Getting the right help when beginning a business is critical to commercial success. Just ask recent NASFT sofi™ Gold Award Winner Argo Fine Foods. Co-owners Christel De Blasio-Pavlidis and Pavlos Pavlidis used the equipment at Mi Kitchen es su Kitchen, a New York City-based culinary incubator, to produce their tzatziki. One year later, they were winning awards.
In New York City alone, there are four incubators. This summer, a fifth will launch in Harlem, where a 4,000-square-foot facility will be built in La Marqueta, a city-owned retail market on Park Avenue. In addition to providing space and equipment, many of these companies provide professional guidance as well. Looking for an incubator near you? The Rutgers Food Innovation Center (foodinnovation.rutgers.edu) offers links to culinary incubators across the country.
Food Business Incubation Background
This is about Rutgers Business Incubation
Business incubation is a globally proven model for accelerating the successful development of start-up companies, by providing entrepreneurs with an array of targeted resources and services. The National Business Incubation Association (NBIA) (www.nbia.org) estimates that there are about 7,000 business incubators that exist worldwide, however only a very small percentage (an estimated 1-2%) focus on the food industry.
Food business incubators, however, have a number of unique challenges. Collectively, our clients include startup food companies and entrepreneurs, farmers, agricultural cooperatives, farmer’s markets, retail and foodservice establishments, raw material and ingredient suppliers, and domestic and international food processors. Our clients need:
• Information on business planning, market research, capital access, corporate governance, local/state/federal regulatory and permitting requirements, product and process development, food technology selection, food safety and HACCP systems, nutrition labeling, packaging, marketing and sales strategy, distribution channels
• Training and workforce development on best practices in quality assurance and food safety
• Assistance in development of value-added differentiatedproducts, in order to compete in an increasingly complex retail and foodservice environment, which is undergoing significant industry consolidation
• To reduce startup expense associated with new product development, equipment costs, and market entry
• To safely and legally produce products in an FDA, and potentially a USDA inspected facility
Business incubators and innovation centers provide the solutions that our clients need, but the amount of expertise that is needed to manage these programs is significant. Hopefully, FoodBIN will be of value to your new or existing incubator program. Read more about Food Innovation click here.
Clean Label Trend Still Rising
Winning marketing strategies for 2010 will focus on having fewer additives or ingredients in food products, according to global market researcher Mintel International. Consumers want to know the specific ingredients their food choices contain, but they also want to know that they don’t include anything bad for them. Therefore, if they can’t pronounce it, they don’t want it on the label. Mintel found there are decreases in the average number of ingredients in 19 product categories, including dairy products, processed meats and even pet foods.
Slow Food Supermarkets.
Eataly, a mega-supermarket cooperative inspired by the Slow Food Movement, opened its first location three years ago in Turin, Italy, and has already added stores in Milan and Tokyo, with a large outpost set to open in the summer of 2010 in New York City. The first three-level enterprise, totaling close to 120,000 square feet, is a destination not only to buy local and sustainable food, but a place to taste and learn as well. Scattered throughout are products from more than 900 producers plus eight restaurants, two café bars, one ice cream stand, ten educational areas, a library with 1,000 cookbooks and mini restaurants or bars in each food section. To read more on the Food Trends click here.