The following outline is a good procedure to follow when attempting to start a specialty food business.
- Develop a prototype, test it out on people. Collect and incorporate feedback (flavor, texture, appearance).
- Determine the market form (shelf-stable, refrigerated/frozen, baked, canned).
- Determine the batch size for start-up, commercial operation. (Typical is 5-10 gallons for liquids or 15-25 lbs for solids).
- Consult a process authority.
- Does the formulation/process need to be changed for safety?
- What testing is needed?
- Process Authority and Scheduled Process
- Determine the cost of your approved, scaled-up recipe.
The Business Plan
- Write a business plan to help you focus on business goals and funding needs.
- Consider getting liability insurance.
- Regulate your business within state (or federal if interstate).
- Decide on a product name.
- Choose a size and shape compatible with your packaging.
- Decide if you want to invest in a bar code. Membership fee of $750. Large stores require bar codes.
- Labels have to meet the FDA requirements for font size/information.
- Write a marketing plan.
- Decide where you will sell your product.
- Determine a selling price; consider your competition's price and your financial needs.
- Develop a distribution method (your car, the mail, a distributor, broker).
- Decide where you will product your product (commercial kitchen, pilot plan, co-packer).
- Find storage space for ingredients, packaging, and final product.
- Schedule time at these product facilities.
For more information contact Dr. Kimberly Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org
(Food2Market Coordinator), Adair Hoover at email@example.com
(Food2Market Program Assistant).