Bring your food or beverage product to the market

Crowd fund to take  your food or beverage product to the market

Crowd fund to start a gourmet prepared food, dessert, beverage company

 

The new JOBS ACT created favorable laws to raise money via crowdfunding. If you plan on crowdfunding to raise money to manufacture a unique prepared food, e.g., hot sauce, condiment, dessert, snack, frozen food or beverage product, you are aspiring to launch a Specialty food Product. Great timing. According to the National Association of Specialty Food, the Specialty food industry continues to enjoy spectacular growth, outpacing most sectors within the U.S. economy. From 2009 thru present, sales of specialty foods grew by 19 percent. This stable, yet growing one hundred billion dollar a year market means a great opportunity for the specialty food entrepreneur that is well prepared to establish a space brand for their product.

Why not get your food or beverage venture off to a good start with the use of crowd funding.  Thousands of gourmet foods, beverages, and health forward products, wine, spirits, and craft beer entrepreneur have already realize success thru crowd funding.

What is crowdfunding?

Crowd funding or Crowd sourcing is the collective cooperation, attention and trust by people who network and pool their money together, usually via the Internet, in order to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations. (source: Wikipedia).

There are several key benefits to Crowdfunding vrs traditional means of acquiring funds:

  • Test market your new idea. You can gauge demand for you new specialty food product, to determine if there is a market. Also, you can get valuable feedback that can help you fine-tune your food or beverage.
  • Create the Buzz. Crowdfunding exposure creates awareness of your product; leverage this exposure in your PR campaign.
  • Grow your customer base. Create rewards based on your products for backers. If they like your product, they will reorder in the future.
  • Raise Capital. Start and grow your business with the money you’ve raised.
  • You own 100% of your company. You retain ownership of your company and product.

When crowdfunding, you want to find the best mix of product packaging, pricing, positioning, placement and promotion. With the advent of the Internet, social media and now crowd funding, specialty food entrepreneurs have a better chance of launching a product that has the potential of succeeding in the specialty foods business. Once you have your prized, secret recipe, and list of ingredients in order, the first thing you have do is to make sure the food / drink will be safe to consume. The U.S. FDA requires that scheduled processes be established for low-acid and acidified foods by a qualified ‘Process Authority.  (There is a separate process for dry goods packaging as well.) The process authority is an individual or group that has expert knowledge in the development, implementation of safety standards and procedures in food manufacturing. To be brief, they examine your product’s ingredients to recommend suitable scientific methods required for processing and packaging your goods for resale. Depending on your ingredients, they may make recommendations for you to revise your recipe to ensure a safe ph level.  A process authority will also establish manufacturing methods, such as heat sterilization and other procedures to make your food product commercially safe and shelf stable safe to sell in the U.S. market.

Crowdfunding Made Simple

Crowd Funding Made Simple is a low cost $2.99 ebook that contains all the important information you need to succeed and raise money with crowdfunding.

 

> Go to the Site   / find a process authority

If you are just starting out with a recipe, and would like to make a small amount of products, like say 1 to 5 cases to create a sample product to show and taste test, you should consider a shared kitchen.  Also referred to as community kitchens, kitchen incubators, and shared timed kitchen, a shared kitchen is a professionally equipped, fully licensed commercial kitchen facility that can be rented on an as needed basis.  Specifically designed for small scale food production, a shared kitchen is a very cost effective solution for food entrepreneurs.  Some shared kitchen provide assistance, valuable resources and excellent networking opportunity. You will need your recipes, ingredients, packaging material and a schedule process form a process authority  to safely produce your product.  Shared kitchens are very convenient and cost effective.  They feature on site cold storage, and some accept food delivery.  You rent the times you need, usually by the hour.  Price range from $20 to $50 per hour on the high end.

> Go to the Site   / find a shared kitchen

If you plan on manufacturing a considerable amount of product, for example 25 cases or more, you will probably need more capacity than a shared kitchen can provide.  And more help.  A co-packer is what you will need.  A co-packer, or contract packer, is a company that manufactures and packages branded goods for other companies.  It is one of the best form of outsourcing.   A co-packer can professionally produce and package your goods to your exact specifications for a fair cost.  You will be using someones million dollar facility, equipment and highly trained staff to produce your product.

