Bake, roast, brew or steam: creating a food product can be glorious and soul-satisfying process. However, that’s only the first step in a series of steps involved in converting a food product idea into a package that can sit pretty on the supermarket shelves. Taking a product to market can be a challenging step for many food startups, chefs and entrepreneurs, and often require the expertise of a food consultant or food scientist.
1. Understand your market
To be able to build any sustainable business, there should be a sufficient demand for it. What is the gap you are trying to fill? Are you making organic food more accessible and affordable? Have you come up with a new idea for a nutritious snack bar? What makes it different from the snack bars already available in the market? Is your business aimed at a local audience or can it be expanded to other regions? Does the market trend show that your food product has long-term potential? Doing your market research right and understanding the competition helps you position your product better. It also helps you understand what kind of supermarket or distribution chain you want to approach.
2. Meet food safety standards and regulations
Commercial food production is governed by laws and regulations, which ensure public health & safety, food hygiene, consumer protection, and fair trade. Before you take your product to the market, it is essential that you meet the standards set by the FDA (USA) or the EFSA (Europe). There are also various certifying and regulatory bodies for specific product categories. For example, in the UK, The National Farmers’ Retail and Markets Association (FARMA) help set standards for farmers’ markets and farm shops, through which farmers can directly sell their products to consumers. In the US, the USDA works with agents who verify that farms and businesses comply with the USDA organic food regulations. In the US Australia, a management system called the HACCP is implemented to assure food safety from production to consumption.
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