How to start a Frozen Food Business

Posted by Damian Roberti on

One of the best food businesses ( becasue it is growing more than any other catagory of food) is Frozen Foods. Why? Great question but it is simple.....Almost any food can be frozen, and more and more types of rozen foods are entering the market everyday!


Check out the transcript below from this informative video!

So you have an idea for a fantastic frozen food dinner or a product, and you're trying to figure out how in the world can I get it into local grocery stores? How do you pitch it to a non nationwide chain, something local and make sure you present it in a way that makes it so enticing.

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They're going to want to buy it from you. And I'm going to get into that right now. Okay. So I had a great question about frozen food and exactly the question was in regards to how to get it into local grocery stores. How do you approach them? How do you do that when they're not exactly a nationwide chain who has some corporate buyer who buys on behalf of the frozen food category? How do you do that? So it's a great question. And I'm going to give you a few tips and pointers, and we're going to do it right now.

So I'm going to tell you, number one, the first thing you need to do before you even begin to approach anyone with any food product, especially a frozen food. One is you want to make sure that you have a completed product. Okay? If you have an idea for a frozen food product, don't approach them. If you have a nice, drawn up sketch of how you want the package done, and you've got the food product, but you don't have the packaging finished, don't approach them. You need to have a completed product finished and done before you do. Okay. Number one, number two. How are you going to fulfill the orders? Okay. And I know what you're probably thinking is, well, I just want to figure out how do I pitch it to the idea to them? Well, I'm going to go through the process of the steps and I get to give you the idea of how to actually have a product done.

Because if you approach a local grocery store and they love the idea of your product and they request a sample, but you don't have one, they're not going to be interested in buying. Okay. So number two was where exactly are you going to make it? How are you making it? How are you producing it? If you're doing it from home, you normally cannot actually not normally. And every cottage food law in pretty much every state that has cottage food laws, you cannot sell a product from home to a retail store. Okay. I believe California is the only one currently that has a class B license where you can actually produce products from home and sell them to retailers to then resell them to customers. So they have a third party kind of a clause in there that allows you to do that. That's the only one that I know of.

You really need to have a commercial facility, a co-packer or private label company, something like that going on prior to you approaching a local store. Okay. So number one, we got to make sure that we've got a product finished. Number two, figuring out where you're going to do it. Number three, you need to create a price point. You need to have a wholesale price point. And then of course they recommended or suggested retail price point for a product. Okay? And with that being said, you need to have an understanding of once. You know, who's going to make it for you. If you have a co-packer, you need to know how much they can produce in a certain period of time, you need to know what they can do for you. Um, as far as packaging, uh, logistics, keeping it frozen. Are they going to store it for you or are they going to ship it for you?

What are they going to do? Because you cannot create that price point and the wholesale price point and figuring out what is your case pack going to be prior to you going to a local store. So once you've created the product, you've got your price point. Now you're a couple steps ahead. Now you're ready to go to the next step. You need to create a sell sheet. Before you approach a local grocery store, you got to have some form of information on a hard piece of paper. You need to have a hard copy of a sell sheet. This is going to give the information to the potential buyer, the potential grocery store, as to what the product is. How does it look? Uh, what is the case pack? What is the wholesale, uh, case pack? How much does it cost? Um, what is your turnaround time?

Who's the contact name? Who is the contact number? Everything about the idea of you going to the store. Once you leave the store, they know everything they need to know about your product and how to get in touch with you. That's what a sell sheet does. Okay? And it's ultra important to have that. If you are doing this on your own, if you're known to have a food broker, if you don't have some food distributor, somebody working on your behalf and you're wanting to do this, you need to have these things in step-by-step as to what I'm telling you. Now you have your product, you've got your price. You've got a sell sheet. Now you need to go to the store. But before you do, you need to also bring a sample of the product. Yes. Even if it's a frozen food, I personally would recommend you do that.


