Starting a food business is easy. Starting a successful business is something else. Of course, as in any business, there is always the element of luck. If you believe that you have luck on your side, then go for it. Especially if you think you have the next product which will take the market by storm.
But is your product(s) ready? Just because your family tells you that you make the greatest bibinka (rice cake) in the whole world does not mean that your bibinka is ready for the market.
There are things to consider such as:
Marketability. It is not safe to assume that just because you think you have a great product means that other people will think so too. Try making some for your friends and ask for their honest feedback. Make sure that they are aware that you are not looking for self affirmation but an honest feedback on what they think of your product.
Willingness to buy. People liking your product does not necessarily translate to a willingness to buy. You must also consider your market segment. You might have a great bibinka recipe but if the community where you live has no preference for Asian food then you'll need to find a different set of customers.
Price / Cost. How much does it take to produce your product? What price are customers willing to pay for it? Price is affected by the image you want to project for your product and the environment where you want to sell. Cost is the sum total of your raw materials, labor, blood, sweat and tears that you put into producing your product.
Mass production. Eventually you will have to consider producing your product in larger quantities. At this stage, doing everything by yourself will no longer be practical. This is the time when you have to consider sharing your recipe and techniques with other people. This is more difficult than it sounds since most people will want to keep their recipe a secret to prevent others from profiting from it.
There are several solutions to this problem most of which can be handled by someone with experience in Food Research and Development (R&D). You may not need to hire a professional as long as you know someone you trust who will not give away your secrets and is competent enough to standardize your recipe for you.
Storage. Once you begin producing your product in large quantities you will need to consider how to keep the products fresh and protected from contamination. This is where packaging and storage facilities come into play.
Shelf life. If you want your product to reach a wider market, it needs to stay fresh longer. Shelf life is directly affected by the nature of your product, your methods of production, packaging and storage.
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2. Development of a Food Security Program for a high level processor.
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Bahandi Trade Fair (Eastern Visayas Trade Fair): Nov. 7-11, 2012, SM Megatrade Hall 1
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