You might be amazed to discover that one of your most loved things to do, eating candy and chocolate, obviously – could become a massive business opportunity.
According to National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, specialty foods make up $50.3 billion in retail sales and $12.7 billion in sales from restaurants. A large portion of it is sweets.
The candy market is specialized in large and expanding. The average American consumes around 24 pounds of sweets each year and shells out $84 to satisfy their cravings. What does that mean for you? You could create a lucrative candy company with a tiny amount of money.
The competition is fierce; however, you must have some strategy if you decide to dive into this fast-growing business. Take a look at the seven steps needed to help you turn your hobby into a profitable business.
7 Steps to Starting a Candy Business
1. Know What’s Out There
If you’re thinking of beginning a candy manufacturing business, you’ll most likely begin selling your product to your local market. You may be amazed at the number of competitors you have. Therefore, before you get overly invested, find out who’s selling candy of a specialty in your region and what they’re selling. Visit the internet and contact the local specialty food stores to find out what they have and what’s going off their shelves. Visit local candy stores and conduct your research – it is always beneficial to know what your competition is working on!
After summarizing the competition, consider the kind of candy you’d like to create and market. If your market has become saturated with chocolate, yet there’s virtually any competition for hard candies or caramels, this could be the ideal place to. However, if you have the perfect chocolate recipe that’s unique and can create its niche, you might be able to capture a portion of the market.
2. Decide on Your Story
Many of the best specialty foods are accompanied by stories that make consumers feel confident about purchasing items. They also make them different from the rest of the market. For example, suppose you’re faced with two chocolate bars, one wrapped in a standard wrapper with a generic name, while the other is in an attractive wrapper that tells an intriguing story about exuberant (and delicious) cacao beans that were saved from disappearance. What one do you purchase? I don’t know what you think, but I am a fan of the idea of helping the cocoa bean that is struggling just as much enjoy eating one!
The story doesn’t need to be awe-inspiring. Maybe your child came up with this recipe, or perhaps you’ve revived a recipe that your family has utilized for generations. Whatever the reason you’re trying to create, make sure that you allow the consumer to realize that it’s more than just confectionery – it needs to be a conversation with their heart. Once you’ve crafted your story, you need to create a unique name that reflects your product and story.
3. Make It Legal
Like any other business, it is required to obtain an official business license and an owner’s license to ensure it’s legal. You’ll probably need to be certified as a food safety professional by taking an education course that teaches you how to prepare and safely keep food items. The facility must also be able to pass health inspections regularly, much as the restaurant industry would.
4. Decide on Your Space
If you’re selling edibles and other food items, your municipal health authority will be able to provide plenty to say about what you should do to run your business. If you intend to create candy in your home kitchen, you could be subject to severe limitations, like not being allowed to cook food in the kitchen or keep pets at your home.
If you are in a state with limitations like these, you might consider renting commercial kitchens. Certain candy makers lease kitchens at restaurants during off-hours or on days that they’re closed. Other companies lease their space to build their kitchen for commercial use. It’s easy to find websites online that have listings for your area. Contact the local health department to learn more about the requirements.
5. Think About Funding
The best aspect of the candy industry is that you can begin at a low level and expand when your business grows. This can help you keep costs down initially. The cost of starting up is dependent on whether you begin at a low level in your kitchen or go on to expand in a significant way by using an industrial facility and delivery trucks. The estimated costs for starting up range from $2,000 to $50,000, an enormous variation.
Whatever way you decide to start, you’ll have to buy some equipment for making candy. Candy thermometers, a variety of types and sizes of molds, professional baking sheets, utensils, pans and pots, mixing bowls, and other baking pans are essential tools for anyone who makes candy. Additionally, you’ll need to buy candy wrappers, boxes to keep them in bags, wax paper with lollipop sticks and bottle squeezers, anything else you’ll need to make your unique designs.
You’ll need to figure out what to pack your sweets to stand out for pricing and ideas buy The Gold Book, a buyer’s guide for candy retailers and manufacturers. The book provides a complete list of the products available and the companies that make these.
Family and friends can be an excellent source of small-scale business capital and start-up expenses. If you’ve tried but can’t get a loan for an idea for your company, you can use your savings and determine how you can start with a small amount. You can also tap into the equity of your house by using the home equity credit line through Figure.com or perhaps an individual loan. Another option is to purchase each month a new device. Soon you’ll have everything you require to make your candy business a real-life reality.
6. Think About Selling
There’s so much competition in the market. It is important to consider how you’ll spread the word about your product. There are many methods to accomplish this, and each requires a different strategy and attention. Let’s take a quick look at each.
- Sell Retail. The initial and most well-known method is to market your candy to the general population. This can be done by beginning with your loved ones and friends and then asking them to share the message. You can also reach out to your community by offering free samples and order forms. Some candy manufacturers open shops in small retail outlets and draw at customers with advertisements in local newspapers through coupon-based promotions or using online deals websites like Groupon. Marketing via social media is yet another method of gaining an audience. Through Facebook and Twitter, you can keep your customers informed about the latest products and inform them when the newest batch of candy has been made. Check out this list of top online social media advertising platforms for small-scale local firms for more information. If you opt to sell your products primarily via retail, your objective is to establish an established following and keep them interested with innovative and distinctive products and flavors.
- Sell Wholesale. Some candy manufacturers prefer to sell their goods wholesale. They do this by putting together samples that include actual candy samples and wholesale price lists. They then distribute them to special food stores, restaurants, and grocers. If you choose to go this route, you must keep your strengths in your mind. If you offered your products to a handful of stores that generated a demand that you could not meet, you’d do more damage to your business than good.
- Sell Events. Other candy makers are focused on catering. A new food style called candy buffets appears at wedding ceremonies, graduation celebrations, and various other events. The candy maker sets up a table during the reception that displays different kinds of candy that are usually in keeping with the event’s theme. Suppose this is something you’d like to explore. In that case, you’ll need to engage in networking at corporate events and connect with wedding planners and traditional caterers, and corporate event organizers.
You can pursue each of these strategies within your company to don’t take in more than you can manage. A successful business will usually try to generate multiple streams of income.
Websites such as Candy Industry can be an excellent resource to keep up to date with trends in the market and the most current industry news. You can also subscribe to their magazine for free, either digital or traditional printed format.
7 Guard Your Secret
Are you curious why Colonel Sanders was so protective of his secret recipe so closely? Many people are shocked to find out that it isn’t possible to copyright an entire recipe legally. So, you’ll need to protect your recipe to ensure that you don’t let someone steal what the ingredients make your sweets distinctive. But, if your sweet has a unique look, it’s possible to trademark it. It is necessary to talk with an attorney for trademarks to begin the process.
What did you think that something so enjoyable could also be a means to help your family and yourself? If you’ve been putting off an old family recipe that gets people asking for more, why not bring it out and make it a business?