1. Making sure your recipes work
Practice makes perfect, and this is the same thing when it comes to developing a retail product. You should try out the recipe on different people because they are going to give you feedback that is going to help. If you get bad comments in the process, don’t worry because it will give you the chance of improving the product.
2. Contacting the local Trading Standards Officer
It is a good idea to talk to them because they are there to help you out and not to hinder. It is important to contact them because they will be of help with labeling your products and the legal requirements you need to follow. A TSO can help with product testing and nutritional information. Talking with them beforehand is a good idea because you will be able to avoid wasting money printing the wrong labels.
3. Having environmental and food hygiene certificates
4. Networking, networking, networking
Try attending networking events and always have the samples with you everywhere you go. Maybe you may end up meeting people interested in your creation. You can find business networking events using the local Chamber of Commerce and networking groups. Always look for a chance to speak about your business and its products. When many people hear about your business and products, there is a good chance some of them are going to tell their friends, and this chain will continue until you find your product being recommend to food buyers who end up ordering it.
Networking can also be done online. Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms make it easy to directly engage with customers. You have the chance of getting direct feedback from your customers, and you can also offer prizes, discounts, and recipe ideas.
5. Starting local
A local market is a good idea because you will be able to directly sell to your customers and have a chance of gauging the market. Take a look at Proper Popcorn, a company that started locally and now distribute their products far and wide. You also don’t have to spend a lot hiring a stall. Meeting with your customers gives you the chance of understanding their needs. You will also find it easier to get your products into farm shops and local delis since most local businesses like supporting other local businesses. Once you have developed loyal customers and brand awareness in local markets and shops, you will have an easier time doing it with multiples.
6. Finding the right distributors
The large retailers and chains usually work with distributors, and this is why it is important to find the right distributor to help you with your products. An easy way is asking a retailer the distributor they prefer working with. You can also ask a food business about their distributors and if they can recommend them.
7.Understanding your pricing and margins
Retailers are going to expect 50% margins, and this can be even higher when working with distributors. This makes it very important to know your costs so you can know the retail pricing, which is going to include margins for the retailers and distributors.