Suppliers

Over the years, ACEnet has developed relationships with supply companies for ingredients, packaging, labels, and equipment. Our supplier list can offer a convenient starting place for researching and pricing various options.

Food Safety

The Food Venture Center requires all tenants to follow Good Manufacturing Practices in the processing, storage and distribution of food products. Standards set by the U.S. Food, Drug and Cosmetic act details requirements of clothing, hygiene, and work habits to ensure food products remain free of contamination. All new clients will be provided with information on complying with Good Manufacturing Practices during orientation.

FDA regulations for food production are outlined at the link below:

FDA Code of Federal Regulations Title 21

Market Demand

The basis for success of any product is thorough market research. While developing or expanding a product line, the first step is to consider the target audience and market. Food trends are frequently fluctuating and consumer demand for specific product types change rapidly. Thoroughly research your product’s competition at the national level to find marketing techniques that are successful and develop a realistic product price range. Researching similar products will also provide ideas for packaging, labeling, and typical product size.

Market research illuminates needs or problems that may not be apparent at the beginning of product development. An entrepreneur may choose to produce an item because it is currently in fashion, or because of abundant raw materials, however, before investing in and producing an item, entrepreneurs must ensure that demand exists for the finished product. Considerations also include means of distributing the product, and outlets for selling and marketing the finished item.

Recipes & Testing

Recipe development and proper batching are important beginning steps in learning how to efficiently create a consistent product in commercial quantities. Successfully converting recipes for large-batch production requires understanding principles such as volumetric and weight measurements, conversion factors, surface and volume. In the beginning stages of product development, it is advisable to work with small test batches since they are more economical and easier to produce. If you start with a “home Style” recipe (4-8 servings) it is recommended that the recipe be quadrupled at the outset. After adjusting for taste and texture, this formulation becomes the base recipe from which larger batches are developed.

The ability of food to retain overall quality from the processing line, through distribution and marketing, to the consumer relies on intensive studies to predict shelf life. Creating a product with a predictable shelf life demands control by the food manufacturer. PH and moisture content as well as environmental factors affect the shelf-life of a product and must be controlled to create a consistent, high-quality, safe, food product.

An ACEnet staff member, certified by the Better Process Control School, is available to conduct Ph Analysis on products to ensure that they comply with food safety regulations. Staff members also assist with aspects of recipe development and batching.

Packaging

Product image should be effectively communicated through a logo, label and packaging. Elements of design and sales message should be consistent to attract customers. Once these key components are developed, all product literature and point of purchase materials must convey the same themes. Working with retailers while developing point of purchase materials will help you understand retailer’s preferences and may inform product design decisions.

Logo, label, and packaging are the best tools for communicating with a targeted customer base and are crucial elements to the success of any product line. Seeking assistance from professional graphic designers is generally cost-effective in the long run.

Most organic, natural, and specialty food products rely on the label as their number one marketing vehicle, so be aware of regulations governing labels.

Nutrition Labelling

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) require nutrition labeling for most foods in packaged and unpackaged forms for businesses selling more than 100,000 units per year and not being marketed across state lines. Although nutrition labeling is not required for smaller businesses, it is strongly encouraged. Many stores will not carry products without this information. Nutrition panels help consumers compare your product to others and make a conscious, educated decision. Surveys indicate that “health conscious consumers” will shy away from products without nutrition labels.

The primary component of nutrition labeling is the nutrition analysis which identifies serving size, percentage of fat, cholesterol, sodium, and other components. There are layout and font requirements to take into consideration when designing your panel.

Organic Labels must meet guidelines developed by the USDA for organic products. Before a product can be labeled “organic” a government-approved certifier must inspect the farm where the crops are grown to ensure that the farmer has followed all requirements for meeting USDA organic standards. Companies handling and processing organic food must also be certified. Guidelines for organic labeling can be found at http://www.ams.usda.gov.

Our staff is available to provide support with packaging and label development and in ensuring that nutrition panels comply with FDA regulations. Below are a list of recommended packaging and labeling professionals. Visit their websites for information on pricing.

Kevin Morgan www.kevinmorganstudio.com
Sandy Plunkett www.plunkettcomicart.com
Just a Jar Design www.justajar.com
Red Tail Design www.redtaildesignco.com
Blue Label www.bluelabeldigital.com
Logo Label www.logolabelprinting.com