Launching any new product poses many challenges. But food product launches in particular are hard to get right. Your new food product needs to be something people want and can afford to buy. And you need to know the seasons/timing of how consumers buy (and how they buy) for your product to enjoy a successful launch. To help, we’ve compiled the seven most vital things you need to do to give your food product launch the best chance of being a success:
- DO YOUR RESEARCH
You can save yourself a lot of wasted time and money by making sure no one else out there has a product that’s similar to yours. Customers want new, innovative flavours and food, and you need to make sure your food product stands out from whatever else is on the shelves, otherwise your launch risks falling flat. You’ll also need to know the laws that relate to food production and distribution, as this will affect your launch strategy.
- SURROUND YOURSELF WITH A GOOD TEAM
Crucial to your success is having people around you who are as passionate about your food product as you are. You simply won’t be able to do everything yourself to launch your product. So delegating to talented people you can trust to do a great job is going to be vital to ensuring your product launch makes waves and captures the public’s imagination.
- GET YOURSELF AN AMAZING PITCH
You need to get food buyers excited about your product so they really want to be one of the first sellers to stock your product. That means getting a great retail sales and merchandising buyer pitch designed and written. The content of this should focus not only on your brilliant new product, but also on how it can attract extra footfall to the buyer’s store.
- DESIGN SOME AWESOME PACKAGING
When it comes to food products, it’s not just what’s inside that counts. Your new and unknown product is going to be up against other, more established brand names, all competing for consumers’ attention and basket space. So you need to ensure your packaging accurately reflects your food product and sells it in a way that catches the eye. There are also packaging guideline laws that you need to adhere to.
- SORT OUT YOUR DISTRIBUTION NETWORK
Perhaps this should be the first point, as it’s arguably the most important when it comes to successful launches. Put simply, if customers can’t find your product, they can’t buy it. So you need to sort out a reliable distributor to ensure that your product is readily available.
- GET THE PRICE RIGHT
How much to charge for your food product – that’s often the million dollar question. The answer lies in taking the cost of your product’s food, packaging and labor costs and multiplying that number by three to get a rough estimate of your product’s retail price. You’ll also need to take into account how much it’s going to cost to launch your food product to market, plus your operating costs once you’re up and running. It’s also necessary to bear in mind that you will need to set aside a pot of funds for marketing your product.
- DEVELOP AN EFFECTIVE ONLINE PRESENCE
Every product needs to be in the digital space, as that’s where your potential customers spend much of their time. So make sure your website portrays your product in the best light, and use your site to generate interest ahead of launch and take pre-orders of your food product (if possible). This will not only help you generate vital early funds, but also enable you to see how popular your product is with consumers. Also, set up Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts for your product and use them to spread the word and generate interest about your food product launch.