Getting started - considering routes to market - premium hot sauce brand

by smashignition. Posted on Sep 10, 2020    1    2

Hi everyone, this is my first post about my nascent start-at-home business, I'd really appreciate your feedback and input.

Idea: Make and sell premium brand hot sauce / chilli sauce

Market niche: For people that love spicy food, but maybe don't have spicy food as part of their cultural background. This product is about the branding - the bottle and lable design will come across as high quality, premium, unique, small batch.

Product: I'm busy working on the recipe, doing taste tests to get feedback from friends and local business owners. I've bought a few sample bottles and have selected the bottle to use along with packaging. I plan on engaging with a designer to design do the bottle labels, probably through (this will be the largest single expense required before launch)

Other considerations: I'm researching the necessary training and compliance regulations needed to manafacture and sell food products within my country.

Route to market: This is where I'm not sure and currently having a good think.

  • Local / small shops - I can speak to some local shops, but I'm not sure what margin they would be expecting nor how much they could sell the product for
  • Online Marketplace (e.g. Etsy, ebay, notonthehighstreet) - Low risk & cheap to list on such sites, a lot of competition though, fees can be high
  • Online direct (e.g. Shopify) - I've got a good idea at how to price the product and am comfortable in setting up a Shopify site, but how would I advertise the product and go from 0 to sales without a massive advertising budget? What are the most effective channels for such a product anyway (Facebook, Google Ads, IG influencers, etc.)?
  • Local produce markets - Depending on the COVID situation, would be good to get to a few of these, especially around the holiday period
  • Larger retailers and supermarkets: I don't have manafacturing scale for this channel, plus I won't be able to compete on price.

So, my current thinking is to finalise the recipe and launch on one or two marketplaces first, before considering creating my own web presence. I just hope that not having a separate site will not detract from consumer confidence if they are looking to purchase from a marketplace.

Thank you in advance for your thoughts and feedback.


kcmike 1

Pretty crowded space. Make sure you highlight what sets you apart, not just “heat”. You’ll probably have to give up some margin to get distribution. Either by paying distributor/sales or direct to retailer as acquisition cost. Good luck! You have a tough expensive journey ahead.

GhostwriterAdalyn 2

You shouldn't start considering creating your own web presence when you have everything ready, but a bit in advance. You can start by setting up some social media accounts to create anticipation.

Give the product an unique twist. If the label comes across as premium, the sauce should be top notch as well.

Talking to local shops and advertising it in local produce markets are good ideas too. Maybe getting a place there and promote it yourself if that's possible. Offer people a taste of the product. If it's good, they'll buy it.