Thank you to those of you who sent positive messages last week. I’ve got an offer to help with farmers’ markets in Frederick and some newfound regulatory knowledge from the Side Hustle readers. I appreciate it.
This is especially true because I have been decidedly lazy this week about my new venture. I did manage to meet with a guy who runs one of my favorite local spots for sandwiches and got some sage advice about the significance of my origins and the lack thereof when it comes to where my cucumbers are sourced (not the supplier, the geography), at least from the B2B perspective.
I have learned from multiple publicly available sources that North America represents the largest market for pickles. Good, that’s where I live. As I mentioned last week, I’m sticking local anyway, so I’m not sure how important that macroeconomic knowledge is for me, although the annual growth rate statistics I’ve seen make other ventures seem more attractive. That’s OK though. I like my pickles.
It seems there are some material price fluctuations I can expect in terms of ingredients, which I figured, so I’ll have to aim high on price maybe. There is also the preparation that impacts returns. My recipe, when last I tried it, involved 18 days of pickling before eating. It looks like I’ll have to test out whether a shorter period might be good enough, and whether I can achieve the same results with less input.
It seems the industry is driven by local preferences that vary widely around the globe. I think I have a pretty good idea about how my pickles might fit into the local market as I have experienced it to date, but I’ll have to test my theory of course.
It seems the distribution channels are basically grocery stores (small and supermarket), online and others. I think I’m going to focus initially on others because what I want to do is find a way to make the features of locations that fit within the definition of certain types of establishments I have in mind. I think local small businesses that have food service or offer packaged goods, or both is where I want to start generally. I tend to believe there are certain places I like to frequent for a reason, and among the reasons might be that I can get certain specialty products there, and I view my pickles as special. Hopefully, that’s right.
I also believe I am in the “vegetable pickle” market as opposed to fruit, meat, relish, etc., so I can narrow my analysis to that along the way. It seems the major players are those that would be obvious to anyone who spends time looking on labels to see who makes things, which is a weird habit I have when I’m not in a rush. What I think I need to know is which of the niche markets are occupied in some way by the big players. Off I go.
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