What Is A Scheduled Process?

What Is A Scheduled Process? 3 Reasons Why Getting One Is Important

What Is A Scheduled Process?

You just came up with a brand new product. Now, you want to get it distributed and produced on a large scale to send out to stores. Before you can do that you need to determine if you need to get a scheduled process completed. Most beverages, sauces, and condiments need a scheduled process. What is a scheduled process?

      A scheduled process is a detailed recipe and procedure developed for your product. It is reviewed and edited by a recognized process authority, some of which are listed here. The scheduled process also includes information about your product’s ingredients, formulation tasks, packaging details, storage, and distribution guidelines. There are some important aspects of a scheduled process that you need to be aware of before starting to produce food. 

 Acidified Foods Need A Scheduled Process

     Drinks, beverages, and even canned goods that have acidic substances in them are often required by law to get a scheduled process done for their product. This is important because acidified food and drinks are regulated more closely due to the shelf life stability requirements. Your scheduled process makes sure you are able to understand and follow critical aspects of production that must be met each time you make a batch of your product. 

      If an acidified food or beverage is improperly processed and distributed, the health of your consumers may be adversely affected The financial, legal, and brand reputation damage of a forced recall can be minimized with a proper Scheduled Process. 

 Records & Registration

     Having your products go through a scheduled process review also forces you to produce all the proper documentation. These documents help prove that your product  has been reviewed and verified safe by a recognized process authority.    

The critical control points steps laid out in the scheduled process must be followed. If you don’t complete each of these important steps successfully as they are listed then your product may be unsafe and is illegal for sale. Proving the safety of your products for customer’s use should be one of your top concerns.

      To prove that you completed all tasks and all necessary procedures you have to keep great records. It is a requirement that you keep records every time you produce your product. Anytime you make changes to the process, you have to make sure you note those changes on your records and go to the process authority for an amendment. The food manufacturer is required to register all your documents with the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). It’s important to keep good records and registrations in order to provide an extra level of protection. Generally, the manufacturer will take care of these records for you. 

     In conclusion, getting your scheduled process done when your product is ready for a mainstream distribution is as important as your budgets, projections, and goals.

When you’re ready, you can complete the application with us at Organic Food Incubator, and we’ll help you get it done fast and correct the first time.

 

Watch This Video Learn More About Scheduled Process!

4 Benefits Of Having An Organic Food Certified Product

4 Benefits Of Having An Organic Food Certified Product

4 Benefits Of Having An Organic Food Certified Product

You just got your new product finished, you got your Schedule Process, and now you’re ready to get your product to mainstream markets and supermarkets. But then your wondering should you get your product organic food certified or not. But let me tell you this first, not all products need an organic food certification. You have to use your best judgment. To decide that question first we need to talk about some of the benefits of having an organic food certified product will provide.

1. Increase Brand Awareness

Once you get your product approved, as an organic certified product, you are permitted to use the USDA Organic logol that you can put on your product labels. With increased demands of organic foods by consumers and retailers these days it allows you to capitalize on this organic growth movement. Having your organic food certified gives you the opportunity to get your product exposure to a new set of locations and customers that are not too familiar with your brand. Brand awareness is important for any business to consider because it helps with marketing your business and your products. Having your product certified organic can help garner some attraction to some of your older products that haven’t been getting conversions.

2. Acceptance To More Markets

Now that your product has been certified it has the potential to open more doors than you have previously experienced. There are some markets and stores out there that will only sell organic products. For example, you would normally see a local health food shop featuring their top organic food certified products. So basically if you would like to be accepted into some of the smaller or local organic markets having an organic certified product might be your ticket into those places. 

3. More Revenue

Every business wants to be successful and make money. To do that, you have to get your product to profitability as quickly as possible. How does getting your product organic food certified help you generate profit? Consider this: if you’ve been to Whole Foods Supermarket before, you may have noticed that organic foods are almost always more expensive than conventional non organic food. You can price your products higher when they are organic certified because some people only buy and eat organic food.There are many opportunities to make money in the organic food industry because of product differentiation and perceived higher quality.

