With 20 years of CPG New Product marketing experience, I am baffled as to where to turn next, after attempting for 8 years to bring a high barrier to entry product into a test market in either Canada or the United States. The objective of such a test would be to reinforce the (research supported) validity of a National rollout and then onto a self-manufacturing in the city of their choice.
Peter Hunchuck spent the majority of his career making or overseeing the development of 60 sku’s each and every year for Nabisco/Christie/Kraft for 20 years. He has had 3 huge successes, 2 of them lead to over $120M in annual sales in North America, triple the research projections.
Having created a unique formulation for everyone, not just Gluten Free and Low Fat audiences and that there were limited manufacturing resources (1 only in N.A.), we secured agreement from an independent offshore manufacturer (with full international certifications), to allow us time in their facility to create yet another a product we knew the market would jump on. In exchange for this Intellectual Property, they agreed to our owning the North American rights. No lab batches here. We had to run full up batches for a complete 3 days (an extraordinarily short period of time to get the results we did and immense pressure to succeed).
Succeed Peter did and we produced sufficient quantities of 2 different sku’s (one of which is very well suited for topical seasonings) for a company to execute a full blown IPSOS Bases (product validated research). This would substantiate the Pre-Bases, which projected a $20M business at retail in Canada, in only 70% National distribution.
Management of the company who conducted the research concluded that despite the size, it was not something they wished to pursue strategically.
Over the following 8 years, we presented finished product to virtually every significant CPG in North America in conjunction with the IPSOS Pre-basis research results. Every single one of them agreed with how great the product is, not with their words, but rather their hands returning to the bag to eat more. But they all said no as they did not create it (NIH syndrome).
Companies we approached (many of whom we had contacts with whom we had previously worked) included:
- General Mills U.S.
- Trader Joe’s
- Old Dutch
- Natures Path
- Krispy Kernels
- William M. Dunne & Associates Limited
- Porter Airlines
- Campbell Soups U.S.
- Maple Leaf Foods
So with all of these rejections and more, I wondered if we executed a Gofundme campaign tied to the Celiac community and them as distributors might be successful, but with the low price, it just did not make sense. How does one cost effectively distribute a $25/case 16-50g bag case?
We even attempted a small test market in the U.S., but the distributor lacked complete focus!
What am I missing? No such product exists in Canada or the United States. It is truly the ONLY great tasting Gluten Free item you will every try. It is as crunchy as a rice cracker, but tastes like a restaurant quality tortilla chip.
This product has been selling in the country of manufacture since 2009.
The product is more relevant today for families looking to eat better and find snacks that they can enjoy and not fear.
All suggestions welcome!