Testing your food product for local food markets, Saturday morning markets and farmer’s markets

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On many local community markets you see the most humble of one-person entrepreneurs who are selling home-made products. It doesn’t take rocket science to test your product before putting it onto a local market. All you need to do is go about testing it in a sensible way.

So how do you go about testing your product?

The first thing, as simple as it sounds, is to test the product on yourself. You may have different tastes to other people but at least if you are satisfied with the taste of your product, it’s a good place to start.

Think about people you know and test your product on them. Invite family and friends over and let them have fun tasting your product. A caution here about family and friends. They may give you the thumbs up but could be merely polite and don’t want to say anything to hurt you. Let your family and friends know that criticism is encouraged as you want to provide prospective customers with the best product possible. Test your product on them but just make sure that you understand that it is not an objective test with outsiders who you do not know.

If at all possible, consider going wider and doing a small test on people you don’t know. Find a place where you won’t get into trouble offering taste testing of your product. You could even speak to a mall owner or management and find out if you could do a taste test at their premises. You may wish to also go to one of your local food markets and find out if you can do a small taste test there.

This testing can give you important indicators about what people think of your product and its flavour and texture, for instance. Depending on the nature of your product, some taste-testers may find it too sweet or too salty, etc. Consider this feedback and, if necessary, make adjustments to your recipe.

Product testing doesn’t stop even after your initial testing. You need to listen to the comments and feedback from prospective buyers and purchasers. Even though you may think that your product is the best on the market, it’s best to keep your emotions out of the picture and make modifications as necessary. Decide what is relevant and important feedback. You may then need to do additional testing but if you want less criticism later when you put your product onto the market, then it’s worthwhile to do this step. After this step, you may want to modify your prototype product.

When you have completed your testing and modified your prototype, your next step will be to research platforms to sell your product. We will continue to focus on foods for local markets in future articles on Idea Accelerator.

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