 

4. Organic Food Certified Trust

Many people take their health very seriously and so are very deliberate about what they put into their bodies. These customers are far more likely to buy your product if it’s organic. Right now, the organic lifestyle is trending upwards. Consumers trust brands that are marked as certified organic more and more as awareness increases. There are many positive possibilities and much potential for business growth in this industry.

In a world where product reputation is extremely important, you should always strive to produce the best versions of your products. It’s hard to rebuild a good reputation once you’ve lost it. Your customers are putting their trust in your product because of the organic certified seal. You can’t claim your product is organic when it’s not, as you can face serious legal consequences for doing so.

When you’re ready for your organic certification you can contact us at Organic Food Incubator to help you get it started. Contact us HERE! 

Continue Reading: Where To Start? How To Start Producing And Selling Your Product!



Intro To Product Shelf Stability And Acidity

Intro To Product Shelf Stability And Acidity

Intro To Product Shelf Stability And Acidity

For many products, acidity is a very important aspect of development, as it can help ensure shelf stability. In small batches of food manufacturing,  pH is a critical factor enabling your product to be shelf-stable. pH is important for food items as pathogenic bacteria cannot grow in a low pH environment.

The pH scale is a 14 point reference scale from 0 to 14, where 0 is the most acidic and 14 is the most alkaline. 7 is considered neutral with acidic below that value and alkaline above. Most microbes prefer a neutral or near-neutral environment. It is measured with a pH meter. There are many types of pH meters, but generally, a digital unit with a probe is more accurate. They can cost $250 or more, but a good meter is worth the investment. The meter must be calibrated frequently to give accurate measurements and requires buffering liquid for this procedure. All of this equipment can be purchased from a reputable company such as Cole Parmer.

Each bacteria has a different acidity threshold that will kill it. The most dangerous pathogen as far as shelf stability is concerned is Clostridium botulinum (botulism) which cannot grow below a pH of 4.5. As a reference, vinegar and lemon juice have an approximate pH of 2. Tomatoes have an approximate pH of 4 and most vegetables have a pH between 6 and 7, which is close to neutral. As a contrast, soapy water has a pH of approximately 12, which is alkaline. Ingredients with a low pH are sour and any additions of acid – lactic, malic, citric, vinegar, lemon juice or any other acids – will make your product more tart.

To be safely packed, your product’s pH generally is used in conjunction with temperature to prevent the possibility of mold or pathogen growth. When used together and evaluated by a recognized process authority, your product may be stored at ambient temperatures and will be safe for an extended time. This can be done without the addition of dangerous chemicals. 

This type of control is essential to ensure that your product is safely manufactured, will have a long shelf life and will be safe for your customers. 

You can continue to read: The importance Of A Scheduled Process?

Who Is My Target Market? A Product Marketing Tip

Who Is My Target Market? A Product Marketing Tip

Who Is My Target Market? A Product Marketing Tip

Who is my target market? Identifying your target market is a crucial step in creating a successful product. Often people producing a product will say that their product is for everyone, but that is a mistake! Many different consumer bases may purchase your product, but you will have a few core target markets or target audiences that make up the bulk of your purchases. So–how do you figure out who your target market is?

First, you must understand the need your product fills. What are the core benefits your product has? Create a simple definition of your product and its benefits.

Once you have a good idea of your product, research potential target markets. There is a lot of free and available for purchase market research online. Analyze each group’s values, priorities, and the other types of products they purchase. Who are influencers to these groups? Do they value Organic or Kosher certification? How is your product differentiated from the other products they purchase? Although you can research your targets infinitely, spend some time getting a better idea of the groups you want to focus on.

Once you figure out your key market you can use that information to shape your product in a way that highlights the benefits those groups see as priorities. You can use marketing in the areas that most likely to reach those consumer groups. A better understanding of your target market can transform your product from a good idea to a huge success!

Read this next article article: Pretend You Are Bigger Than You Are

Where To Start? How To Start Producing And Selling Your Product!

