If you're looking to take a genius edible product idea to the next level, here are three basic things to consider for executing food production that will get your product from your head to the marketplace.
The Commercial Kitchen
Unless your kitchen is a certified commercial kitchen with a health certificate, you will need to find, or borrow, commercial kitchen space to prepare your items. This ensures a level of health and safety in your product that is monitored by local health authorities in your area who regularly inspect the commercial kitchen to be sure it is meeting standards of safety and cleanliness.
Some communities have organizations such as farmer cooperatives or local food cooperatives that rent out space in a certified commercial kitchen for small producers of food products to create their goods. In the absence of such community resources, you may be able to arrange to rent kitchen usage in a restaurant or other food production facility during their off hours. This may mean working very late at night on your product or very early in the morning, but this can be a worthwhile sacrifice as you work to launch your product.
In some cases, you may have enough funding to certify your own commercial kitchen space, but in general if you are starting out you may want to gradually build up to the scale of having your own commercial kitchen rather than risk all of that money and effort up front and perhaps find your product doesn't succeed. It is usually best to start small and then increase your capacity relative to your success, which is largely how D Gary Young built his billion dollar essential oil empire.
As you start out, it could be tempting to invest in expensive packaging equipment to properly pack and seal your products for market. However, sending your product to a packaging facility that is certified according to consumer safety standards may be your best option as you start out launching your product.
You may be able to piggyback off a larger scale operation that has its own packaging facility. As long as they are not making a competitor product they will likely be willing to consider your proposal to package your food product in their facility. Just keep in mind that if you are borrowing their facility and manpower you very likely will pay a premium. When you factor in the expense of setting up your own packaging operation this may be worth the expense as you begin.
Some food product packaging is basic enough that you can do the packaging on a small scale yourself. However, keep in mind that as your product reaches the market and demand for it increases, you may need to find automated packaging operations to keep up with growth.
When it comes to getting a new food item out on the market, it's important to find the right partners. Groceries have specific employees at the administrative level who are responsible for finding new products that will be viable items to sell in their stores. Remember to start local. Local food is a popular item in many markets nowadays, so getting your product in your local market first is always a smart business move.
As your product gains success you can branch out to wider distribution areas, and, instead of approaching administrators who can put your food in stores, you may even find that they will begin reaching out to you. That said, be sure to have a strong website base for your product. A strong website needs good SEO so that people looking for your product can find it easily in internet search results. Invest some time and money in making your website a high-placing one in search engines.
The Final Word
Food production may seem intimidating and complicated because of regulations and standards from federal and local government, but don't be afraid to launch that product. Just be ready to start small and then grow the business according to the success it achieves.
Mia Morales is a loving wife and mother of twins from Colorado. She is a self-described “DIY addict”, and loves to decorate her house and office with her creations. As a mother, Mia is really passionate about health, nutrition, and what she puts in her body. When she’s not writing, you can find her with a glass of mint lemon water and a child on each hip. Who says moms aren’t superheroes?