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Package Your Product!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q) How much does it cost to prepare my product to be sold in the marketplace?

The final cost varies from recipe to recipe. A recipe that requires a lot of expensive ingredients and longer cooking time, for example, will be more expensive than a recipe that requires a dry rub, inexpensive ingredients, and no cooking. Also, foods that have to be kept in cold storage have higher overheads compared to foods that must be stored at room temperature. Using a conservative approach, Food Trade Consultants recommends creating minimal amounts of your recipe and restocking your inventory as your sales grow.

We recommend this same conservative approach when choosing your packaging, containers, labels, and managing your general administrative costs.

Q) How does FTC condense the process of starting a food company?

We utilize our relationships with certified food professionals to speed up the process of turning your recipe into a Manufacturer’s Formula. We also generate your Nutritional Facts & Ingredients Statements, Shelf Life Testing, and other necessary paperwork. Our network of professionals offers prompt food analysis and documentation at low rates; however, the final amount varies from recipe to recipe. Your FTC consultant will outline the entire process as well as the timeframe required to complete your individual recipe.

Q) How can I be sure my recipe won’t be stolen?

Before you give us any information regarding your secret recipe or product, we provide you with an industry-standard Nondisclosure Agreement. After you sign the agreement, the only people who see your information are FTC consultants and our network of professionals conducting the analysis and/or batch quotes. We don’t keep your information in our records. Six months after your project is completed, we destroy all the sensitive information we have related to your secret recipe.

Q) Is there a difference between selling my product to restaurants instead of grocery stores?

The FDA requires most of the same analysis and documentation for both restaurants and stores. To be sold to the public, your product has to be produced in a commercially viable, FDA-approved manner within both state and federal food safety regulations. When selling to restaurants, caterers, delis, or other establishments in the food service industry, you may be asked to carry liability insurance. This is very affordable. Some establishment might require inspection of your facility before they issue a purchase order. The food service industry is attractive to most entrepreneurs because they buy larger amounts of product and the container/labeling costs are generally cheaper when compared to product packaged for retail sale in stores or online.

Q) What is my first step?

The first step to packaging your product for profit is to write it down on paper, called “setting your recipe.” As you write it down, you will need to weigh every dash, pinch, and drop of your recipe, no matter what your product is. We recommend investing in a digital scale and weighing everything in grams, then listing the ingredients along with the gram weight next to each ingredient. Next, document each step of the recipe. This includes cooking times, intervals for adding ingredients, setting times, and any other details you wish to add. Once you’re done with setting your recipe, you’re ready to start. We will provide you with the proper forms, including the Service Agreement and a Nondisclosure Agreement, before receiving any information from you.

Q) Do I have to get a UPC code?

Yes. Barcodes are mandatory in the food industry, and you might even be required to have more than one barcode. Whether you sell to restaurants (food service) or stores (retailers, you will need to get UPCs. Usually, stores will ask for two or three barcodes for each product: one for the individual unit on the product label, the second for a case purchase, and a third for a pallet sized purchase. Your wholesale customers use UPC codes to monitor inventory and generate payments to you. If you need assistance with securing barcodes, please ask your FTC consultant for more information. We offer this service free of charge.

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