Starting a Food Business?

Image: Courtesy of Souper

Did you see the news recently about a 20 year old getting funding for his startup from General Mills? Daniel Katz created a protein packed snack brand and General Mills liked the brand so much they became the financial backer.

More of the ‘big guys‘ are backing start-ups.  There are a variety of reasons for this but in a nutshell, it’s a cost effective, less risky way for larger companies to grow the market and meet consumer demands.

Start-ups have the time to focus on the development of a new product–perfecting something that the investor can be proud of–while contributing to the companies’ growth.

Feeling Inspired?

Like Daniel Katz who started his business while still at school, Allan Mai and Brandon Guild are causing quite a ‘stir’ in Guelph, Ontario.  Allan and Brandon co-founded Souper, a subscription based soup delivery service specializing in the creation of wholesome, made-from-scratch soups using seasonal ingredients.

When I decided to leave the culinary world and go back to school for Food Science it was because I thought I wanted to end up in food product development.

Passionately hungry for some product development experience, I was frustrated to discover the lack of opportunities available to students having completed just one year of the food science program. Ultimately, the desire to develop food products was strong enough for me to create an opportunity for myself – Allan Mai

Stay tuned for a ‘Souper’ blog post.  We will share the story of how these two students started their business, their biggest challenges to date and why they are keen to provide opportunities for students.  Check out this OAC article about the boys!

Food Start-Up Podcast

Our latest addition to the BEST Food Podcasts is Matt Aaron’s show.  Matt started the podcast because in his words; if you are a food startup, the chips are stacked against you–it’s expensive and complicated.

“The food business, unlike the tech world, is not so “user-friendly” for startups. There are a lot of moving parts from finding packaging, getting in front of buyers, figuring out what paperwork is required for import/export and scaling the business” 

Matt’s podcast offers support to food startups by sharing the project with the world and turning it into a sustainable business. Sign up to his weekly show and listen to guests that could be in the beginning stage of a startup, a food author/adviser, or head of a 8/9 figure revenue company.  

To start you may like their interview with Seth Goldman of Honest Tea, acquired by Coca Cola and in over 100,000 outlets in the United States.

Join the Food Brand Summit

Co-produced by Matt Aaron of the Food Startups Podcast and Small Food Biz owner Jennifer Lewis, The food brand summit is a two-day online conference (May 4th and 5th) for emerging food brands to learn from industry experts and get products in front of buyers, brokers and distributors.

Day 1 – Features online seminars from industry experts like Seth Goldman from Honest Tea.

Day 2 – Food brands will have 5 minutes to pitch grocery buyers and distributors via their webcam.

Use coupon code FOODGRADSROCKS to receive $75 off Signup today!

Additional resources available to startups

  • Foodstarter (Ontario) – Provides access to shared production and packaging facilities, business advisory services and a structured training program in order to help entrepreneurs build and grow their food processing business.
  • District Ventures (Calgary) – An accelerator for packaged goods companies to reach the next level.
  • FoodGrads – An interactive platform that can support startups via content marketing/brand recognition and recruiting the right people to help you grow your business! (Site launch late Spring 2017, early sign up now)

Are you thinking about starting your own food business?  Did you find this post useful? Do you know of any additional resources I can add to this list?

Any comments/feedback would be awesome. Either comment below or send an email to nicole@foodgrads.com.

Related article: AccelFoods fund for food and beverage innovators reaches $35 million