Starting a Food Business: Subscriber Questions From Marketing Food Online Youtube Channel

Posted by Damian Roberti on

Damien from marketing Food online and I've got another great video filled with your questions and we're going to get into the Q and a question, right?

So welcome back. It is Damien, and this is marketing food online. This is YouTube premier food entrepreneur channel. So if you want to start a food business, no matter what it is, creating a food product to get into the marketplace, or maybe even online, we have over 600, well, 550 plus videos to show you exactly how to do that.

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And we have a great video. I've got lined up for you right now. I'm looking down at my computer because I've got a ton of brand new questions from you guys by subscribers. And I want to help you out as much as possible. So I'd love to do these videos because instead of actually just simply answering them one-on-one as always, these videos are great for other people who may have the same question that you are looking for an answer to. So let's hop right to it.




I'm here in the shipping department. You might hear my fan going in the back of it. Sorry about that. So I'm gonna hop right into it and get into these questions. Now, of course I may or may not use your name some of the names I sincerely apologize that I may not be able to pronounce them correctly. So I just want to hop into the question itself instead of actually giving you guys out the names. So let's start with the first one. Do you think becoming an LLC would remove the need for insurance? Actually, that's a very interesting question. The answer would be no, I would highly not recommend that you create a food business by simply incorporating yourself, of course, as an LLC, but bypassing or not getting any type of product liability insurance, because what happens if someone gets sick or gets ill the LLC itself won't have the financial coverage that you would actually need when insurance comes into play and covers your product as far as a product liability.

Traditionally to be honest with you, when you're starting as a small food business, it's not very expensive to get product liability it would cost you more to not have product liability insurance. Instead of actually getting it to be honest with you, I'm always upfront on my videos about our business. We are an LLC, my insurance policies kind of a standard food liability, but it runs about \$500 a year, about five 50, something like that yearly. So every month our, our premiums are about 40 something dollars, 45, $46 off the top of my head and about 40 bucks a month. And that coverage gets us a lot of coverage for food products. And when you first start a, just a basic food liability insurance policy is sufficient. Now there's a few other actual ad-ons that I'll let you know about.

When you start to get a product into a retail store, the retail store will ask you to add them to your policy coverage. And that's a normal thing. That's a normal procedure. So let's say you were selling to Walmart, let's say, right, and you've got a product and they put it in the store. They would want you to add them onto the insurance policy put their name on it. So the products that are going to them will be covered through your liability on behalf of you as the one that actually producing the product. So becoming an LLC, doesn't really separates you from the fact that you're still liable for the food products. It's a type of pro of a entity entity formation. Your business is considered an entity and you'd have to figure out how that's going to be classified.

So as an LLC, that doesn't necessarily mean, Hey, I can just wash my hand with liability. I don't have to worry if somebody gets sick, not a good idea. And again, that's just my opinion. I'm not a lawyer, not an accountant but I had been in the food business for quite a while. So I would highly recommend you get some liability insurance for that. Now let's see the next one. I'd like to okay. Yes, this is actually a really, really good one. This is from Gabrielle. I'll just use your first name Gabrielle. I would like to know if there is any software that helps, you know, the, what items are good to sell on Walmart marketplace. Yes and no. I say no only because I personally don't use them. I actually recently got into, it has taking to be quite honest with you trying to sell a product on or get a application process to be approved, to sell on the marketplace is a very, for some strange reason, extremely difficult very time-consuming I've actually have applied six times.

Start a food business 

I'm not really sure why it takes so long but it is a very odd thing. Now suddenly on the Walmart marketplace in general, yes. A lot of the different markets set aside, Walmart Amazon, eBay, Etsy, is there software out there? Is there programs available that help you find items that are hot? There is, but there's a drawback to that. And the reason why I personally have never used them and I don't use them there's a couple of videos I started when I, when I first started marketing food, online YouTube channel that talked about some of those platforms. But as I dug a little deeper for what we do and what we sell here, we make our own products. It doesn't really apply to what we do. And I just don't use it. The drawback too is this is what I was saying.

