9d. A clear description of the product and specific requirements on how it should be stored
- Which section of the store do you think your product falls into?
- Should it be in a fridge, freezer or on the shelves?
- How long is the estimated shelf life?
- How is your product positioned in its category?
- Is it particularly fragile?
- How much does it weigh?
9e. A clear description of the HACCP-concept, preferably from an external certification following the GFSI (global food safety initiative) requirements or any other local market requirements applicable to your case
9f. All food safety and legal requirements certifications from relevant certifiers
9g. Certifications that support product claims, e.g: Bio, Fairtrade, Vegan etc.
9h. Opinions from consultants on product claims that do not fall under a specific certification, e.g. “rich in protein”
9i. Production capacities estimated with your co-packer
10. Start selling
Do one or more of these, when possible get the help of the co-packer and other partners:
- Start selling online, either through your own website or through the traders/partners
- Negotiate with smaller shops and distributors
- Negotiate with regional or national retailers
- Start selling at farmers’/local markets
Note: Be very careful with payment terms (30–60–90 days) when signing a contract. As a supplier you’ll need to invest money in manufacturing the product and give it out to your customers before you cash-in their payment. This can create a cash-flow problem if you do not have enough liquidity to finance your next production batch.
11. Stay retail ready
Retailers want to stay in contact with the brands on a proactive and ongoing basis so make sure that you:
11a. Set up a clear process for keeping all the retailers up to date
11b. Get their feedback regularly
- Quantitative: sales, stocks, speed etc.
- Qualitative: consumers’ reaction
11c. Be very careful when it comes to overproducing
Aaaaand done, your product is on the market! That’s a lot on our plate!
Of course, there might be some things we forgot for some specific cases or others that you’ll have to skip. But this should work as a rough guideline.
A big chunk of the content is there thanks to the NX-FOOD blog. Here are the articles I used:
- How to Identify New Product Ideas Part 1 & Part 2
- How to Find Product/Market Fit for your Food Startup
- Advice on Launching a Food Startup Part 1 & Part 2
- Get Retail Ready Part 1 & Part 2
I also tapped into the Food + Tech Connect resources Food + Tech Connect is the largest food innovation community. Thanks to Ryan Williams for his article:
Start With Where: Steps to Food & Beverage Product Development
I took also one or two ideas from a post on Startups.co.uk:
How to Start a Food Production Business
I took some notes while watching a video from the Virgin StartUp Youtube channel:
How to Start a Food Business — The Practical Stuff
And finally, I watched a live webinar from The Food Business School where Diane Mina, founder of Diane’s Bloody Mary, was interviewed. The Food Business School is the world’s first business school for food entrepreneurship and innovation, launched by the Culinary Institute of America.
In total transparency, I and my friend Wilhelm added our pinch of salt to the mix. I’m currently a freelancer helping companies build products that people LOVE and ex-MD of a startup accelerator in Paris and Wilhelm works in the food industry.
Last but not least, if you’re interested in knowing more about what the future of sustainable food will look like and learning more about the product we are working on, subscribe to our updates on this page.