There has been no better time to start your own protein bar business than now. This $1.76 billion market is continuing to grow, and consumer behavior is shifting in favor of small, innovative business owners.
Entrepreneurs who are ready to design their own protein and energy bars have several things they need to do first before their business can take off. Below are the key steps to building the framework of a successful protein bar company.
- Do Your Market Research
Good news! Big Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) brands are going extinct, allowing agile, small protein bar businesses to swoop in and gain market share. CPG brands are losing their hold of the packaged food industry due to a lack of innovation and consumers moving away from grocery aisles to the online marketplace. As these CPG brands continue to fumble, there is plenty of room for entrepreneurs to enter.
So, with this knowledge, where do you go from here? A good place to start is researching the market and determining the type of protein bar that is most in-demand, growing in demand, or completely missing. Another idea is to look at your interests and design a protein bar that may enhance these niche areas.
- Perfect Your Delicious Recipe
Once you know the type of protein bar you want, it’s time to develop the perfect bar for your customer’s palette. The recipe formulation process can either be exciting or overwhelming, depending on how you look at it, because you may have several flavors or variations in mind. Start by really nailing one recipe down before moving on to another.
For extra assistance, collaborating with a manufacturer can be a great opportunity to build a strong business relationship with them and utilize their capabilities as they can provide services from delicious recipe formulation to finished product. Additionally, they can also determine the product’s needs to let you know if this is a scalable recipe.
- Partner with the Right Manufacturer
As we mentioned before, working with a manufacturer allows you to bring your product to life faster while maintaining the product’s quality. But what do we mean by the “right” manufacturer?
For entrepreneurs entering the packaged food industry, finding the best protein bar manufacturer for your specific company can be the longest and most intimidating process, especially if you don’t know what to look for. Below are some tips to assist you in evaluating your options:
- Ask them as many relevant questions, especially about the industry, as you need to make a decision
- Are they the right size for you? What are their Minimum Order Quantities (MOQ)?
- Choose a U.S. based manufacturer over an international manufacturer because it will have a stronger understanding of national regulatory standards
- Explore the other services they provide as some offer testing, packaging, labeling, and quality assurance
- Prepare a launch timeline to properly understand the amount of time to produce your protein bars
- Outline a Marketing Strategy
From the market research you conducted at the very beginning, you should have an understanding of your target audience, your direct and indirect competitors, and the benefits your product will bring to the market landscape. This information will help build the foundation of your marketing strategy. With the rise of eCommerce and social media, getting your message to the right person at the right time is crucial to increasing brand awareness. Here’s how you can do it:
- Be customer-centric
- Utilize social media
- Innovation and versatility are key to strong advertising
- Promote your product with fans and influencers
- Identify cross-promotional opportunities
- Start Selling
Congratulations! Everything has finally come together, and you are ready to sell your protein bars. We know it wasn’t easy, but you have a great foundation to hit the ground running with your new company. We wish you the best of luck!