When you find a quote, unquote, hot item or items that sell really well, well, there's more, more or less. There's probably about 50 or a hundred sellers that are reselling that hot item. So it makes it very difficult, very competitive, and very difficult for you to make money selling those hot items because of that very factor. It's just that when you have too many people selling the same product repetitiously over and over, it's just not good. It's going to be very difficult to make margins. It's a very low margins because you'll have to keep cutting your price to beat the other guy or other 50 guys. That is why it's so important that if you could come up with your own product, you literally will set yourself apart. And I don't care what anybody else tells you all that's bologna. That's not going to work.

How to start a BBQ Business?

It's, it's the truth. The products that we have here, I make over 400 different items. And I can tell you right now that if you came up with a hot sauce and it had a unique flavor profile, you had a really cool label. The packaging, the, all of that stuff is sets it apart. I don't care if there's a thousand people selling hot sauces, they, they're not selling the hot sauce. Exactly. Like the one that you're making, because you have a specific recipe that in and of itself will distinguish you and set you apart and give you an advantage. If you turn around and you're selling, let me say this pure REL, okay, this is not a food product, hand sanitizer. If you were selling this in like a 12 pack or something, there's probably a million people selling the same thing. Now, if you came up with your own type of hand sanitizer, and again, this is an example.

If you came up with your own type and it had like a hand lotion or something that keeps your hands moist, and it has a nice scent lavender smell or something that differentiates it, then you're going to sell way more of them than just reselling this. So the same concept applies to food. If you could come up with a great food product, I don't, it doesn't matter what it is, any category of foods, but it's yours and the recipe, the flavor profile, all of that is unique. You have a big advantage selling online than you would by just simply reselling something. Okay. Now, so to answer your question, is there a software? Yes. Is it worth your time to do all that research and find it? I personally would say, invest your time in creating a product for yourself. If you have a great food product recipe, go with it, believe in it and just do it.

There are plenty of companies that if you can't make it yourself, there's companies that are co-packers and private label companies, they can either process and make it for you. Or they have a product lineup where you can simply just add your product to it and they put your label on it and it's done. Okay. Now I kind of make it sound super easy. Of course, nothing is, is always very easy to do, but do a little research, spend your time doing that. I would say more so than trying to find another hot item because everybody's selling those items. So next one up. Okay, so this one is actually this, I wanted to get to this too well. So yes, this is about farmer's markets. Okay. This one particular question. So I'm working on this right now is working on a food product. The state laws are very strong on farmer's markets.

So the one thing you need to do this is in regards to knowing the laws about farmer's markets. Okay. So every farmer's market unto itself actually has the legal ability to establish its own laws or rules. I guess you want to say, not necessarily laws, but rules on selling at farmer's markets. So check on your state and find specifically what type of food products that you're allowed to sell at farmer's markets, and then find the farmer's markets where they may or may not have fewer or less rules for you to get in there. And I can understand your question. It's kind of tedious having so many different rules of regulations and different, different hoops to jump through. And I can understand that. Sorry about that. I think something just bit me something actually just on my LinkedIn. So yeah, double check on that and find out specifically about the farmer's market that you want to go to and see if they have extra rules.

If they have requirements licensing and other fees that are involved with it and make sure that you, of course go by the state laws that are up not too many States actually govern what happens within the farmer's market. It does fall under the cottage food laws, which every state has a, a type of cottage food law unto itself. And it varies greatly. But double-check with the farmer's market and try to get it to the ones that aren't as difficult to do that don't have so many different rules and regulations, and there's a lot of them in the state that I'm at here, they actually have quite a few farmer's markets where you just simply pay a fee and you set up your booth and that's it. It's not a lot of paperwork. There's not a lot of, of issues with getting into it.

But then I've heard of some of them that are like, they have to do like tons of research on who you are and you got to fill out applications, they pay a percentage of what you make. Then there's a fee then there's just so much to it. So try to find the one that you gotta do a little bit of research on that one to find out one, that's really the easiest one to get your foot in the door and then begin to get sales going, because it's all about cashflow and making money, of course. And the longer it takes for you to find one, the more difficult it is to make money. Okay. Now this next one up is actually about, I did a, a video. This was a video I did quite a while ago about labeling nutritional labels actually. And this gentlemen this subscriber is using a particular type of machinery and is incorporating a salt into the nuts that he uses and incorporates assaulted us, but he wants to know it, what level of salt added in a continuous mode. So I think he's probably asking about how do you determine how much salt is in each serving or how much is in each package. Number one, when you create this food product, you need to create the package. You've got to have it. I don't have one in front of me. I would grab got it. Okay, here we go.

