Wish to be taken seriously in the food business? Do these five things

If you want to place your commercial food product in regional grocery distribution, there are some basic standards to meet.

Local product displays in grocery chains have generated a great deal of interest among new commercial food business operators. Getting a new venture going is not easy and nearly everyone starts small, operates on a limited budget, sells directly to consumers or through retailers in the community. Small scale success with a signature item is the first step to a future breakthrough with large retailers. When that day comes, will you be ready?

Grocery retailers expect companies to provide nutrition facts, a bar code, an effective package, an identified shelf life and a retailer sheet.

Develop and place on your label nutritional information in the official Nutrition Facts format. “Having a Nutrition Facts label created is generally not an expensive item in a food product development budget and is an option that should be considered,” says Brenda Reau.

Obtain a bar code for the label. The bar code enables not only pricing, but also product identification, inventory control, and a variety of other functions.

Make sure you have the correct package that holds and protects the product and displays conveniently for the retailer. Without professional packaging, the store will experience product loss and lower sales.

Know the shelf life of your food item. Shelf life will help determine how and where you can market your commercial food product.

Make a retail sheet that describes your product. With the retail sheet and packaged product in hand, you are ready to meet your local retailer and introduce your product.

Michigan State University Extension and MSU Product Center field based staff advise on retail readiness. To access food business development assistance, request counseling on the Product Center’s website or call 517-432-8750.

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