Most food manufacturers aren’t all that familiar with the world of marketing. Creating the perfect product is one thing, but getting people to purchase it is another matter altogether. And for food manufacturers just starting out in the business, chances are you are going to need some guidance on how to sell your product.
Rather than taking a crash course on marketing or spending hours scouring the internet for the latest food trends, it’s a good idea to keep things simple when you are first starting out. Marketing your food product doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. There are, however, a few key tips that are incredibly useful when it comes to marketing your food product.
Tip #1: Get a Nutrition Facts Panel
Many food manufacturers just starting out don’t get nutrition facts panels for their products because the FDA doesn’t require them to do so. This exemption generally applies to manufacturers selling their products through small retailers that have less than $500,000 of gross annual sales and less than $50,000 of annual food sales, or if you sell less than 100,000 units of your product in a 1-year period.
Even if you are planning on only selling your product in retail locations that don’t require you to have a nutrition facts panel—like local shops or at the farmers’ market—or if your product is low-volume, it is still a good idea to have a nutrition facts panel for your product. A nutrition facts panel is like a mark of transparency for a company. Consumers tend to trust products that disclose ingredient information, nutrient content data, and of course, calorie amounts. Whether you like it or not, we live in an age where people want information about the food they eat. Plus, since people are used to having nutrition facts panels on the food products they buy, they will likely expect it from yours, too.
The good news is, you don’t have to spend a fortune to obtain a nutrition facts panel for your product. If you use an online nutrition analysis software like LabelCalc, it will cost you as little as $225 to get an accurate, FDA-compliant nutrition facts panel and ingredient list. Compared to the $700 you would spend on food lab analysis or the $400 you’d spend having an independent consultant do the work for you, that’s just a drop in your company’s bucket.
Tip #2: Use Nutrient Content Claims and/or Health Claims
Once you have your nutrition facts panel, you can maximize the results from your analysis by using nutrient content claims and health claims to draw attention to the positive features of your product.
Nutrient content claims refer to the amount of a nutrient in a product or compare the levels of a nutrient in that food with a specific reference food. Low fat, low sodium, low-calorie, and high-fiber are just a few nutrient content claims you could use on your product.
Health claims, on the other hand, are statements that point to the relationship between an ingredient and a reduced risk of a disease or health condition. For example, if your product has high levels of calcium and vitamin D, you may be able to use the following health claim on your packaging: “Adequate dietary calcium and vitamin D may reduce the risk of osteoporosis later in life.”
In order to determine which nutrient content claims or health claims your product qualifies for, you’ll need to do some research on the specific FDA regulations for each claim. It can get a little tricky, however, to determine exactly what claims your product qualifies for, which brings me to my third tip…
Tip #3: Work With an Expert Label Consultant
Working with an expert label consultant is one of the best things you can do when it comes to marketing your product. They will have the expertise and the resources needed to easily determine which nutrient content claims and health claims your product qualifies for and which ones would benefit your product most.
Not only will they be able to help you with which claims to make on your product, but they can also give you great insider tips for marketing your product. After working with hundreds of food manufacturers, an experienced consultant will have a good sense of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to marketing food products. They may also be able to point you in the direction of other resources that could improve your marketing game.
Plus, expert label consultants can check your nutrition facts panel to make sure all your values are accurate and answer any questions you have about FDA regulations. It truly is invaluable to have the support of an expert as you navigate the world of food manufacturing—especially if you are new to this business.
Marketing Your Food Product Made Easy
The important thing to remember when thinking about marketing your food product is that as your business grows you can easily make tweaks and changes to your marketing strategy. Even though you’ve launched your product, nothing needs to be set in stone. Once your product has been on the market for a while, you will be able to see what works and what doesn’t. Actively asking for feedback from your customers to find out what attracts them to your product and what could be improved upon is a great way to learn where your marketing strategy should be headed.
It is, however, important to have the most important elements, like the nutrition facts panel and the health claims and/or nutrient content claims, in place from the get-go. That way, consumers will know that your product is legitimate and your company is trustworthy. And in the world of marketing, these are two critical components of encouraging sales of your product.
LabelCalc is an industry-leading online nutrition analysis software that helps food manufacturers create FDA-compliant nutrition facts panels. To learn more, contact us today.