Selling Food Online Subscriber Questions Marketing Food Online Youtube Channel

Posted by Damian Roberti on

All right. So this is marketing put online, as you may or may not know I am Damian and we are going to dive into your questions tonight on a Q and a session. I've got a bunch of questions. I've actually accumulated only over the last couple of days. So if you see me looking down really quick, I'm actually going to pull these up randomly, and I'm going to get into the questions and give you my advice on how it would work best for you and your food business. And as always, before we get into it, if you're not a subscriber, definitely subscribe to my channel. I've got over 500 videos and I thank you guys, by the way, for all your support. Over the past couple of years, a marketing fund online has started to gain a lot more momentum, and I'm glad that my videos can reach out to you guys and help you start your food business, or create your food product and get your product on retail shelves or online in retail stores, wherever it may be.

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So let me dive right into it. And if, again, if you see me looking down for a second, I'm actually just checking out these questions. So I got a lot of great questions. So I'm only going to use the first names. I'm not really into disclosing the entire name. So if you are a subscriber and I answered your question, I'm just gonna use your first name. So dive in, I get a question from Danny. Danny was actually asking in regards to serving smoked brisket sandwiches at farmer's markets that is utilizing locally grown beef. And he's wanting to do that. Now. He was looking to see if there was any advice in doing that. There's a couple of hurdles that you may have to jump over with this one, Danny. The thing of it is, is that when you are preparing, what's known as time or temperature sensitive products when you're working out of a cottage food operation from home, it's very limiting on your state.

As far as the list of products that you can make from home and then sell at farmers markets. And they do that really as a precautionary rule or precautionary reason because a lot of products that are temperature sensitive have to be kept at certain temperatures in transit and most cottage food laws in States throughout the U S actually don't allow for a food prep of that type. Like if it happens to be beef or happens to be meat it has to be seafood or anything like that. You may have to actually get into a commercial kitchen and produce the product prior to going to the farmer's market. But again, you need to check with a cute things. Number one, does the farmer's market actually allow that type of food to be served at that specific farmer's market?

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Not every farmer's market is the same, nor do they allow you to bring and sell that type of food product. Is it across the board in all the farmer's markets? So you have to check specifically with the farmer's market itself, then you need to double-check to see if your state allows you to prepare that kind of food. And I'm going to tell you right off the bat, I don't think they will. Most of those types of foods really have to be produced in a commercial kitchen. And your state may require a handful of other licenses and permits may have to also require you to be incorporated as a business, have food, producers, insurance and even the farmer's market. In some cases actually will request a copy of your insurance for your food business. So double check those to be on the safe side.

So you don't get yourself in trouble. I don't want to give you advice that could get you into trouble. I want to educate you and inform you. So then you can ask the questions just to make sure because every state has a slight variation as to what they allow you to make and what you can make and bring to a farmer's market. So there's a lot of variables, so they would come and play the, the, the best way to do this is to go to Google, whatever state that you're in type in cottage, food law, and then your state, and then the first three or four websites that'll pop up normally will be the state's government website. The state itself has websites with information about what's allowed, and then there's a lot of other resources, but type that into your Google search box.

And that will bring up the necessary information for you to take a look at. And then from there you can make make a a better decision about what you want to bring, excuse me, what you want to bring and what you can bring and what you can't bring. Okay. when it comes to things like beef and shrimps or pork or meat, that type of stuff it's a real tricky thing because you may have to get into either other food truck or a food trailer or concession styled setting not necessarily something where you can just bring it in containers and warm it up and serve it. It may have to be kept at certain temperatures. So the brisket, I'm a huge fan of brisket myself. So the idea of suddenly brisket sounds pretty tasty. But you want to make sure that you are definitely following the rules and just to be safe also that you're serving it at the right temperatures and that people are not going to get sick or potentially sick.

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Okay. All right. So let's move on to the next one. Okay. So here's was actually a great one. This was from Dexter. I created eliminate brand mainly for events and festivals. So I'm often approached, it gets a lot of people who approach him about his lemonade because it tastes so good. Even limited into local stores and restaurants. Is there a formula or standard to what my pricing should be? Is there a formula? No. Is there a way to price it out? Yes. Now, is there a formula? A lot of times, this is a great question that I actually get quite often, depending upon the food product, the really the best way to do it as, so you have to figure out a few variables of your own and then move forward with the pricing concept number one, obviously, what does it cost you to make?

