How To Avoid Launching a Product No One Wants To Buy

About the Episode

If 95% of food start-ups fail, how can entrepreneurs hope to get new products into the marketplace? Bernard Verkaaik offers expert advice on the competitive challenges start-ups face, what acquirers look for when they consider buying an F&B start-up, tips on building a brand that is difficult to replicate, the importance of scalability and how often consumers replace a product, when to work with a co-manufacturer, how the right broker can help get products on shelves, and what gets a retail buyer’s attention.

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“The number one reason for failure is product-market fit – when a business creates a product that there is simply no demand for.”

Bernard Verkaaik

In this Episode

2:11 Where do most business start-ups fail in the food and beverage industry?
3:20 How can a smaller or newer company compete for attention on retail shelves with larger, more established companies and brands?
5:58 How often do larger companies like Kraft and Nestlé dabble in the newer emerging categories such as “good for you” products?
7:10 Which retail segments present the most opportunity for growth, and which categories are ones to avoid?
11:45 How easily can big companies step in and copy products created by smaller companies? How can a start-up business counter this?
13:44 What’s the key to building a brand that’s difficult to replicate?
16:15 What do companies look for in a start-up when considering an acquisition? What metrics or attributes are key?
20:52 How important is thinking about scalability as a company builds its brand?
23:10 Are there benefits to a start-up using a co-manufacturer when producing products
25:10 When should a business consider manufacturing its product in-house? What are the considerations to bear in mind?
26:56 What is an example of a successful product The Greater Good has helped launch?
28:19 How can brokers help a start-up food and beverage business?
31:25 What is the best way to determine product-market fit?
37:55 Advice from Bernard Verkaaik on getting the attention of retail buyers.
49:45 Is big tech associated with big food?

Learn More About This Episode

Resources Mentioned in This Episode

Acronyms or Terms Used in This Episode

  • Better-For-You Foods: A food category with healthier options or ingredients.
  • Co-packer/Co-manufacturer: A brand’s manufacturing partner.
  • Non-GMO: Food made free from genetically modified organisms.

Meet Our Guest

Bernard Verkaaik

Bernard Verkaaik

Founder and Operating Manager of The Greater Goods

Bernard Verkaaik is the Founder and Operating Manager of The Greater Goods, a company that transforms great food ideas from concepts to successful products on store shelves. The Greater Goods has launched well over 30 successful food and beverage start-ups as of early 2024. They offer a full range of food-industry services, including food brokerage and distribution, market opportunity assessment, food product development, branding and packaging, optimizing sourcing and manufacturing, and building a launch strategy.

Before establishing The Greater Goods in November 2017, Bernard spent years honing his skills and expertise in various facets of the food industry. His experience ranges from navigating the complexities of food brokerage and distribution to mastering the art of market opportunity assessment and food product development. 

Location Location: Toronto, Canada

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