusual flavor combination that no one else has used? Does your product have an interesting story behind it? The important thing to remember is that you cannot rely on the taste alone. It is naive to think that jut because you think it tastes better then everyone else will feel the same.
Selling Your Story
One of the best ways for a small, artisan food producer to get their products on the market is by placing them in independent gourmet stores rather than aiming for national grocery chains. These smaller stores cannot compete with large stores on pricing, and instead will look for more interesting and unique products. Those with a story attached are particularly popular, so if you have a heartwarming story about using your grandmother’s recipes or stumbling upon your flavor combination by accident then use it to your advantage as a sales tool. Another popular angle is the ‘local kid done good’ story so if you are a local manufacturer using local products then this can be a great advantage to you. Another alternative is to sell your product mail order or at farmer’s markets.
Asking For Help
The majority of us would not have the first idea about how to get a food business off the ground which is why asking for help is really important. If you are looking for a starting point, then it is useful to visit the food sciences department at a local university as they often like to get involved in community projects. This is a great way to get independent feedback on your product and the local market. If you are ready to take your product nationwide, then engaging the services of a broker to deal with stockists can also be useful.
Of course there are also a range of legal requirements to consider. The food must be tested for safety and hygiene standards and you may need to get some commercial kitchen space, but these initial considerations are a good place to start if you are seriously considering selling your own food products.