Right? So each container has a certain amount of servings inside of the packaging. Each packaging has those servings broken down on the nutritional label. If you want to find out how much salt is actually in the product that you're producing, you would have to get, of course, an international analysis done on the package. So let's say you sold the nuts, the peanuts let's say, and they were in a one pound bag. You would get a nutritional label set up for that one pound bag. And then how many servings are in each of the one pound bag? That's going to determine how much salt is actually in it, in each serving for the customer. So as the consumer eats each serving, they'll be able to know how much salt, how much fat and all the other nutritional analysis is done. But that way you will know exactly how much salt is in each serving because the nutritional analysis, the breakdown they'll do for you, we'll let you know exactly what is in each serving, but you have to determine the serving size. So if you create a one pound bag and you say four ounces is a serving size for your product, that means that bag of, of four ounces is going to have four servings because they equal one pound. Okay. So all of that would actually be done by a nutritional analysis done on the food product.

Okay. So this is another great one actually in regards to commercial kitchen. So it looks like we'll max barbecue. We'll max barbecue. How would you go about barbecue? Barbecue. If you use smokers to cook your food, are you still in need of a commercial kitchen? Great question. It depends on location. Now, the reason why I say that is this. If you are at a commercial location, and let's say you're at a restaurant using a smoker, whatever type of equipment or apparatus you're using to make your product, where are you located? If you're at home and you're smoking meat and you want to sell it, there's a 99% chance that that's illegal. It's not legal with under the cottage food law, because you can't smoke meats and selling from your home. That's a potentially hazardous food product. If you were at a commercial kitchen and you have a smoker and you're producing a product air, packaging it, and looking to sell to people from a commercial location, that's totally different.

Okay. Now, again, this would also be determined upon your city and the state. You'd have to check on the state and the city that you're in and find out how to produce and where you can produce it because the, where is the most important part making barbecue from home. That's a no-no and pretty much 99% of this cottage food laws. So you can't really do that now. Can you do it from a commercial kitchen? Yes. You'd have to have the smoker on the property or the premises of the commercial kitchen, do your smoking. And then from there where you sell, it's going to be dictated on what type of businesses that you have. So from home. So no, no, I definitely wouldn't do that. Somebody got sick. You could get into some serious as you, okay. Where can I? Okay. I see, actually, this is a question and this is a really quick answer selling frozen food.

This was a video that I did about frozen foods. And I had a question from that video about ice packs. Really good, easy, simple question. Where do I get ice packs? I personally actually get them from ULI. There's a couple sellers on eBay. Believe it or not that have great prices on, on ice packs. But the biggest question is how big of a pack do you need for the product you're shipping? That is something that a lot of people don't think about, but you need to find the right package size because ice packs can come from two outs for six, eight hours up to a pound and even bigger. So you want to find out what is the ice pack that works best for your product? Depends depending upon the transit time and then what type of a product it is.

So find out those variables, but I go to, which is the letter U literally line, excuse me, you and then you can get it by the case pack. They're like 10, 15, 20 cents each, which is very cheap. There's on eBay as well. You can type in ice packs for shipping and check it out from there. Some of them are about 20 to 30 cents. But that is a great question. And, and believe it or not, these types of questions, a lot of people don't want to ask because they may not be that interested in finding out but they're definitely super important, right? You're shipping food. So, all right, so I've gone the 14 minute Mark. I'm gonna go and wrap it up. I've got a handful of questions on this video here and as always I'll give you about 20 seconds.

You're going to see some videos pop up above me. If you're looking for more information on how to create your food product, check out these other videos around me. And I will see you guys on the next video. And as always, if this was helpful, please do give me a big thumbs up and I'll see you on the next video. By the way, a really quick, I'm going to put out a series of five videos on how to start a, a meal package business. My mind went blank there for a second, a meal prepared meals, a delivery service, and I'm gonna show you guys how they do that and how you can actually do it yourself. And we'll see that on the next video. So take care.


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