Sunday 25 February 2018

Do your research before you launch your product

Feargal Quinn
Feargal Quinn

Feargal Quinn

I am interested in starting a food business but am unsure about what I might produce and how to go about it. Do you have any thoughts?

AYou are asking the right question at the right time. Too many early stage food entrepreneurs rush out and start producing a product without putting sufficient thought into whether there is a gap in the market for it or not and whether this gap is large enough to sustain their business.

The answer to your question is that you need to spend significant time conducting a feasibility study to identify the correct gap.

There is lots of great information available from sources like Bord Bia which will guide you. And it is always a good idea to talk to those working in the food retail and food service industry and get their view point.

There is a pattern with some early stage food producers that they tend to produce products which are easily made and perhaps can be started at home; the result can be some very overcrowded food categories.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with that once the business entrepreneur realises there will be significant limitations in sales within these categories.

The other practical piece of advice I can give you is to write up a strong business plan. The act of doing this will demonstrate to you whether your idea is credible and has commercial potential.

I remember, many years ago in Superquinn, investing a significant amount of money in a new fresh pasta concept which didn't succeed. Had we done the correct research and feasibility study. We could have determined this before we started the project instead of wasting resources and energy.

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