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Start Your Own Specialty Food Business: Your St... 'LINK'

Many young food manufacturing brands start with the same story-- perhaps yours is the same. It typically starts with a home or restaurant chef, who we will call Mr. Goodfooder. Here is his story of how his food (and his company) came to be.

Start Your Own Specialty Food Business: Your St...

Will 2021 be another good year to launch a specialty food product? If previous growth continues, it certainly will be. The specialty food segment has steadily grown in recent years to make up more than 16% of the total food market, according to Food Business News. Food Dive reported that the sale of specialty foods totaled $158.4 billion in 2019, marking 10.7 percent growth over a two year period. If you are thinking about your tasty recipes to market, you should know the vital role that marketing and packaging design play in creating success. Without eye-catching product packaging and a compelling story, your food product business probably won't go very far.

Food packaging design is extremely important to consumers. A recent survey from food label printer Luminer found that 60% of shoppers won't buy products that don't provide enough information on their labels. The same survey also found that about one-third of shoppers will reject a product just because they don't like the label.When hiring a freelance food packaging designer, you'll want to find someone that will deliver you print-ready image files of your packaging. A good food packaging design package should also include 3D renderings of the assembled package. Make sure you hire a designer that will include "dielines" as well. These are special marks that show all of the cut and fold lines of the packaging when it is flattened out.

You may plan to sell your food product wholesale to grocers or other gourmet food stores, but don't underestimate the power of an e-commerce website to sell your product directly to consumers. According to the Specialty Food Association, e-commerce sales of specialty foods increased more than 132% last year. Online sales have continued to grow during the pandemic as consumers have avoided brick and mortar establishments and at the same time cook and eat more at home. That means having a website where customers can order products directly is a must-have.

Every food product is required by law to have a nutritional facts panel printed on its label. A freelance food technologist can calculate the nutrient totals for your product when you provide an ingredient list and recipe. Having an accurate nutrition facts panel will ensure your product is in compliance with federal law.

As you can see launching your own food business is within reach when you assemble a freelance team to carry out your vision. With Fiverr, you can find all the help you need to market your specialty food product, or anything else. Start exploring the Fiverr marketplace to recruit the expert talent you need to start your business.

By definition, a food or culinary entrepreneur is simply someone who starts their own business in the food or culinary industry. It could be someone who creates the next meal kit for a specialty diet (for example, vegetarian keto meals), someone who purchases a food truck and launches their own small food business, or someone who opens their own catering company. Food entrepreneurs can address a challenge they see in the food system by combining food, business, and social entrepreneurship.

Within these food industry trends worldwide, there's room to personalize the model (and differentiate your food business) by drawing on different culinary traditions, flavors, ingredients, or techniques.

Delivery is becoming more common as people get busier and busier. Whether you choose to offer delivery of your own product (such as with a delivery pizza restaurant) or team up with other local businesses to get food from one place to another, delivery is a sector of the food industry that only has room to grow.

A coffee shop can be a good option for those looking to enter food service without a huge menu. Serve coffee, drinks and a few small snacks to hungry commuters or open up your location and offer free wi-fi to attract those who want a place to study or work on projects away from the office.

Whether or not they are doing it for health reasons, more and more people are on restricted diets today. These diets may include vegetarian, vegan, paleo, keto, Kosher, gluten-free, dairy free and others. While you may not want to have a menu that is ALL vegan or ALL gluten-free, by offering at least a few options you will avoid alienating certain customers. In addition, you can become a restaurant or establishment that is known for being inclusive and appealing to many diners, no matter what types of food they prefer or require. This immediately makes your business a great place to bring a crowd!

You should consider testing your idea before you go all out with a pop up location. It will give you an opportunity to run through your ideas without all the risk. Many food businesses start as a hobby at home and once they outgrew the space they moved on to something bigger.

Along the same lines, perhaps starting with a food truck rather than a full-scale restaurant may be a smart idea--as that will give you more flexibility so you can make adjustments to your menu and plan later if necessary.

The food industry in general is highly competitive. Therefore, it is imperative that you do plenty of research before you dive in with both feet. Doing research will help you to define your target market, niche opportunities, and identify your greatest risk factors. Then, you can build a strong business plan and move forward with setting up your restaurant or food business.

Instead of trying to start with a wing and a prayer, so to speak, go ahead and secure your financing now before you buy the first piece of produce or create the first recipe. Having your financing steady will make a huge difference your chances for success.

What's the best way to run a successful food business? It's not a trick question. When you break it down, it's simple once you realize that the best businesses are intentional from the ideation phase on. Put simply, when you ace your food business launch, things will go much smoother.

You'll also need a solid understanding of the laws that affect running your business. Whether it's laws governing wages and employees to laws regarding food safety, research into regulations can be time-consuming. However, it's worth the time to figure these things out, so you don't run the risk of accidentally violating a law you didn't even know existed!

Research can help you figure out where your target market is saturated and where there are opportunities, what made other businesses fail and how you can succeed, and what customers in your area want to see in a new food business so you can offer it -- among other valuable things.

Before you sign a lease -- committing your capital to your idea -- why not test out your concept? Testing out your food business idea will help you put your ideas into practice, so you can fix wrinkles in your product or service model while stakes are still low.

After you've found funding, tested your concept, rented a space, and invested in everything you need, you're ready to open...almost. For most food concepts, you will need help staffing your business as you can't realistically do everything on your own.

If you're opening a restaurant, roles within your restaurant will include purchasing and receiving, cleaning, purchasing, supervisory, human resources, bar service, food servers, food runners, cook, chefs, dishwashers, host, and accounting. For some services, such as accounting, you can hire service providers. For many roles, you'll need to bring on part-time or full-time employees.

Of course, you can do some of the work yourself. However, appraise your skills ahead of time and only take on roles that align with your strengths. If you are a chef who wants to open their own restaurant, then it may be natural for you to take on the executive chef role in your food business. If you are a competent cook with an innovative idea, it might be a better business decision to hire a chef who has experience running a restaurant than to assume this role yourself.

A skilled accountant is a worthy investment for food business owners, as cash flow is often the key to keeping a business going. Accountants who work for other food businesses make great hires, but your accountant doesn't need to have prior food experience as long as they can make suggestions to help you save money. Your accountant can help you understand your KPIs or key performance indicators, such as labor cost or food cost. When you have an accurate understanding of your KPIs, you can shave expenses, for instance by price shopping among suppliers to get the best price on inventory.

To set your food business up for success, look for people who have the right skills for your business. Regardless of the role, people who have prior experience working in restaurants (or similar businesses) are the best choices, as they will need less training in their roles. With front-of-house employees, an extroverted, friendly attitude works best, since these workers interface with customers all day long. All employees, especially kitchen workers, should have a calm and capable demeanor, work well under pressure, and be able to multitask.

One of the biggest keys to the success of your food business is understanding your target market and communicating your value proposition to them. What does your demographic want and how can your food meet or exceed their expectations? It's easy to lose sight of the audience and think about your concept and your dreams for your food business, but you must keep your potential customers in focus. If you don't tailor your food business to what they want and need, then the odds are greater that you will miss the mark entirely. You may have made your case in a business plan, found investors, hired employees, and done everything else right, but if your target audience simply isn't interested in your food business idea, then you will struggle from day one on. 041b061a72


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