Have you been working on your special recipe for years, fielding free sample requests from coworkers and friends? Have you finally taken the first steps toward entrepreneurship by reading books about starting businesses, perusing the applicable laws, and allocating the financial resources for your startup? Your next moves are the most important. It’s time to take that beloved food or beverage recipe and make it a commercial success.
Getting the Resources You Need
Few food entrepreneurs begin with their own full-scale commercial kitchen understandable considering the outrageous investment such a venture would require. You’ll most likely start working with a contract packer (don’t let the name fool you; these businesses often put the emphasis on manufacturing).
A co-packer won’t even call you back unless you have the right information to give. The recipe you use in your kitchen isn’t nearly specific enough for production techniques that require bulk purchases and speedy turnout. Even something as simple as a beverage mix does not scale during production the way it does during home preparation.
A co-packer’s ingredients don’t look or behave like the ingredients we use at home and neither do their machines. Your food product development strategy needs to reflect the industrialized nature of modern manufacturing it might be time to turn to those who do food and beverage development for a living.
Commercializing Your Recipe
The sooner you contact a food product development firm, the better. These businesses work in all areas of food production from researching market demands to testing and prototyping, even creating investor presentations. These services can pull a struggling entrepreneur up to a winning position in no time. However, you can choose to hire a product development company simply for the purpose of scaling and tweaking your recipe for mass production. A solid company can help you at different stages of product development. Here is how they do it:
- 1. Your food product development team will review your goals, concept, and current recipe. They’ll also need to know about your co-packer (unless you are going through a development team contracted by the co-packer itself) to get an idea of your production needs.
- 2. The team will begin testing and prototyping using the production resources that you’ll have at your disposal. They will refine your recipe based on cost demands, manufacturing resources, and packaging desires.
- 3. The refined recipe will undergo testing to determine the effects on shelf life, stability, sensory properties (taste, texture, aroma), and adherence to relevant regulatory guidelines.
- 4. Thorough important trials and testing of the beverage or food product will uncover consumer opinion about the finished product. The process may repeat from the beginning depending on the discoveries made.
At the end of your experience, you’ll have all the documents you need to hand over to your co-packer. Or, your food development team may pass the required information along for you they may even work with your co-packer to ensure the entire transition from home baking to large scale production goes smoothly. Are you ready to take the next step to selling your own line of specialty foods or beverages?