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aww... nuts!

Long time lurker...

I'm planning on making and selling home made nut butters (food is crafty, right?) in pretty decorated containers. I'll be doing this locally because shipping food is risky and it's just for fun/money on the side.

I know that grocery store nut butters can cost anywhere between 6-13 dollars in Montreal which is why I've started to make my own... I was wondering how much I should ask for an 8-10 ounce jar of nut butter? I'd adjust prices according to expense of the nut (like hazelnut butter would be more expensive than plain ol' peanut butter).

Also, I've never sold anything I've made before... Any tips or suggestions?

I know we can't make selling posts, but I'm not selling anything... I just want to make sure I'm not venturing into this blindly and then I'm knee-deep in nut butter and trying to eat jars and jars of it because I couldn't sell any. Is this even a project worth taking on?

I'd really appreciate all the help I can get.

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
a_starstar
Jun. 11th, 2009 03:03 am (UTC)
I'm not especially knowledgeable, but theoretically I suppose I would start by making small batches and selling to friends and neighbors. Maybe you could get orders and then make the butters to the order's specifications, and then you'd know that what you were making had a market. Unless yours have something special about them (diabetic friendly, without certain allergen ingredients, etc etc) I would try to keep within the prices at the store--though since it's homemade you can stay at the high end of those prices. It's always easier to "have a sale" and go down in price, than to go up in price when things are selling well. Everyone gets disgruntled and won't buy from you then.
Ahh, that's my two cents. Hopefully someone more experienced will come along ;D
leftof_thedial
Jun. 11th, 2009 03:13 am (UTC)
I guess the only special thing is some of the flavours I'm making. That and the fact I don't use preservatives or strange additives like corn syrup.

If I was selling internationally, having real Quebec maple syrup as an ingredient would probably be a key selling point but since I'm doing this locally anyone could get maple syrup.

Thanks so much for your input. :)
a_starstar
Jun. 11th, 2009 03:23 am (UTC)
I hope it works out for you!
your_lifeis_now
Jun. 11th, 2009 03:09 am (UTC)
I'm not sure if you've already done this, so if you have I apologize, but before you do much more, have you looked into your local health department regulations? It's really important to know what those are before you start trying to sell any food related.

For example, if you're selling almond butter, you probably want to put something on the label that says, "Made in a kitchen where peanut, and other tree nut butters are made" because of allergy issues, etc...
leftof_thedial
Jun. 11th, 2009 03:15 am (UTC)
I hadn't thought of a warning label, right now I'm still at the testing flavours stage but when I get there I will for sure make a warning label. Thank you!
your_lifeis_now
Jun. 11th, 2009 03:18 am (UTC)
No problem! My little guy has a peanut allergy and I know a lot of moms with kids who have that look for alternate nut butters to give their kids- but cross contamination is a huge issue for allergenic people.

Also have you tested shelf life? Because that's something else that you might want to think about in terms of how much you could make and how much you'd need to sell in a particular amount of time before the oils went rancid.
sunnycowgirl
Jun. 11th, 2009 03:39 am (UTC)
Not sure about different countries regulations, but in the states, the place has to be health inspected before the food can be sold to the public.
renegaderocker
Jun. 11th, 2009 03:41 am (UTC)
unfortunately i can't add anything to this, but i absolutely love your icon. so cute!
dinky_dinky_do
Jun. 11th, 2009 03:47 am (UTC)
have you tried farmers markets? i bought just bought almond butter today at our little farmers market
countessaleska
Jun. 11th, 2009 08:29 am (UTC)
I think discussion of vending our wares is appropriate.

I spent many years in the craft circuit, and while I have never sold food items myself, I know many who have. It can be a lot of work to set up, but a lot of fun, and some have really made it pretty big and make it a full time business with employees.

What happens with you depends on your market and your marketing :)

First of all, though, with ANY food product you sell you MUST have it approved. It must be made in an inspected kitchen. And you will be legally liable for all food safety issues.

Different foods have slightly different issues. For example, selling a packet of spices might be a less intense than a prepared food item, and perishable or illness laden items more strict as well.

I cannot tell you all to know, but head to a farmers market or local shop and check for locally made or small business food stuffs. They may be willing to give you some heads ups for your areas. And check your phone book for the appropriate agencies. I dont have a clue what Canada is set up like. :)

Meanwhile, you can work on your packaging and recipes at home and by word of mouth trades and gifts for feedback.

If you butters are going to be prepackaged, you might consider how you feel about the oil separation. If you are making flavored blends, then the emulsifying agents you use can also help flavor the mix.
megsies26
Jun. 11th, 2009 10:56 pm (UTC)
As much as this seems like a very exciting project idea, I would proceed with caution. I also second much of countessaleska's advice, and reiterate the inspection points.

Personally if I was looking into doing this, I would abandon the project and go with something that wasn't food-based. BUT: I'm not you. Get started slowly if you're really interested. Maybe make small batches as gifts to be given to friends and family with cute ingredient tags? That way, you could gauge interest and use their feedback on the flavors that you're creating.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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