Are you looking to break into the food industry with your delicious family recipe? Maybe you’ve already tested it out on a small scale and want to go to the next level. Either way, getting your food product into retail is an exciting process, but not for the faint at heart. For this reason, it is important to be in-the-know about all of the characteristics of your direct target audience. But did you know that you can use your recipe ingredients to strategically connect with your target audience? And that you can have an expert perform a food product review to help you?
Understanding Your Target Audience
As a food manufacturer, your long-term goal is to reach the grocery store shelf and build a brand with products that people have to have. And while that is a great vision, there are many things to be accomplished on the journey to bring your vision to a reality. The first thing you need to know is the “who” that you are selling to. In a perfect world, every person would be a fan of your BBQ sauce. However, there is a select audience that will fall in love with your brand. And the characteristics of your audience can vary by age, location, and even ingredient preference.
By default, there are a select few people who won’t be able to consume your product due to the ingredients you have included in your product recipe. This is especially true for those who have food allergies. While food allergies come in all shapes and sizes, there are a select number that rise above the rest — 8 to be exact. The FDA has identified the Top 8 Food Allergens that people react to the most. These allergens include: fish, shellfish, milk, wheat, soy, eggs, peanuts and tree nuts.
Including these allergens in your product recipe will remove at least 30 million people from your potential purchasing audience. And what’s more, those who have family members with food allergies will often avoid food products with the top 8 allergens to avoid accidental cross contamination.
Allergens are also notorious for hiding in unsuspecting ingredients. If you aren’t sure if your product contains allergens, relying on an industry expert to perform a food product review and even a deep dive into your nutrition reporting is a great option. This way you can expand your opportunities by about 30,000,000 people — and that’s a lot of opportunity.
Trends are another very viable part of the marketing process. Just like hairstyles go out of style, so do ingredients. 10 years ago, no one really batted an eyelash about high fructose corn syrup, red dyes or high sodium content. Now, because consumer demands dictated the need to avoid these things, front-facing product labels will display these content claims boldly- “No high-fructose corn syrup” has become a draw of it’s own, especially on ketchup bottles. So if you are trying to re-create your grandpa’s famous BBQ sauce and you use ketchup for your base, you may want to check the contents of your ketchup!
Consumers are looking for “real” ingredients more than ever. Especially amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, people everywhere are hyper-aware of the impact their food has upon their bodies, especially in regards to their immune systems. For this reason, immune-boosting ingredients have been making waves in the food industry. The more antioxidants things have, the more excitement it garners. And while the aforementioned trends are important to note, remember, they will soon be a thing of the past. Creating a product that is relevant or that uses ingredients with staying power will have a monumental impact upon your product’s success. Not sure what these ingredients are? Don’t have access to a nutrition professional or an industry expert to perform a food product review to help you determine what antioxidants to highlight in your product recipe to reach the right audience? Keep reading 🙂
Consult an Expert
When in doubt, consult! Did you know that you have the ability to have your product reviewed by industry professionals before you ever try to present them to a buyer? It’s true. That is one of the little-known services we provide here at LabelCalc as well. If you have a product that you feel needs an extra set of eyes, or an ingredient list that needs updating to reflect current trends, that’s where an industry-experienced dietitian comes in to perform a food product review! While we pride ourselves on the ability to help you create FDA-approved nutrition panels faster than anyone else, we’re also huge advocates for the new food manufacturer (or even established manufacturers needing an update!).
This is why we offer consulting services through our staff dietitian! Elysa Dinzes, R.D., has over 15 years of experience as a food-industry professional. She’s helped countless companies improve their products with a keen eye for detail and a knack for trend analysis. If you’ve reached the point where you want to approach a buyer but you want to be sure that your product is up to standard, she’s your go-to.
Keep your products relevant to your target audience by understanding the power of your ingredients. Need a product review? Want to make sure that your product recipe is everything it needs to be? Contact us today.