You're about to enter an extremely competitive industry. Think of how many brand names and variations there are on store shelves. Even something as simple as dried pasta has many different forms, brands, varieties, and specialty items. They also differ in packaging, size, and price.
Your new product must fill a void, or deliver something exciting and new to consumers. Otherwise, it will fail. Hundreds of food products are launched each year, only to fail miserably. Retail food jobs can be rewarding, but those rewards come after lots of hard work and market research. Here's a quick overview of some steps you must take.
Do a lot of research into local laws regarding retail food jobs. The finished product must pass regulatory standards. The facility in which you will prepare your product (preparing it at home is usually not allowed) must also pass standards.
Create a list that displays all ingredients, preparatory tools, and services that you'll use to take your product from kitchen to consumer. This will not only help you plan pricing, but it will allow you to see where you may be able to cut costs while still turning out a quality product.
Look closely at marketing. This includes everything from the package to the stores you'll sell your product in. Who is this product for? Where do those people shop? You do not want to try selling a high-end specialty food, for example, at a corner market in a poor area. It simply would not sell. Many retail food jobs have crashed and burned simply because these simple questions were not thought through.
Begin designing marketing materials. These will be given to the stores selling your product, and to any larger wholesale companies which may distribute it. Include a full overview of ingredients, manufacturing processes, nutrition information, and target market. Samples are often included. Create different, more eye-catching brochures for consumers.
Contact your local stores and food events to set up tastings and sampling events. This will get your product to the consumer, and build a market. During these tastings, your product should shine. Make sure that consumers taste the absolute best you have to offer. You should look professional, as should your tasting area. Be prepared to answer questions regarding nutrition, ease of preparation, and any other common inquiries based on the nature of your product. Have plenty of brochures available to hand out, and samples packaged for consumers to take home, if possible.
Keep these guidelines in mind, and always pay close attention to sanitation and local laws. Careful planning and an eye for detail are essential. Retail food jobs are difficult to secure. However, if you have a well thought-out plan and a quality product, you're poised to succeed.