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This question has been answered, and points have been awarded.
Can I Pack A Sauce At Home To Sell In Stores
Posted by Anonymous on
9/15/2007 at 7:28 AM ET
Hi I have a homemade sauce which I want to sell in the grocery stores. Can I pack and label them myself at home and then sell to grocery stores. Do I have to produce the food in a special/particular environment/kitchen, do I need to have any food standards/hygiene certificates before I make the sauce Where can I buy the packing products i.e. bottles (plastic/glass) and the labels.I want to produce on a small scale to start with and then produce more based on demand.I aim to sell in speciality stores such as indian stores to begin with.Also can I buy and add to the recipe the preservatives and additives that will be required for the sauce myself at home?All ideas and advice will be much appreciated
9/15/2007 at 8:21 AM
In the United States, the health and food licensing laws vary state-to-state (the FDA sets national guidelines as well). Contact your state and local health agencies for information on permits and laws that apply to you. You'll also want to have insurance on your business in case someone should get sick from eating your food.
As for supplies, you can search online for "glass bottles", etc. Labels can be printed by your local printer (or ordered online) and hand-attached.
As for preservatives & additives, this would be part of the recipe itself.
9/15/2007 at 10:05 AM
ONLY if you have your kitchen inspected and approved by health department. Most counter systems have 90 degree joints with sealer. This will not work. You may need stainless steel tables, especially made for commercial kitchens. But, all that could change based upon your local, county, state laws. One of our clients produces cakes, commercially/wholesale. Must have commercial kitchen.
9/15/2007 at 11:42 AM
You might want to sell your homemade sauce to grocery stores, they might not want to buy them...until you get approval of the FDA or equivalent.
Basically, food for sale can only be prepared on premises registered. These regulations provide that the premises must be used exclusively for the purpose of preparing food. A domestic kitchen does not meet this requirement as it can be used for other domestic purposes.
You most certainly be required to go through a Food Safety Programme (F.S.P) based in many countries on H.A.C.C.P.(HAZARD ANALYSIS CRITICAL CONTROL POINT ) where you will be asked to identify and rate specific hazards and identify ways of controlling them. But it's not the end. You also can be asked to prove that your suppliers have F.S.Ps that show they are in control of their products, setting specifications/standards for all goods and materials supplied to you....a long process!
You will find valuable information there:
9/16/2007 at 8:09 AM
I'm not sure where you are living. If you happen to be in Britain then the following advice might help:
1) The Health and Safety Executive website gives useful information about this aspect of food manufacture:
2) You local authority will have an environmental health department and their officers will be able to advise you. Make friends with them. They are the people who carry out the spot checks in your area.
3) Your local enterprise agency which assists people in starting their own business will also be able to put you in touch with people who can advise you on all aspects of your business - legal, health and safety, marketing, tax, sales, etc.
4) You will have to undertake food preparation courses. In the UK this includes a food hygiene course. Go on as many courses as you can. This means you learn more, put the required measures in place, reduce the risk of contamination and therefore this may make your insurance a little cheaper.
5) Have you enough capital to substantially change your kitchen? Apart from the kitchen tops, as mentioned by Randall (WMMA), you will need at least another sink, for handwashing, fire safety equipment such as enxtinguishers and blankets, possibly another fridge as there are strict food storage guidelines which must be followed.
6) In the first instance, you may feel you have opened a can of worms considering this venture. The legislation and guidelines appear complex and confusing. But you will adapt and the experience will stand you in good stead for any catering venture for further food manufacturing enterprises you might have.
7) Having been responsible for running schools, this also included health and safety responsibilities for school kitchens and the preparation of food, so I know just how quickly legislation changes. I would join a support network or professional group so that you can keep up-to-date on good food manufacturing practice.
Last year a father who looked after his children at home started out doing what you propose. He was given backing from an entrepeneur and now his Caribbean sauce can be found in several major supermarkets throughout the UK.
Good luck and best wishes with you venture.
9/16/2007 at 3:44 PM
You have a lot to consider. First off, you won't be able to produce enough in your kitchen to sell to grocery stores. Grocery Stores are not easy to get into either. You have to have a lot in place. There are lots of specialty food product companies making great profits without the grocery store.
I would have some sort of distribution/sales plan in place before investing in a kitchen. If you don't know where/how to sell your product, why make it?
Your local/state health dept. probably have the requirements on line.
If you have to produce your product in a commercial kitchen, you will probably have to go thru some sort of training & get some sort of health license. You can rent commercial kitchen space, but look out for hidden costs/fees.
Preservatives & additives are hard to find in small quantities. They don't want to deal with small companies. YOu could try local bakery/food supply places, they might be able to tell you where to go. Even try someplace like Sysco. They offer a lot of products.
If you produce the product yourself, you would never get into a grocery or specialty store without insurance.
With all the costs of getting started you may find that even though the cost per item is slightly more with a contract manufacturer, your cost to get started may be a lot less and they would probably have the sources for the preservatives and everything else your product needs. If you go with a contract manufacturer your time can be spent getting your product to market instead of the day to day making of the product. YOu have to have a lot of time available to both make and distribute the product all by yourself.
A contract manufacturer should also have insurance, thus your insurance costs should be less.
You can sell your product thru specialty stores and thru a wide variety of different shows you yourself do.
Make sure your product is unique and desireable. If your thinking that your product is better than the very popular one thats already selling you will probably always be viewed as the generic copy if you try to communicate that you are the same only better. Even if there are similar products out, make sure your packaging/message sets you apart. Just having a better product isn't enough, people need to feel there is something different/better about yours.
If you do go through the process of figured out the legal requirements and getting set up, you could try
for bottles. They will send samples & they sell overstock, so their price per bottle is about 1/2 to 3/4 less than elsewhere, but you have to spend at least $500.
For labels, eventually you want to have them professionally printed, but I'm a big fan of onlinelabels.com Even if you get your labels professionally designed, it might be good to start with a label on your lazer printer to see the reaction of pontential customers before you invest in a printer.
I also suggest that you try to go to some specialty food or food & gift shows. Trade shows usually have some
seminars on how to market your product etc.
If you think your product would make a good gift, you might do better in the specialty/gift market. Try looking also for trade magazines for the industry. They usually have helpful articles and list upcoming events.
9/20/2007 at 9:15 AM
You need to check with your state or country for permits and licenses. The health department will want to inspect your kitchen. In the USA it is the FDA. The FDA has a good website for proven recipes for canning food. I too jar/can my own sauce. I use Ball products. Labels can be printed by your locate print shop or you can do it on your computer. Print shop labels will look more professional.
You will also need insurance!!
9/30/2007 at 9:14 AM
I am closing this question since it's more than 2 weeks old. We do this to reward the contributions of participants in a timely manner + to give increased visibility to the newer questions.
Thanks for participating!
Carrie (Production Editor)
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