An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Food Product Development Firms

Did your career coach, co-packer, or consultant refer you to a food product developer? Are you curious about what a food product development firm can actually do for your business? This quick guide will explain exactly what it is that these developers do, and what you can expect while searching for the perfect firm to suit your needs.

The Food Product Development Process

A good food product development firm will tailor their process to help you achieve your goals – chances are you won’t have to use every service they are capable of providing. In fact, the first step in the process is to assess your goals. Your goals may involve creating a new marketable product, adjusting your current product, or scaling your current production methods. This may also involve brainstorming new recipes and ideas with the food scientists and culinary developers who make up the development team.

Once goals are established, the food product development team will take steps to develop and refine the concept depending on your processing, packaging, and distribution needs. Regulatory guidelines will help direct the developer’s progress. Some firms also conduct market research to gauge the potential demand for your recipe, whether in the consumer or business-to-business arena.

Your concept will then move to the testing and prototyping phase. Issues like cost and manufacturing restrictions will begin to become apparent. Several rounds of testing and refinement may be necessary.

Food product developers can then conduct shelf-life testing, stability testing, taste testing, and the testing of physical and biochemical properties of your developing product. This might take your product back into the testing and prototyping phase; attention to detail is the most important aspect of the development industry.

Regulatory compliance is also an important part of new product development and should be part of the process from beginning to end. Most firms also offer the option of creating your nutrition label to ensure it complies with local and federal regulations as well.

If needed, the food development team can also run tests that gauge customer acceptance of your new product or recipe. There are third-party firms that conduct this type of test exclusively but it’s always nice to cut costs by going with the same company for as much of the development process as possible.

Some firms may also assist with your packaging design, investor presentations, and product launch. They may be able to get you into trade shows that will further your success. Every food product development firm offers optional extras, but not all firms offer the same forms of pre- and post-launch support.

Every development firm is different. They all offer different levels of involvement, different resources, and different philosophies. You will conduct many, many interviews before landing upon the perfect match – but the result is well worth the effort. Are you excited about working with a food product development company that will put your new recipe or product on the map?

Dairy Food Products For Weight Loss

When it comes to losing weight, the one advice you will always get is that you should steer away from dairy foods. There are so many dietary tips about losing weight that it can get confusing as to what foods are best for the loss and which ones are not the best. The truth is that dairy food products are not as bad as they look for weight loss. There are dairy foods you should consider including in your diet to aid weight loss; you just need to know how to take them right to fetch you the desired results.

Which dairy products are best?

Foods like cheese and milk should actually be included in your weight loss diet plan because you need the calcium. Calcium gets you stronger bones and you reduce your chances of developing osteoporosis as you age. What most people do not know is that milk can actually help in keeping that satiety feeling. When you drink fat free milk say in the morning, you will feel fuller for longer decreasing your need to snack or eat hence you reduce your calorie intake. This is because of the protein content of the milk, the natural sugar lactose found in milk and the milk thickness.

Yoghurt, cheese and milk are all packed with nutrients that are healthy and they are also very healthy sources of B vitamins, zinc, protein and of course the calcium. Even though it is true that the dairy products can contribute to fat and calorie intakes, you can choose semi skimmed and skimmed milk, low fat cheeses and yoghurts that you can add to your weight loss program without any worries.

The calcium found in dairy foods is thought to help in breaking down body fats and so do the other ingredients like whey proteins, amino acids, and conjugated linoleic acid. The dairy product seems to be very good for weight that accumulates around the waist so you do not only look attractive slimmer but also end up reducing your chances of diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease that are linked to the apple shape type of body.

In essence, you should not cut out all dairy food products from your diet when you are working on losing weight. The best thing you can do is to choose skim milk, low fat yoghurts, low fat cheese life cheddar, goat cheese and others as long as you ensure that they are indeed low in fat but high in calcium.

To ensure that you get the best weight results that you expect, even when taking the dairy food products, it is important that you limit your daily intakes. Three servings of the dairy food every day can work okay for your weight loss plans. For instance, you can choose to take a glass of skimmed milk, small low fat yoghurt pot and a small slice of low fat cheese spread out in your day to cover your nutrient needs.

Could You Bring Your Own Food Product To Market?

If you are one of the many people who cook, make preserves and pickles or maybe even bake then you may have considered the possibility of turning your talents into a money making endeavor by selling your food products. It may be the case that your friends have urged you to sell the homemade preserves you make, or maybe you could just use a little extra income. However, developing your own food product is not as easy as it sounds. You may have a fan base among friends and family, but is your cooking really good enough to compete with others on the shelves of your local store?

Finding a Unique Selling Point

One of the key things to consider before attempting to sell your product is that there is a massive amount of competition out there. It is important to honestly evaluate your product and decide what, if anything, makes it better than the others already out there? This may not necessarily be based on taste. Your product could have one of many unique selling products. Perhaps you use only organic ingredients and recycled packaging? Is there an unusual flavor combination that no one else has used? Does your product have an interesting story behind it? The important thing to remember is that you cannot rely on the taste alone. It is naive to think that jut because you think it tastes better then everyone else will feel the same.

Selling Your Story

One of the best ways for a small, artisan food producer to get their products on the market is by placing them in independent gourmet stores rather than aiming for national grocery chains. These smaller stores cannot compete with large stores on pricing, and instead will look for more interesting and unique products. Those with a story attached are particularly popular, so if you have a heartwarming story about using your grandmother’s recipes or stumbling upon your flavor combination by accident then use it to your advantage as a sales tool. Another popular angle is the ‘local kid done good’ story so if you are a local manufacturer using local products then this can be a great advantage to you. Another alternative is to sell your product mail order or at farmer’s markets.

Asking For Help

The majority of us would not have the first idea about how to get a food business off the ground which is why asking for help is really important. If you are looking for a starting point, then it is useful to visit the food sciences department at a local university as they often like to get involved in community projects. This is a great way to get independent feedback on your product and the local market. If you are ready to take your product nationwide, then engaging the services of a broker to deal with stockists can also be useful.

Of course there are also a range of legal requirements to consider. The food must be tested for safety and hygiene standards and you may need to get some commercial kitchen space, but these initial considerations are a good place to start if you are seriously considering selling your own food products.