Consumer Needs + Category Opportunity = Your Product

There’s a reason you’re here. A tipping point’s happened in your life where you’ve decided that now is the time to commercialize your recipe. And I recognize that you’re serious. You wouldn’t be perusing The Kitchen CEO if you weren’t. With that said, I’d like to use this post to take you through an introspective journey as it relates to your product. I pose this question to you, why? Why are you launching? If your immediate answer centers around anything other than the consumer, then I’d like to challenge your thinking for a moment.

To succeed as a relevant and viable brand, your product has to be ALL ABOUT THE CONSUMER. With traditional product development, you are instructed to solve a problem. While that may sound daunting to the founder of a pretzel company, it’s extremely relevant. Perhaps I'll take some of the pressure off by rephrasing “solve a problem” with satisfy a need or fill a gap. However you say it, the outcome cannot be decided in a bubble. In order to create and market a product that’s relevant to a segment of consumers, you have to understand and validate what they need from your category, then address it specifically with your product. To your specific consumer segment, you have to be “the one”.

Many aspiring founders feel so strongly about their recipes that they expect immediate success based on superficial factors. Great taste alone will not win you shelf space. Neither will beautiful packaging.

To a grocery buyer, your product has to be differentiated enough that you’re not simply one of many pretzel brands on the shelf. You also have to have a solid plan to drive velocity on shelf...translation: you have to have a strategy to consistently and continuously move your product off the shelf into the carts, and most importantly, the mouths of purchasing consumers. Their job hinges on product performance so they are extremely decisive on what new products to add to their category.