What are the ingredients that are going into it? How much is it? As far as the batches that you're going to make, are you gonna make it by the gallon? Or you can make a 10 gallons, fine, sit down, get a piece of paper, map it out, literally figure out exactly what is, how are you serving it? Is it in a container? Is it in a bottle? Is it in just a cup? I mean, all of those expenses for your packaging, your ingredients, and the time it takes you to make it, those need to come together and you need to get a price point. So, as an example, let's say lemonade, you're doing it fresh, literally with fresh lemons, you've got water, you've got a little bit of sugar or whatever it may be. And let's say you make a gallon. Okay. And the gallon costs you a dollar.

Okay. Because it's, the ingredients are pretty, relatively cheap and inexpensive. So this is just an example. So from that gallon, let's say eight ounces is what you normally get out of a cup, and let's say you get several cups out of a gallon. I don't have my calculator in front of me. I haven't calculated exactly how many ounces are in a gallon. But you know what, let's do it. How many ounces in a gallon off the top of my head? I don't know for sure. Okay. Okay. 128. All right. So you have 128 ounces, and that is one gallon of your lemonade now 128. And let's say you are just serving it in eight ounces of cups. So you're going to get about 16 servings. Okay. So $1, $1 in 1600, it's costing you 6 cents a serving. So if you're selling it at a fair and festival, and you've gotten a couple dollars for it, because you're probably going to put it in maybe a cup and you're going to fill it with ice, and then you can put about eight ounces or so, so a ballpark you're going to get, it's going to be about 6 cents per serving, and you're going to charge around maybe two bucks.

The way that you can calculate this is you could go to fairs and festivals and see what they are charging for drinks in general. Okay. It doesn't have to be exactly the same as yours. Freshly made lemonade and such. It doesn't have to be that if they're getting a couple of dollars for a bottle of Coca-Cola, then you should charge $2 or two 25 for freshly made lemonade, wherever it is that you're going to a fair festival or some type of an event. Okay. But at 6 cents a serving and you're selling for $2, sell a few hundred of that a day. You're making a, quite a bit of a margin of a profit. But again, you want to just figure out mainly what are those, those three elements, packaging also the cost to do it, your actual ingredients itself. Now, the other thing is you want to factor in is that if you're going to an event, they're going to probably charge you a fee.

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Okay? And a lot of times these, these farmer's markets even do this a lot. They'll charge you a fee to get in and a percentage once you're there of all the sales that you've made, they'll charge you five or six or 10%. So factor that in because that's going to be an expense. So if $2 is not enough, maybe two 50, maybe two 75, it's also something, again, that can vary. You can have a flat flat retail price for your product based upon the different events at different places you're going, because it could be a hundred dollars for our farmer's market on one end, and you do a thousand dollars in business, and that's fantastic, but then you go to a farmer's market and it's like 150 bucks, $200 and 5%. So then what what's happening is that your costs to go to each event or a farmer's market or festival is going to vary greatly.

So it's up to you. You could fluctuate, you can raise your price and lower your price, whatever works, but it's going to take a little bit of experimenting and understanding your overall costs for every event and then how much money you're really wanting to make. And how much is it costing you to make the product, the cost for the event. And to get there, to set up the tables, you have to buy a tent, all of that's different than the cost of your ingredients and your final product, bring those together and kind of figure out a price point that works. Okay. Obviously you may not want to charge five or 10 or $12. If you go too high you'll you'll, you'll, you're going to price point yourself out of business, and nobody's going to buy $5 worth of lemonade. Right? So, but the good thing is, by the way, if you're making it from scratch, use that to your advantage, make sure people are aware it's fresh.

If you're using organic lemons or something. And you're squeezing, you're making it like fresh there at the event, make sure that you stress all of these ingredients and it's made fresh to order or you're using organic lemons or something to that effect. So that way you can use, you can leverage the idea that it's a healthier beverage than the guy that's next to you selling Coca-Cola, which obviously has no nutritional value. Okay. Next up we have, I have a handful of questions that I actually wanted to reach on the top here. Okay. So if you are also [inaudible] sorry about that. Okay. If you're looking to get into and I apologize, there it is. Okay. So this is a great question as well. And the reason why I say that is this is another one that I hear a lot from first time food businesses from home.

