I’ve had a number of requests recently for a list of all the key points to consider when launching a new product into the food and drink category so here they are:
- Research your idea thoroughly.
- Be clear about what need your product meets.
- Understand and identify your proposition and positioning – particularly in relation to price.
- Identify your audience and get to know them forensically – the same applies to your competitors.
- Undertake store visits and produce comprehensive market maps. Pay careful attention to sub-category pricing and
- Tick ‘all the right boxes’ to optimise your idea by completing all the above – don’t compromise.
- Make your product as good as it can be – and then go again – make it better still.
- Taste, appearance, texture, aroma is everything – repeat purchasing relies on the product ‘hitting the spot’.
- Don’t accept mediocre because your customers won’t.
- Ensure you have a ‘minimum viable product’ before you go any further.
- Consider your manufacturing opportunities – kitchen at home, rental kitchen, small scale outsource, large scale outsource.
- Identify your structural packaging solution and MOQ’s before moving on to the next stage.
BRAND & PACKAGING
- Seek expert help to create your brand strategy and to guide you through the technical and legal aspects of taking a product to market.
- Work hard on creating compelling and succinct on-pack messaging – every single word counts. Be clear about your USP’s and how best to communicate them. Less is more.
- Invest in excellent brand and packaging design undertaken by companies with a proven track record in food and drink packaging.
- Prepare trial products and packaging for sampling and research.
- Know your costs and margins. The pennies really do count.
- Build a robust financial model (minimum two years projections, ideally five) with a realistic assessment of the funds required to take your product to market, provide marketing support and to provide all important working capital. Identify your working capital needs.
ROUTES TO MARKET
- Retailers do not have infinite shelf space.
- Understand what your target retailers are looking for and understand why they may stock you – which products will you replace and why?
- Know their expected margins and brand support expectations.
- Prepare a detailed marketing plan including price promotion activity.
- If relying on web-based sales, you still need a marketing plan to create awareness and drive sales.
LAUNCHING YOUR NEW PRODUCT
- Be able to demonstrate proof of consumer demand to potential stockists through local sales/online and early marketing activity.
- Build your social media following.
- Attract as many ‘vocal and visible’, brand ambassadors as you can during this early phase.
- Create an intense local, distribution hot spot to achieve high visibility and maximise repeat purchase opportunities – resist scattergun listings.
- Out-think rather than out-spend your competitors – smarter marketing.
- Grow your points of distribution and rate of sale.
- Increase your brand noise and visibility.
- Push hard early on with marketing activity or you may stall.
- Re-invest early revenue gains to ‘bridge the chasm’ and grow your audience into the mainstream.
Last Updated on 17/03/2023 by Eddie Stableford