Where To Start? How To Start Producing And Selling Your Product

Where To Start? How To Start Producing And Selling Your Product!

You have an incredible product that you want to produce and sell. We would love to help–but before we do, here are some steps to streamline the process:

  1. Know your product- Understand the measurements and ingredients needed to make your product. Understand what your options are for wholesale ingredients and what the most cost-effective way to store and purchase them. If possible, come prepared with a scheduled process. If you do not have one already, the OFI provides services to create one for your product.
  1. Equipment Needs- While the Organic Food Incubator has a considerable complement of equipment f, you may need a product specific machine that  we do not currently have. For information about the equipment we have available check here.
  1. Packaging Needs-  Product, packaging needs may differ. When choosing  the packaging it is important to think about maintaining flavor, freshness, product shape, and if production will affect the package (i.e. heat or freezing product).
  1. Timeline- Have a timeline of your production expectations. Is this the first time you are producing this produc?Do you want a trial run? How often do you plan to produce?
  2. Licensing and Insurance- Make sure you have the licensing and insurance you need to produce your product. There are accredited programs that offer training and licensing.

If you do not know this information and you’re still not sure where to start, OFI provides consulting services to help you make your product. For consulting services, reach out here.

Continue Reading: 3 Reasons Why Getting A Scheduled Process Is Important

Is It Important To Be Certified Organic Or Kosher?

Be Certified Organic Or Kosher?

Is It Important To Be Certified Organic Or Kosher?

Is it important to be certified organic or kosher? Both of these certifications have benefits but are often costly, so they are not suitable for all products. However, having these certifications may open your product to new markets. 

USDA organic certification means that you have proven that your product is made with ingredients that are grown and processed with approved substances that are USDA verified. The image below outlines what the USDA seal ensures.

Some customers are only interested in organic products or may be willing to pay a premium for organic certification. If you think you will have an increased customer base through organic certification it may be the right choice. However, in many cases, if you provide a high-quality trustworthy product to consumers, organic certification may not be necessary.

This stands true for kosher certification as well. Using the Kof-K emblem, we are able to provide kosher certification for products. Kosher certification can be beneficial if your consumer base sees kosher certification as a priority.

In order to get a better idea of the benefit these certifications may provide to your product, you need to understand your target market. Research your potential target markets and their priorities to see if these certifications are the right choice for you.

If you are interested in gaining a certified organic or kosher certificate for your product please Contact Us Here to help you get your application setup the right way.

 

Margins And Costs| Where Is Your Profit?

Margins And Costs| Where Is Your Profit?

Margins And Costs Where Is Your Profit?

When we are talking about margins and costs relating to the food manufacturing industry, you need to know some basic information. Perhaps the most important information is what portion of the money earned from your product you’ll actually be making!

Unfortunately, you do not get to take home your retail price. Before you see a profit, the grocer’s margin is deducted, the distributor’s margin is deducted and your costs are deducted. The amount that is remaining is your profit.

Grocer’s margins are a percentage of the retail price, which can be up to 40%.

Distributor’s margins are a percentage of the grocer’s cost, sometimes up to 35%

Here’s a Simple Example:

 

Retail Price             $10.00

Grocer Margin        $4.00     40% of Retail Price

Grocer Cost            $6.00

Distributor Margin $2.10      35% of Grocer Cost

Cost to Distributor $3.90      Proceeds to Entrepreneur

Proceeds to Entrepreneur includes cost of manufacture, ingredients, bottles, caps, labels, transportation, marketing, etc. and PROFIT hopefully.

 

Your profit is the difference between ALL of your costs and selling price.

Your costs can include ingredients, packaging, and labor. These are the cost of goods sold. In addition, your costs can also include marketing, insurance, social media promotion, setting up/maintaining your website, product transportation, utilities, and more. Before launching your product, consider all of the factors that will affect your profit and your margins.

Read Next: Who is My Target Market? 