And, and again, it really falls in line with what you can and you can't make, and it's okay to not understand all this. That's perfectly fine. It's taken me 11 years to get down. What I understand now. So Bush Bushra, Bushra. I hope I said that, right. I apologize if I did not. He asked a question that they started a home-based food business. It was going pretty well. It was going great. People were getting the orders but we sometimes also sent food samples or tastings to some of the customers that I guess were buying the foods, food products from him and his mom from home. But he hasn't heard a lot from the customers lately and it's been a few weeks. So what should we do? Is there some type of marketing or maybe advertising, or is there some way to get more people aware of what you're doing?

Now? The reason why I wanted to respond to this one is that it's really super important to understand the types of food that you're legally allowed to make from home and legally allowed to sell. Now, from the question, it sounds like this is actual food, like maybe lunches or dinners or something to that effect. It's not really baked goods. It doesn't really sound like that. He didn't get specific about the type of food product it is, but it sounds like it may be like a lunch or something. So the one thing you got to make sure is that you're legally operating the type of food business that you can make from home. And that the products fall in line with the cottage food law. If you're looking to do something outside the realm of cottage food, don't get yourself into trouble, go to a commercial kitchen and produce the product there.

If you are creating like pre-made dinners or lunches and then freezing them maybe, or if you're offering something like grab and go type of lunches or dinners, that's also something that normally is prohibited in cottage, food businesses. You have to understand that these laws are set up for really basic, simple, non potentially hazardous foods nuts and trail mixes and granolas and popcorns and so on and saw baked goods and muffins and cookies and cakes. So if you're making something outside the realm of what's legal, you might want to double check with your state or your local USDA office or health department. The department of agriculture regulates some States in regards to food businesses, but they're traditionally commercially licensed facilities. And those are the ones that the depart of agriculture goes to. Then it would fall in line with either the health department or local inspecting office near you.

So double check with them and see exactly what you can and can't make a, you don't want to definitely get yourself into trouble producing something that you, you could get basically a it's illegal to me. And so, so now the next one I've got up is frozen food online. How can I sell frozen food online? Now I have done some videos. I've done it, probably I think three or four of the videos specifically geared towards this question. But they they're, they're pretty far back on the list of, of my videos. So it's a great question. Yes. You can sell frozen food online. Now the biggest trick and the biggest hurdle is where you're producing it from where you're shipping it from and how you're shipping it. Yes, you can sell frozen food. Many of these food delivery services that you see now that are everywhere.

My goodness there's there almost every day. There's a new one popping up, but a lot of them are now shipping their foods, frozen. They're making freshly made dinners or lunches that are pre-made okay. These are not the ones that you get, where you have to cook yourself and then they're packaging them and they're freezing them and then shipping them two days. But they're using dry ice. And a lot of other things now to pull this off, to make it successful is price point and the quantity of food you're offering. Now, what I mean by that is that if you're selling frozen food dinners and let's just use this as an example, you have a line of frozen dinners, you prepare the food freshly, then you deep freeze it, and then you ship it to your customers. Can you do that? Yes. Now you want to make sure that the, every time you ship it to a customer, you have a large enough quantity of food that your transaction is going to be about a hundred bucks, 80 bucks, 75.

It's not going to be like a five or $10 item that you're going to ship with ice packs. And then you're going to hope that it arrives still frozen and safe. That doesn't work that way. You need to, if you notice a lot of these foods delivery kits and delivery companies, they're shipping out like several days worth of food. Why? Well, because it makes sense that if you're going to buy a hundred dollars, $125, you got to make it worth your wild. You got to make it profitable in the sense that you want to ship out enough food in a single shipment where you could put dry ice in it. And it makes sense for the customer, the consumer. It doesn't make sense. If you're going to be selling five or worth of food at a time, you'll never make a profit.

