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The supermarket shelves are teeming with brightly packaged and luridly photographed… But ultimately bland and uninspiring foods. In this climate of corporatized mediocrity it’s of little surprise that many entrepreneurs gifted in the culinary arts set about adapting and packaging their culinary creations for the mass market.
There have been numerous success stories from bold and single minded entrepreneurs who have adapted or created recipes that have gone on to form the backbone of lucrative businesses. Just look at the story of Tasty Brand founders Shanan Swanson and Liana Weintraub. Frustrated by the quality of store bought childrens’ foods they began to create organic and nutritious snack foods for kids. This simple idea let them to build an enterprise that turned a 7 figure profit in its first year (2011).
While it can be a lucrative and rewarding endeavor, food manufacture is a heavily regulated industry that’s beset with pitfalls. A lapse in standards can prove disastrous to a budding brand. Steer clear of these common pitfalls if you expect to achieve prosperity.
Not knowing your niche
As in any enterprise, it’s important to know your market in the food industry. People are vociferous in their culinary tastes and different consumers go about their food shop with very different needs.
Do you want to appeal to the ethical crowd, with sustainably sourced ingredients, vegan recipes, and environmentally friendly packaging (which, to be fair, should be on your agenda, whatever your niche)?
Do you want to appeal to children with bright and colorful packaging, a loveable cartoon mascot and promises of a deliciously tasty eating experience? Or are your sights set at the discerning connoisseur who chooses only the finest ingredients and hankers for the bygone tastes of the past?
Market research is vitally important to any fledgling business and failing to carry out taste tests among your target demographic and adapting your branding to suit their tastes can hobble your business in its infancy.
Failing to keep a close eye on standards
In the early years you may run your operation from your own kitchen using industrial food preparation equipment from http://www.unifood.tech. In this instance, you are completely accountable for maintaining standards, and this is fairly manageable. As your operation expands, however, you may find yourself outsourcing manufacture to a third party.
It’s vitally important in this instance that you keep a close eye on the standards of your ingredients and your end product. Remember the UK’s “horse meat scandal” of 2013 if you need a cautionary tale. Being seen to cut corners or disregard your market and your brand will suffer the consequences.
Letting safety slip
No business can afford to fall victim to negligence and in food manufacture, businesses are severely at risk if they don’t maintain the highest health and safety standards. It’s important to be cognizant of the biggest threats to the health and safety of your operation:
- Worker Hygiene
- Personal Protection Equipment
- Sanitation Product Selection and Labeling
- Employee Training
Let your standards slip in any one of these facets and the food you produce could compromise the health of consumers. Needless to say, the damage to your brand could be irreparable.