Business Tip: Pretend You Are Bigger Than You Are

Business Tip: Pretend You Are Bigger Than You Are

Business Tip: Pretend You Are Bigger Than You Are

Just like meeting a person for the first time, businesses often make judgments on first impressions. Here’s a business tip that you might want to consider- pretend you’re bigger than you are.

Have all your business formation information ready before contacting any suppliers. Make sure you have your EIN number, LLC documents, prepared W9, website and business email addresses prior to contacting vendors, suppliers, potential clients, or distributors.

Product and ingredient suppliers will often ask for this information prior to giving out bulk pricing for packaging and ingredients.  They often prefer that smaller companies and individuals go through a distributor. However, it is essential for your business planning to know what the bulk direct and distributor pricing will beeven if it’s unlikely that you will order from them for months or years. Make sure you ask the price per pallet, the price per truckload, and what the minimum order is.

The goal in your business planning is to determine if your business and product can be profitable 1 or 5 years from now. To do that you need all of the information, in order to understand where the price breaks are for ingredients, packaging materials, and manufacturing. If a truckload price doesn’t work in your pro forma, then you have a hobby, not a viable business. 

For example if you use sugar, a large company like Wholesome Sweeteners is not going to engage with you if you only want to purchase 50 pounds. Instead, they will direct you to a distributor. But if you say “ I purchase 6 pallets per quarter, what is your MOQ (minimum order quantity)”, then you will get their attention. 

Other businesses can be hesitant to give out information to consumers, so it helps if you can present like you are a larger more established business even if you are just starting out. 

This research will help you determine if your great hobby will also make a great business.






Read Another Business Tip: Where Is Your Profits?

What Is Food Shelf Stability And Expiration

Food Shelf Stability And Expiration

Most products that OFI produces are shelf-stable, meaning that they do not need to be refrigerated, and must be subjected to heat treatment to prevent the growth of pathogens, primarily botulism. This heat treatment can offer shelf stability for a long time.

Our customers at OFI set their best by dates for food quality as well as food safety. Often the expiration has more to do with the freshness than the issue of contamination.

The only true way to find the food safety expiration is with a shelf study performed by a food science laboratory. This is a relatively expensive exercise for a small business and typically takes a long time. There are some facilities that will perform an accelerated shelf study, but they are costly.

A key term is commercially sterile. It doesn’t mean that it is sterile. But that under normal conditions ( 55  to 80 F) microorganisms will not grow.

Most products with a validated SP are considered commercially sterile. With a commercially sterile product, there is no expiration date.

However, there are other factors:

Maybe you feel that it doesn’t taste as good after 6 months or a year

Maybe the color fades after time

Unlimited liability – as a brand owner is not good to have unlimited liability. for example, even though it doesn’t expire, you may want to say 2 years or 3 years that the old items come off the shelf life.

Continue reading about Food Shelf Stability And Expiration Here: Intro To Product Stability

Commercial Kitchen Rental in NJ For Daily And Monthly Use

Commercial Kitchen Rental In NJ For Daily And Monthly Use

Commercial Kitchen Rental In NJ For Daily And Monthly Use

If you’re just starting out on your journey into the food and beverage industry you will eventually run into the dilemma of where are you going to produce your products.  Find the right working space to produce your product is a very important cornerstone of your product development and growth. Finding the right commercial kitchen rental that has the right amount of space and the right equipment is another aspect that can affect your product production. 

Even if you’re doing great producing your product at your mom’s basement, at some point you will have to think about upgrading to a commercial kitchen. Because as your products get more popular and sales pick up, so will the demand for more of your product to be produced. More space can mean more employees and equipment you can use to help increase the production of your products. Don’t limit your product development growth with unnecessary constraints. 

There is a new food economy emerging today it isn’t just about the products we consume or produce. It’s more about the culture and community we are creating.  We welcome mindful food and drink entrepreneurs to come to the Organic Food Incubator to bring your dream to life.  Our commercial kitchen rental in NJ has everything you need to get you started. Join forces with other entrepreneurs that are working to change the way our food system works.

For more details about our commercial kitchens by visiting our Kitchen Details and Pricing Page