You’ve just come up with a new idea for an innovative food product – now what? You’re probably eager to roll up your sleeves and start testing ingredients and recipes. While it can be tempting to push ahead full steam, new makers can benefit from taking the time to think through their product and model before beginning production. 

Launching a new food product can be daunting. There are many steps to take before a product is ready to hit the market. Though every business and product can have unique traits to consider, there are a few questions that every food startup should be able to answer before they begin prototyping.

1. Who is your target consumer?

Before spending lots of time, energy, and money on creating a product, you must think about who will buy it. You should consider various factors, including age, location, and values to ensure that your product will align with your target consumer. Your target consumer will influence decisions you make like which retailers you connect with and what labels or certifications you want to pursue.

2. What kind of product will you create?

Whether it’s a bar, a chip, or a drink you’ll have to figure out what your end product will be. This should be informed by market research of your target consumer and industry trends. Makers should also consider the feasibility of scaling up when they are crafting a new idea for a product – are your ingredients easily sourced? Does your method allow for increases in production?

3. What claims do you want to make?

Making a claim that your product is organic, gluten-free, or non-GMO can be a powerful way to market your product to your target consumers. The claims made about your product will also affect the ingredients you use, your manufacturing method, and your price point. Any claim that you make can be backed up by a third-party certification. For more information on that, check out our blog post.

4. How will your product be stored?

Whether your product will be fresh, shelf-stable, or refrigerated, you will need to make sure that you have the right infrastructure to create and store it. You should also be prepared to identify retailers and distributors that have the capacity to handle products with your storage requirements.

Considering these questions should help you flesh out your product, and help you take it from idea to reality. If you are looking for additional guidance in any of these areas, our Product Innovation Lab is at your service. Get in touch with us today to schedule an initial consultation!