The Path to Production Step 1: Recipe Refinement & Adjustments

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Written by Glen Call

March 23, 2021

On the Path to Production, step one is to get the initial food to be perfect. That starts with recipe refinement. Every food can be tweaked to make it a little bit better. But are you considering every possibility before taking it to production? Reformulation after the fact can be costly. It can also be detrimental to customers that already like your product the way it is. Here’s our checklist of things to consider for recipe refinement and adjustment:

Taste

This one is obvious, but not easy. Taste is subjective, so getting it right for the majority of people is crucial. Be sure to give your product to multiple people to get their opinions. Don’t expect to wow everyone, but wow some and take feedback from the rest. A little market research here can go a long way.

Cost

This one is tricky. To get great food you want the best ingredients. But those can be expensive. You need to balance the cost of the ingredients with how much consumers are willing to pay. This back and forth is one of the most difficult parts to make sure you don’t price yourself out of the market. And it happens across every other category as well. Ensure that you’re creating food at a price point that fits with your target audience.

Organic

The debate between organic and non-organic will rage on. But your need to determine whether organic is going to be important to you. Retailers like Costco, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s highlight organic products. That can be a blessing. But organic ingredients can be difficult to find, which can delay your production. And organic ingredients often cost more, so you will need to adjust the final price of your food. Until organic becomes at parity with non-organic, consider this decision carefully.

Provenance

Are your consumers concerned about where their food comes from? Does it need to be a local or national source? Will it give your product more credibility or appeal to consumers? Provenance also deals with availability, which in turn affects cost. Determine early on whether the origin of the food matters for marketing your product.

Allergen-free

Many people deal with allergens in food. This could be for themselves, their household, or the people they cook for. If you want more people to be able to eat your food, consider removing food allergens from your product. Don’t worry about every food allergy, just the eight most common ones. There are many ingredient options you can look at to substitute. By doing so, you can make your product appeal to more consumers.

Volume

Making food for a dozen people is different than making it for hundreds or thousands. It’s a different kitchen, different equipment, different conditions. In short, all those differences can affect your product. Be open to changes to get the right product, or listen to your co-packer for some advice. They have the experience of knowing what it takes to go from a small kitchen to a large-scale operation.

Consider every option

Recipe refinement and adjustment is an important step in getting your food produced. Put the time and effort in at the beginning. Weigh every option to consider your target market. And keep tweaking to get the taste right. When you do, you’ll have a product you’re proud of. And, best of all, one that consumers will want to buy again and again.

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