How to Sell Food Online and in Grocery Stores for Beginners

If you’ve got the next big food product idea and you are considering the idea of going down the “food manufacturer” path but you don’t want to wear out your eyeballs on google searches to find the information you need, this article was literally made for you. If it’s your goal to sell food online and/or in grocery stores, that is super exciting! It’s serious business too. Actually, a business is exactly what it is. And just like most businesses require a license to operate, your food product requires a few things in order to make it to that grocery-store shelf. And that’s probably why you’re here. So we’re here to help you understand everything you need to know to bring your food product to retail as well as get an idea for where you are in the “food manufacturer” process.

The Contemplation Phase

In the contemplation phase, you’ve got a great idea that you’re excited about, or at least got enough people excited about that they start suggesting that you learn how to sell food online or in your local grocery store. This is a common story amongst a ton of our users. Sounds something like this:

” Your cookies are just amazing, these should be in stores. ”

“My family can’t live without my famous sauce, I’ve been thinking of selling it!”

“Why haven’t you bottled up this delicious goodness yet? You could be a millionaire!”

I know that I’ve heard it myself once or twice when I’ve made Maple Bacon Cookies or my Tuna Pasta that my family can’t get enough of. But just like any other business endeavor, going from a “family favorite recipe” to a “consumer-friendly recipe” takes a bit of grit mixed with some good exposure. If you’ve made it past this phase and you’re serious about your recipe then move on to the next section. If not, pause and reflect. Or read for fun and see what you might be getting yourself into.

The Experimental Phase

When you have a great recipe that you want to bring to retail, you’ve gotta make sure that you can nail the same exact flavor that got you all jazzed in the first place, on a massive scale. This is what separates the foodies from the food manufacturers. Why? Because while cooking is fun, getting this recipe just right to fulfill orders to a large volume of people, takes trial and error. And you know what that means…mOnEy. Some Do-Re-Mi. Some Cash-ola. You get the point. You know the old adage, “You’ve gotta spend money to make money.” Welp, it certainly applies here. But any business endeavor that’s worthwhile will require an investment! And this one is part of the fun, this investment is centered around buying ingredients to perfect your food product. And you 100% want to make sure that recipe is fool-proof, especially when it comes to selling food online or in grocery stores.

That being said, when you’re wanting to create the perfect recipe for a high-volume packaging, A.K.A. selling food online in large amounts, make sure you play with the recipe as much as you can until it tastes just right. There are some recipes that can’t simply be doubled, quadrupled, etc. It changes the flavor far too much. But once you’ve got it nailed down, you’re ready for the very next step.

The Creative Phase

Once you’ve reached this phase, you are ready to roll! This is where you get you figure out how and where you want to sell food online or in grocery stores. Whether you have decided to sell your food in a grocery store or online, you need to create a solid website. You can do that on our personal favorite, wordpress, or another website builder like WIX. If you’re looking to create your food product website yourself, then a simple builder like WIX will probably serve you the best. This phase also comes with the added fun of creating a label and creating your first round of packaging. You can create a label with a service such as 99Designs or Upwork, which will put you in touch with a graphic designer that will help you achieve the vision for your product’s look. But if you are looking for a shrink-wrapped look or a different package, you might want to look at options like a professional printer that actually works regularly with food manufacturers, like yourself. Because if you made it this far, that’s officially your new title.

Don’t forget to create social pages like Facebook and Instagram to help you spread the word about your new food product. You new food manufacturer you 😉

The FDA Regulations Phase

Okay, if you’re serious about selling food online or in a grocery store and you’ve made it this far, buckle up, because this part of the article contains the important stuff! This is where our platform officially shines. So, in order to officially sell food online or into retail, you will need to have something called a nutrition facts panel on your food product. You’ve likely seen these thousands of times in your lifetime. They’re the nutrition label that has the breakdown of all of the caloric and nutritional information contained within your product. It also lists the serving size, the servings per container and is accompanied by an ingredient and allergen statement.

  • Nutrition Analysis
  • Nutrition Label
  • Ingredient Statement
  • Allergen Statement

You absolutely can’t sell without them! These are the tools to FDA-Compliance. The cool thing about LabelCalc is that we’ve made it easy for you to create nutrition labels without a huge added expense while still being FDA approved. In the past, you would have to send a sample of your product out to a lab for an analysis and then have a Dietitian compile your nutrition report into a nutrition facts panel format for your food product. Thank goodness for technology because that’s expensive. We’re talking close to $1500 for a single label doing it the old-fashioned way.

Instead, you can utilize LabelCalc’s ingredient databases (backed by the USDA) in addition to our built-in nutrition calculator to create your nutrition label, allergen statement and ingredient statement, by yourself in minutes! And it’s an FDA-Approved route to go. You simply enter your food product recipe ingredients into the LabelCalc platform and the software begins to add up the nutrients and measurements that you have entered until you have a complete nutrition report. One step further, we flag all of the ingredients that you enter in to the platform for any of the top 8 allergens. So you don’t need to be a nutritionist to understand what’s within your food product. We get you from product creation to selling food online faster than anyone else. And for $125, that’s about a $1400 savings from the traditional way of nutritional labeling. Pretty sweet right?

So there you have it. Now you know all about how to sell food online and in grocery stores. So I guess our question is, what phase are you in? And most importantly, are you ready to create your nutrition label? If so, let’s get you started 🙂

What is LabelCalc?

LabelCalcⓇ is one of FoodCalc LLC’s two nutrition analysis products, created to help meet the needs of the food industry. Based in San Francisco, CA, we are a nationally recognized provider of online nutrition analysis that is fast, accurate, and FDA-compliant.

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