The Process of Local Commercial Food Production
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SubjectNew products; Local foods--New York (State)--New York; United States. Food and Drug Administration; Salsa (Cooking)
In 2013, New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo created the Pride of New York pledge to promote the growth, production, and consumption of local foods. This initiative has inspired food entrepreneurs to startup small businesses founded on the production of processed foods from personal recipes. The process of creating a food product for retail sale from recipe to store shelf is complex. Multiple steps are required that include finding a USDA approved processing facility that has the capacity to meet the demands of production. This project was based on the development of a salsa recipe that would meet the standards for retail sale. The multiple-step process started with an idea, in this case a homemade product often given as a gift to family members. Product development took place at Nelson Farms production kitchen. The steps to market included determining a target audience’s need or demand for a product of this type, food recipe development, and refinement to determine startup and value added costs and required resources, and food procurement while adhering to FDA and USDA regulations. The production process also entailed marketing of the developed product and assessing customer acceptability to predict the success of future product sales and the sustainability of the business. The salsa product went retail and after three months on the shelf, the consumer acceptability has been measured by product sales and surveys of consumers. The numerical results showed consumer acceptance of the product supported by the fact that the product is going into a second production. Further sales records and consumer feedback will be monitored and evaluated in order to determine the long-term sustainability of the product. Food entrepreneurs who want to become part of the local food movement, whose business plan is to produce a product to be sold retail must adhere to a rigorous process that ultimately should lead to the sustainability of their business.