Recipe for Success

An Insider's Guide to Bringing Your Natural Food to Market

 Recipe for Success

Author: Abigail Steinberg
Pub Date: November 2015
Print Edition: $18.95
Print ISBN: 9780814436868
Page Count: 188
Format: Paper or Softback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814436875

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Excerpt

You have the greatest new natural product, and it is sure to be a smash success! Your friends can’t stop talking about it, so grocery stores across the country will never know what hit them, right? Before you risk thousands of dollars, though, bringing your product to market, keep reading. With this book I will show you how to navigate common problems, emotional pitfalls, and highly expensive traps that start-ups fall into and remain in on the path to success.

I have seen firsthand the many mistakes natural foods manufacturers make when trying to get their new product onto store shelves, costing themselves millions of dollars. For example, launching a product so similar to competitors’ products that customers cannot tell the difference. Changing Universal Product Codes (UPCs) midlaunch and losing every account the company worked so hard to gain. Pushing a product that did not sell, slowly bankrupting the manufacturer. I don’t want you to suffer the same self-inflicted wounds.

Others will try to wound you themselves. Buyers, stores, employees, distributors, brokers, and brand ambassadors all love new products, and surprisingly that is true even when a new product fails. Why? Because all of these players skim cash from your product. You will be encouraged to spend an exorbitant amount of cash on slotting fees, ads, MCB (Merchant Charge Back) and OI (Off Invoice), distributor setups, free-fills, brokers, demos, marketing, promotions, trade shows, table tops, mail outs, samples, and much more without actually increasing your sales. And even if you do, these players couldn’t care less if you didn’t see a penny yourself. I want you to, though.

The first few times that I encountered these mistakes, I thought, “This can’t be normal.” But when I saw them over and over again it left me wondering why new product manufacturers kept making them. In my search for an answer I discovered that there is not a single field guide to entering this trillion-dollar industry and traveling safely through its labyrinthine distribution channels. True, plenty of general business books exist. They explain strategy and global expansion,

describe retailing and distributing, and discuss budgets and time management. They show you how to run a business in general, but not how to run a business in any specific industry. This book, however, gives you the secrets to running a natural foods business, including the following:

 Determining which retailers to target

 Finding distributors

 Finding brokers you can trust

 Developing an advertising and marketing plan

 Crafting an exit strategy

Who am I to write this book?

I am not perfect, of course. I have made mistakes. Better you learn from mine, though, instead of your own. If you can see your product on the shelf, then so can I, and if you have a dream, then let’s dream big. Why not? Many have entered the natural products arena and come out as millionaires, whether they sold out to a competitor or secured venture capital money and became major players themselves.

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