It will never work. But if you're shipping out multiple days or even a week's worth of food, then yes, yes, it does work. And you could make a profit. Now, one of the biggest things that this particular industry is having a big problems with right now is that these food delivery companies, their margins are very low. So they are relying upon a volume quantity. They have to ship out a ton of these every single week in order for it to be profitable. Blue apron, a couple of years ago, blue apron was still not turning a profit. And I think it was actually losing money. If I read the article right, until they figured out a way to really make it profitable. But blue apron, which was everywhere, it was being advertised was really not making any money at all. That's a problem. So what you want to do is you want to figure out where you can start the production of that, finding the right commercial kitchen, to do it in having enough of a deep freezers and walk-in freezers and such.

If you're starting out small and you obviously, you're not doing this on a large scale, but finding the right commercial kitchen that'll work for you. And it has to make sense, the idea to get it started off the ground from home, ain't going to work. It's not going to work plus the fact that it's not even legal, you're not allowed to sell frozen dinners from your home and ship them online. Okay. So double, double check on that. And you want to find out for sure if that's going to be something you want to get into, but yeah, you can make it and it can be profitable, but it really relies on fall. You and less, you're looking to create a frozen food product in a commercial kitchen or a facility like that, and then sell it and distributed to grocery stores of others, for them to resell.

That's totally different. And yes, you could make money at that as well. It's a bit challenging to get into because it's a very fiercely competitive category within the grocery industry, but frozen food dinners. There's always going to, there are companies that are always looking for something new, something different make sure that your recipes are unique. Flavor profiles are different. It's not something like another frozen pizza because God knows there's a million frozen pizzas out there. So make your product super unique. If you're, that's what you're going to be doing. And then find out where would be the best way for you to distribute it. If it's direct to customer food, wholesalers and distributors, or directly to a retail store yourself. So next one up and I'll wrap it up. This will be the last one. My videos. I try to keep them about 15 minutes at the most, and we're running into about 18 minutes.

Okay. So do you have to have a special ed? This is another question. I believe it was Rhea. And I hope I said that correctly. Re do you need a special license to sell chocolates that you buy from a wholesaler, a special license for online? No. There's not a special license to sell online if you're buying a product in bulk and you're looking to repackage it and resell it. Yes, you can do that. There are certain types of licenses though, that you will need to get in order to do that. When you sell a product online, some States, when you fill out a business license with the County that you're living in they will have, I know this is for true from where we are, the license application we filled out, we had to designate, are we an e-commerce business?

Are we a brick and mortar? And that so-and-so on, or your retail or your producer or manufacturer those distinctions. Yes, those will be on most applications for business license, but you have to have a special license to be selling online. No, you don't. Now you need to be incorporated to make it legitimate. You should incorporate yourself, get food, business insurance, and make sure that you're producing it in the right facility legally. And from there, you're pretty much good to go. Okay. But again, you want to check the application when you fill that out to create your business entity and within the County that you're in a lot of times, you'll see it, the application they want to know, are you e-commerce or are you a brick and mortar retail store? So yes, you can definitely do that. There are a lot of companies that are out there, believe it or not that literally buy food products in bulk, break them down and then package them into products, labeler, or a co-packer type of situation.

And that is something you definitely can do. Of course now something that's a branded item. Like if you're buying M and M's and you want it to break M and M's down and put them as your name and your product, that's something that you can't do. But when you're buying bulk ingredients and you're creating a product, a packaged product, if it happens to be chocolates or something like that. Yes. But if I remember a branded product that has a specific brand name can't necessarily be repackaged, and then you slap your name on it and, and make money from it. That is something you can't do. So I had opportunity to get to these questions and out that helped you guys out. And of course the ones that asked it, I hope you got a chance to watch it. I love answering your questions.

So as always down in the comment section of this video, if you have questions that you want me to answer, please let me know, and I will get to them as soon as I possibly can. And I'll see you guys on the next video. And by the way, you have to check out, we've got our podcast up and running. I think we have 160 days podcasts available as well. With much, much more information. I'll put a link in our description. You can check out our podcast. And I have, I think it's every day now we're able to loop up and we have new podcasts posted on our marketing food, online podcasts. So, and then as always, if you guys need consulting, or if you need some help from me directly, I've got multitudes of different types of packages, of consulting, even one-on-one one hour sessions on the phone, or even email subscriptions. So please do check that out at marketing food,

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