Launching a Specialty Food Product Business in 2021

Will 2021 be another good year to launch a specialty food product? If previous growth continues, it certainly will be. The specialty food segment has steadily grown in recent years to make up more than 16% of the total food market, according to Food Business News. Food Dive reported that the sale of specialty foods totaled $158.4 billion in 2019, marking 10.7 percent growth over a two year period.

If you are thinking about your tasty recipes to market, you should know the vital role that marketing and packaging design play in creating success. Without eye-catching product packaging and a compelling story, your food product business probably won’t go very far.

What are specialty foods?

Specialty foods are often produced in limited quantities and are distributed regionally. Made by small and medium-sized businesses, specialty foods are usually made of premium ingredients and many would be considered gourmet. Specialty foods include snacks, soft drinks, baking mixes, and more — pretty much any packaged food item that isn’t manufactured by a multinational conglomerate.

Marketing specialty foods to consumers

Marketing plays an especially important role when it comes to the specialty foods business, including product packaging design. The industry is very competitive, which means new products need to stand out and differentiate themselves from other purveyors in the same category. One way to accomplish this goal is through an eye-catching product package that highlights the product’s best features while telling the brand story.

Brand-building is a big part of the specialty food business. A functional website and a steady stream of social media content are essential tools for creating a brand identity online. The founders of specialty food businesses are often amazing cooks or farmers, but they may lack the skills and knowledge needed to build a brand or design packaging for their creations. In such cases, specialty foods entrepreneurs could assemble a freelance team to handle marketing for them.

Food packing designer

Food packaging design is extremely important to consumers. A recent survey from food label printer Luminer found that 60% of shoppers won’t buy products that don’t provide enough information on their labels. The same survey also found that about one-third of shoppers will reject a product just because they don’t like the label.

When hiring a freelance food packaging designer, you’ll want to find someone that will deliver you print-ready image files of your packaging. A good food packaging design package should also include 3D renderings of the assembled package. Make sure you hire a designer that will include “dielines” as well. These are special marks that show all of the cut and fold lines of the packaging when it is flattened out.

Product photographer

Food photography is a specialized skill, and you’ll want to hire a pro to make your product look as appetizing and desirable as it can be in marketing materials. Whether you need fodder for your brand’s Instagram account, e-commerce store, or your product label, a quality product photographer is a must hire at some point.

E-commerce website builder

You may plan to sell your food product wholesale to grocers or other gourmet food stores, but don’t underestimate the power of an e-commerce website to sell your product directly to consumers. According to the Specialty Food Association, e-commerce sales of specialty foods increased more than 132% last year.

Online sales have continued to grow during the pandemic as consumers have avoided brick and mortar establishments and at the same time cook and eat more at home. That means having a website where customers can order products directly is a must-have.

Social media manager

Social media plays a key role in the success of specialty food companies. Not only is social media great for building a brand identity and generating buzz with contests, but many food businesses use social media ads to drive sales. Social media advertising allows companies to target ads to particular groups of consumers that are most likely to consume their products.

Food technologist

Every food product is required by law to have a nutritional facts panel printed on its label. A freelance food technologist can calculate the nutrient totals for your product when you provide an ingredient list and recipe. Having an accurate nutrition facts panel will ensure your product is in compliance with federal law.

Ready to launch

As you can see launching your own food business is within reach when you assemble a freelance team to carry out your vision. With Ndiwano, you can find all the help you need to market your specialty food product, or anything else. Start exploring the Ndiwano marketplace to recruit the expert talent you need to start your business.

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