Do you have an awesome idea for a drink that you think consumers would love? Does everybody who tries your recipe tell you that you should try to start a business based on your unique product? Are you wondering how to turn that idea into a marketable beverage for store shelves?
You need the help of a professional product development company. This quick guide will explain the usual product development process so that you’ll know what to expect.
Research and Analysis of your product
Turning your concept into a marketable product requires extensive research and analysis. What is your target audience? Is there a high demand for this type of product? How much will you be able to charge for your product? These are the types of questions that can only be answered through careful market research and analysis.
This information will help your product development team create a preliminary formula that fits your budget, along with possible manufacturing techniques that fit your requirements and goals. This cycle will continue until your team can calculate an approximate cost of production and, ultimately, your potential profit margins.
Creating a Prototype
You have probably already created a multitude of prototypes in your own kitchen, but the commercial beverage prototyping process is quite different. The ingredients and equipment you use in your own kitchen are going to be very different from the techniques used in commercial manufacturing.
Beverage development companies use food chemistry laboratories to test different formulations and preparation techniques – the process will simulate how your product will turn out once you scale up the recipe for mass production. Prototyping may also include various manufacturing and packaging constraints.
Preparing for Production
The numbers quoted during the original cost/profit analysis are sure to change as the prototyping process nears finalization. This is a good sign, because it means that your dream is close to becoming an economically feasible reality. Those numbers will continue to evolve even further as your beverage development team helps you source suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers.
If you hire someone to help with beverage development, you should hire a company willing to stick with you all the way to the end of the process. Full-service product development teams can help you negotiate prices and terms with your contract manufacturers and packagers, and can even help you meet quality assurance and labeling standards. There is just so much to consider, it’s so hard to go it alone.
Taking the First Steps
Those first few interviews with your product development team are going to be the most confusing. Your best bet is to show up prepared. Take some time to research the product development process in-depth, and take time to interview other business owners about how they initially got their own products onto store shelves.
Keep working on your recipe all the way up until the first meeting with your beverage development team – you will need to bring a thorough copy of your recipe (including brand names of ingredients, techniques used to process the ingredients, storage, etc.) so that your prototyping team can accurately recreate your awesome idea. Take time to clarify and solidify your goals. After all, the beverage development team should be working to further your goals – they cannot and will not tell you what to do, they can only tell you the best way to do it.
Get excited! Never stop learning! Don’t give up! Your new beverage could be on the store shelves before you know it. The entire process is fascinating, especially once you get past the initial consultations and into real prototyping and production.