If you’re reading this blog, you probably make something really delicious out of your home kitchen. So delicious that people often tell you that you should start a business. You might be thinking to yourself that you really do make a great food product and you might be wondering if you really should start a food business that could get your product to the farmer’s market or even in a grocery store or on Amazon. So, read through this blog to evaluate your product idea before you get started.
When you’re first deciding whether or not to start a food business with your product, I like to take a look at what’s in it to see if it’s feasible to scale up for a business. Or to make sure the ingredients inside the product are easily reproducible. If you’re using a proprietary steak sauce in your own sauce product, we either need to find something else you can switch to or it might not be the right food product to make a business out of. Obviously, there are exceptions to the rule – plain ketchup and mustard, for example are both perfectly fine to use. Making those from scratch would be a waste of time in the grand scheme of your food business.
There are a couple of reasons you want to stay away from using premade products that are a proprietary blend for another company. The first reason is the cost. When you’re using a product that’s already been made by someone else, you’re already experiencing a higher cost since they’ve marked the product up. So in order to create a profit with your product, you’ll have to charge more on top of that. Another reason is that when you’re using other pre-made items in your product, it loses a little bit of the originality that many people are looking for in a newer product like yours. If you’re just taking a couple of products they can already find on grocery store shelves and mixing them together, are you really adding any value to your customer’s experience?
Another reason I recommend against using proprietary products as ingredients in your product is that when you start labeling and putting ingredient lists on your product, that list can get quite long as you add all the ingredients in your product as well as the additional products you’re using. And that ingredient list can sometimes close doors for you if the product you’re using isn’t a “clean” product and you’re trying to get into a natural grocery store. Sometimes those pre-made products have preservatives, which eliminate some opportunities you might have.
I’m not saying that semi-homemade products are a bad thing at all. I think a lot of people value speeding up their time in the kitchen and if your product can do that, it might be worthwhile pursuing starting a business. But at the end of the day you really want to be able to offer something that is uniquely yours with your food business. You want the most basic ingredients with a clean label at a good price.
I hope you’ll consider these different things before you bring your product to market. Check out my other videos and blogs for more on how you can get your food business started.