The specialty food industry is a niche market and launching a new food brand can be a daunting task. Do not fear, we are sharing all the steps to reach success.  If you have never been in the business before and are just learning, you are not alone.

1. Learn How the Food Industry Works

To get a solid grasp on how things work in the specialty food world you’ll want to make a trip to the Fancy Food Show that is hosted by the Specialty Food Association.

Be sure to sign up for the education seminars to get information on specific types of food brands within the specialty food markets. The specialty food association provides guidance to fresh young brands. They will continue to be a strong networking and selling platform for your brand as you continue to grow. We strongly suggest attending the Fancy Food Show as gaining that knowledge will benefit your brand immensely.

2. Determine Who is Making Your Products

After you dive into the industry and find out how the specialty food industry operates, you will need to start developing your operations and manufacturing plan. There are a few ways that you can strategize your idea. First, you can set up your manufacturing plant, which will need to be scaled as your brand continues to grow. The responsibility for production, sales, marketing, and business administration will be on you and your new company. You will require capital for investment, and a great deal of time to produce the product and oversee your facility

Another option is to work with a co-packer or co-manufacturer. The co-packer or co-manufacturers job will be to assemble the product to your specifications; using your choice of packaging, design, labels, and ingredients. Co-packers can be responsible for ordering raw ingredients, or you can be. It is dependent on the contract that you establish with the co-packers or manufacturers.

The benefit of a co-packer or co-manufacturer is that they take the production off your plate and utilize a full-scale production line that has already been set up. This outsourcing will keep your operations at maximum efficiency and allow you to spend your time growing the brand.

3. Make Building Your Brand a Top Priority

You will first need to develop a name and a logo for your new brand. Develop something basic, initially, as you are beginning the first stages of your business. You have options for hiring a branding company or consultancy to help you create the best branding possible. These teams will have top creative minds working to develop your brand. Your branding and labels will have a significant impact on your overall success. Therefore, hiring an agency to do that work will be beneficial if you don’t have creative design experience.
A branding agency can also take care of your website, cards, and all other materials that you will need for your tradeshow debut. An agency can keep consistency throughout all of your articles and allow you to handle your business details.

4. Figure out Your Business Details

When you attend a tradeshow as a brand that is looking to court vendors into contracting your brand, you will need to answer multiple questions. There will be questions from buyers about your company, the logistics, and the products. You’ll want to have answers to some questions ready for those that inquire about your business.

Some business detail questions that you will hear are:

What’s your retail distribution price?

What is the cost of your ingredients?

What are your co-packaging or manufacturing costs?

What distributor carries your product?

What’s the minimum order?

What makes your product different than others like it?

What kind of customer is interested in your product?

Why would our customers want to buy it?

Do you have samples ready for taste testing?

5. Identify Your Market

What makes your product special? That is something you will want to figure out when launching a new food brand. It takes more than an excellent product to be successful. You need to position yourself as genuinely different from the competition, which means that you also need to separate your emotional investment in the product to answer that question.

Your branding is what needs to speak to your consumer. That will be the difference between your brand and a second thought brand that is just like every other premium-priced hot sauce, chocolate, or olive oil.