Market Development

As you start your food business, you will need to develop a comprehensive marketing strategy to ensure your product launch is successful. You will need to examine food trends, consumer habits, competitors' products and pricing to learn more about your target customer and how to best reach them.

Consider going to the grocery store or another retail location you envision selling your product at. Assess the aisle you think your product belongs in -- what competitor products are already there, how similar products are sized, packaged and placed, and what value your product would bring. Keep this information in mind as you develop your marketing strategy. Even if you first start selling your product directly to consumers through farmers' markets and online sales, having this information in mind will make it easier if you transition to selling in grocery stores in the future.



How do I conduct market research?

In the start-up stage, you might choose to start with direct selling or selling your product at farmers' markets to conduct some preliminary market research.

Competition in the grocery sector is fierce -- there is limited space on grocery store shelves, so you must differentiate your product from your competitors' products.Gather and analyze information to understand the grocery market. Conduct online research, read industry publications and consult with government and business service providers. This research will help you determine if there is demand for your product, who your target customer is and how you can effectively reach them, and who your competition is.

There are resources that can help you learn about grocery store operations, identify trends and market opportunities, and how to successfully sell to them:

There are many resources that can help you conduct market research:

How do I develop a marketing plan?

Like the business plan you developed as the road map for your business, a marketing plan is the road map to organize, execute and track your marketing strategy. This plan will ensure your marketing objectives align with your business goals. A comprehensive marketing plan goes beyond the four Ps -- product, price, place and promotion -- to include brand identity, packaging and advertising campaigns.

For help developing your marketing plan, visit:

If you plan to sell your product to grocery stores or retail locations, consider creating a sell sheet as a valuable advertising tool you can present to buyers.

How do I develop the packaging for my product?

Your packaging needs to both inform and entice consumers. It should appropriately protect the product and also reflect your brand identity. Packaging should be functional, easy to open, safe and, to the extent possible, sustainable.

For more information on developing food packaging, visit:

Contact a Manitoba Agriculture business development specialist for a directory of packaging, labelling and graphic designers. Email to get connected.

How do I determine the pricing for my product?

The price you determine for your product must be considered reasonable by your target customer, while still generating a healthy profit margin.

There are many resources that can help you determine the price for your product:

Make Manitoba Agriculture your first point of contact for help as you build your future in food. Business development specialists offer consulting, pathfinding and training that will help you start, manage and grow your food business. Get connected today at