Why do I say that? When I got my product in our candy are a lot of candies in stores, uh, throughout fresh markets, I actually went down and I spoke with the corporate buyers and I sent samples and samples, and I said products. So that was one of the reasons why I got into those stores with my product was because I sent them a sample buyers normally want to see touch, taste, smell, feel they want to look at the product. Having a sell sheet is only part of the way that you sell the product, having the product and the sell sheet is the way you actually do it. If you're doing this on your own, okay? If you're paying a big hive, heist, a big costly food broker to do it for you, you don't need to do all this. That's what they do. So you've got that information.


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Now you're set to go give your pitch. Now what I would recommend you do, if this is a local store, and this is a way to create a rapport, a relationship with the potential buyer before you actually do it, you need to frequent the store. Maybe even potentially, you know, ask, ask to speak with a manager, maybe ask a few questions. Hey, who does your bind? By the way, you don't have to tell them who you are. You don't have to just go in and out frequent the store. So the people there get familiar with who you are now from there. Then you have the ability to ask a few questions. Hey, you know, I, uh, I wanted to know how do you get a new product in your store? I was just curious to know, is there a manager, is there a store buyer?

Is there like a department, a frozen food buyer for you guys? Or does the owner do it now? These are stores that are not like Kroger, Publix Albertson's any of that type of thing. Wagman's they're not nationwide chains. Okay. Because there's a different way. You have to approach them, compare it to a local store. Okay. So you go in and you start asking these questions and then eventually you're going to go back and you're going to bring a sample. And you're going to ask to meet with whomever is in charge of buying. Then you're going to go in, you're going to pitch your product. Now, what I would recommend you do is you go in there with your product and yourself sheet and you begin to let them know what the product is. Now. Now on top of that, one of the most important aspects of pitching a food product is the story.

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What's the story behind it because grocery stores and these types of stores that sell food products. When you're sitting with a buyer or we're sitting with a potential customer of yours, they love the backstory. They love the story about the mom and pop who maybe started small, or you've got a new, fresh idea. Maybe it's something about it being organic, maybe something about gluten free, whatever that is. And then why are you doing it? Like if you were a mother and you had a couple of kids and you found out that they're gluten intolerant, but you created this amazing

Gluten free product for kids, the story behind your food product is a huge asset when pitching your car. Okay? So you want to do it this way. Those are the few steps that I would recommend getting.

Now, once you do this and you've met with them, you leave them the information you just need to be patient don't knock on their door the next day and say, Hey, have you made a decision or even three or four days, days later, or even a week, it may take a couple of weeks for them to figure out if it's something they want to try. Now, the only other thing that I would say you may run into is that a lot of locally owned businesses like groceries chains, or grocery stores that bring on board locally produced products, they may ask you to sample the product. My wife and I had to do that. We actually did it every weekend. Uh, the nine stores that we had, we had to literally pick our table up, set it up at nine different stores every week on Saturday and Sunday, we were out all over, um, sampling our product.

And they may ask you to do that. So keep in mind that it's not always said and done when you just drop off a sample and they may place an order. They may want you to come in and kind of push it and push it to sample that and give it out to the customers, work out, work with it, with the customers as they come in, uh, giving them samples and telling them where they can buy it and how much you make, how much it costs, um, and then where they can find it in the store. So that may be something potentially they'll say, Hey, let's just, we need you to do that. So those are a few steps, uh, in order for you to get your frozen food product in to a local market compared to trying to get it into a nationwide chain, if you want to get into a nationwide chain, that's a whole nother video and the steps to do that are much more involved, and it is much more challenging because it becomes even more fierce and very competitive to try to get that shelf space for your product. So I always recommend to all of my clients that even do consulting with try, do local,

Get yourself local. And then from there,

Get as big as you want. Okay.

Road food brokers, maybe co-packers or manufacturers, and a whole ad team and a whole bunch of people to help you promote it.

I think you can do that on the road, but when you're first starting, you start local, start small, get a few stores under your belt. So I'll see you guys on the next video. And as always, if this was helpful that we know down below and give me a comment or two, and I will get back to it as soon as I can. I'll see you guys on the next video.

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