Most of the high quality, gourmet brands that feature salsas, hot sauces, simmer sauces, and frozen foods outsource to co-packers, as do restaurants and celebrity chefs like Rachel Ray and Rick Bayless.  This is a smart way to produce a large amount of product is a short time.  Using a c-packer will free up your time.  In stead of manufacturing, packaging and running a production operation,  you can concentrate on growing an managing your business.  Contract packers will handle the manufacturing and packaging, and in some ventures they enter into marketing, sales and distribution agreements to help grow your business.  Some co-packers offer private label services, whereas you can put your label on their product for re sale.

A co-packer will work close with you to determine the most cost effective way to safely produce your product, based on your unique recipe.  Some co-packers may also be a process authority.  A co-packer will enter into a contract to mass produce your recipe, by signing what is similar to a non-disclosure agreement. They can’t share your ingredients and methods with outside parties.

All co-packers are not alike, they each have different areas of specialization.  Liquid products /  Caned products / frozen products /  Dry products / Packaging service / Labeling / Ingredient preblends / Vitamins and Herbal products / and much more.

 

What to look for in a co-packer.

  • Check with your State’s Agricultural Department.  Look  for co-packing companies that are in regulatory  compliance.
  • Find a co-packer near you for convenience. You will be working very close with this company, so keep your commuting time at a minimum.  Look at the labels of products similar too yours in local food stores. See if a co-packer is listed on the label, and contact them for more info. Chances are they will be familiar with manufacturing and packaging your product since they manufacture similar products.
  • Shop around and compare companies. Interview them to see if they are up to code, and have a good records;
  • See if they are setup to manufacture your type of product.   If you would like to produce a tomatoes base sauce, look for a co-packer that’s already producing a similar sauce.  They will likely have the expertise you are looking for and also access to the ingredients you will need.
  • All co-packing companies will have a set minimum case run. This minimum will vary for company to company, for example one might want you to produce at lease 25 cases while another 100 or more.
  • You will enter into a type of confidentiality non-disclosre trade agreement.  This will protect your secret recipe from being used by the co-packer, not use your recipe or counterfeit it under another brand.
  • Other important things to consider:  see if they provide warehousing, if not be prepared ship and store your product.   Co-packers that deliver their own manufactured products may offer marketing, sales and distribution support for your finished product.

Go to the Specialty Food Resource for a list of  of contract packers (co-packers).

> Go to the Site   / find a co-packer 

 

 

Grab a slice of the $39 billion specialty food pie with this updated, ultimate resource for gourmet food entrepreneurs. The specialty food industry is THE proven vehicle for entry-level food distribution in the United States. Retail sales of specialty foods averaging an annual growth rate of more than 7 percent presents, to some, a great opportunity—to others, a formidable challenge. Your ability to make your mark in the industry, establish your independence, achieve success, and acquire wealth depends on how effectively you prepare, according to Stephen Hall, a long-recognized specialty food marketing professional. In From Kitchen to Market: Selling Your Gourmet Food Specialty, Hall outlines every food marketing opportunity and then supports entrepreneurial action with detailed guidance. Whether you own your own business or you are thinking about starting one, From Kitchen to Market will show you how to: •Identify a winning product and its most appropriate markets. •Get your product ready to market. •Advertise, promote, and sell your product. •Create your own success niche. •Professionalize your business. Also included is updated information about the role of the Internet, health and organic food markets, the latest government regulations and technological advances, and contact information for dozens of valuable resources.

Crowdfunding Made Simple

Crowd Funding Made Simple is a low cost $2.99 ebook that contains all the important information you need to succeed and raise money with crowdfunding.

 

FundMeFundYou is a new CROWDFUNDING site  that allows people to raise money through multiple contributions using the crowdfunding model. Crowdfundiing is a popular non-traditional method of acquiring funds. Unlike traditional funding methods, e.g., venture capital and bank loans, crowd sourcing leverages the mass-market power of social media to achieve a unified financial goal.  Even the modest cash donations from numerous–hundreds or thousands of contributors–can quickly add up to a substantial amount of money.

© Copyright 2012,  FundMeFundYou, Crowdfunding by PRJ Ventures

 

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