I don’t know if it was due to all the baking we started doing with the first lockdown as we struggled to find ourselves in a new reality or the overall popularity of baked goods just shining through but baking is very popular right now. Baking premixes in particular are in very high demand. Premixes are not new and have been a part of life for many businesses in the past. What is new is their growing popularity with consumers as well. Premixes are not limited to baking, of course, the example of baking was simply one that I felt we could all relate to. So let’s discuss the premix food ingredients business idea.
As you have gathered by now premixes are ready to make mixes of ingredients for food. An easy example is cake mix. Cakes are not the easiest things to make so there is the appeal of a product that requires you to only add only one or two things to it to make cake mix. From the perspective of a cake business, you would prefer to spend less time getting the cake ingredients and then getting them together to make the cake. This offers a great solution to a real problem you experience. The same goes for an individual who enjoys baking a cake for their household on weekends. Coordinating with 2 or 3 ingredients makes easier work than coordinating 8 to 10 ingredients. So for the individual consumer, you can see the benefits of premixes.
What can you sell as premixes? Well, this market has grown widely over the last two to three decades. Premixed alcoholic drinks and cocktails have gone from novelties to market dominators. Premixed baking goods as we mentioned have risen to prominence in recent years. Premixed salads are very popular in the fruit and vegetable space. Confectionery such as doughnuts can also be premixed. Baby food premixes and cereals exist in the market. For an indigenous example, you can look at the mahewu mix powder. These all have the same thinking behind them, recipes that usually involve collecting multiple ingredients are simplified and the consumer or user need only purchase one ingredient.
Well, you can start small here and that is the beauty of this business. It depends on what you are making but for many you will just be mixing and blending dry ingredients without the need for any machinery. In some cases, you may get grains and other ingredients that you will grind or powder and that will require machinery or equipment. As many businesses do with food what you want to do is get your formula right first then scale. No use in investing in producing a tonne of poor premix. Get it right with small quantities and market tests. Once you have a great formula scale with that great formula.
It would be best for you to invest in creating a brand early on. Please be aware that creating a brand and branding are two different things and you should know and be able to explain the difference. What you will need to do is create an identity that your customers and consumers can spot and understand what is being promised. A brand is a story, logo, colours, attitude, communication and all the ways that a business, entity or person expresses its identity.
Packaging will be very important to your business though there are a few things that can help you out. We’ve talked about creating a brand and part of that is the packaging. If all of your business is B2C this will matter. In the case of B2B, the aesthetics of the packaging are not as important as in B2C. I’m not saying ignore packaging for B2C but understand that it is much more important in B2C than in B2B. That said important doesn’t always mean flashy and expensive. Plain brown paper packaging may be the most appropriate thing in the right market and depending on your identity or brand. I would just advise you to put a lot of thought into the packaging.
The only wrong marketing channel does not work. So think dynamically. I would leverage the internet and social media as we have them today. Do a video showing how to make one of your baking premixes. Perhaps yours is a premix coating for fried chicken. Do a video of that or show people tasting it. Be dynamic and use what is at your disposal to get the idea out there.