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 99designs.co.uk (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.