Clients Corner - Wine Duets
In my prior Clients Corner Article, How The Foodpreneur Worked With a New Business Wine Duets , getting the product Out of the Kitchen, founder Patty Hayes told us her story on the light bulb moment for creating Wine Duets, the fun alternative to traditional 'cheese and crackers'. Her product is a cookie made to pair with certain wine varietals for super yumminess. And they are yummy! We also discussed the entrepreneurial concept of entrepreneurial pivoting, which according to the Wall Street Journal, "…where you cycle quickly through different ideas until you find one that sticks."
So here is our conversation on the power of the Minimum Viable Product and how an entrepreneur needs "practical passion"… which is a focusing on the business of food and the critical importance of food marketing.
You and I have focused on developing the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) in order to reduce your capital expense and to expedite product launch. How has this helped you and what are a few examples of product development as a result of the MVP?
The most helpful result of the MVP concept is that I can release the idea that it has to be 'perfect'. I've done enough samplings, worked with several copackers , and gotten enough feedback that I'm happy with the product and feel confident in getting it out the way it currently is - but I'm aware that it will most likely be different a year from now.
What were some of things you have learned on your journey with The Foodpreneur?
That I wouldn't have gotten this far without the Foodpreneur!
I knew this would be key. Dom is clearly on the same page with the importance of marketing. Early on, he had me develop a brand positioning statement and that has been extremely helpful. I look to that positioning statement when considering packaging, copy-writing, events and social media. I know I 'should' be doing a blog on my website, but this will have to wait until I can magically create more time in the day.
I jumped the gun a little bit in the beginning and ordered boxes, 300 of them to be exact, that looked great and the goodies fit in them - but they were $1.59 each! Of course, when I ordered them, I wasn't paying attention to the cost of goods because I was approaching it from the 'idea' and 'creative' mindset, not the 'practical' mindset. Both are important in developing a brand, and now that I'm more balanced to the 'practical' side, I found packaging at a fraction of the cost.
There are many complexities with packaging from the package of the actual product to the case it goes in to the master shipper pack. How will the product stand up with shipping and handling, how will it be displayed at a retailer. These are still evolving for Wine Duets.
The Business Side of the Business
I've learned that when Dom first mentioned the cost of goods spreadsheets I should have listened! In the beginning I had worked with someone to help me develop a recipe. She was using some ingredients that were pretty pricey. The minute I actually saw how much those ingredients were, per goodie, I saw the importance of cost of goods. It doesn't matter if your product is the most delicious thing on earth, if you can't produce it and sell it at what the market will pay, it will never get anywhere.
I think many people, like myself, develop a food product and imagine people enjoying it and having a good experience. Looking at a spreadsheet and working with numbers isn't why I developed the product, but those numbers and spreadsheets are actually going to be what determines if my business is profitable. I'm learning to embrace them as they are my guide to prosperity.
We haven't gotten into the aspect of dealing with distributers and brokers because it's a bit premature for where my business is, but I know that will be a whole new learning curve and thankfully, Dom will be steering me in the right direction.
Currently, I am compiling a list of potential sales leads, and I will be going door to door. I look forward to when I will have my product produced, packed and shipped and I can focus on marketing, customer relations and events.
Getting on the Shelf
Well, were are almost there so stay tuned to see how The Foodpreneur helps Wine Duets get into retail and foodservice distribution.
Getting on the Consumers Plate
The Foodpreneur is working with Wine Duets to spread the word, social word of mouth, to create brand Awareness.