Nowadays, the health and wellness industry is booming, meaning that smart entrepreneurs have a window to get into a beverage industry that up until recently has been dominated by giants like Coca Cola and PepsiCo. Thanks to many people choosing to cut calories by avoiding sugary soft drinks, opting for fruit juices, supplementing their workouts with premade protein shakes, and even switching to non-alcoholic beers as they wind down at the end of a long day, it’s possible to get into the market and really carve out your own niche.
All of that being said, starting your own company (much less a company in a space as crowded as the food and beverage industry) can be tricky. If you’re not sure where to start on your path to launch your own beverage, here are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind. While not easy, you’ll be bound to find success by following this advice and putting in the work.
Pick a company to handle beverage formulation.
Beverage formulation is pivotal to the success you find in the beverage market. After all, it doesn’t matter if your drink is healthier or more packed with vitamins and minerals than the rest of the competition combined if it doesn’t have a good flavor. Whether you’re looking to start your own line of energy drinks or are more interested in working with tea formulas, getting the levels of sweetness and acid just right can be an arduous process. Thankfully, a beverage manufacturer will help you handle all of these aspects while you work to design the perfect beverage and work through the formulation process.
In an ideal world, you’ll be able to find a beverage manufacturer capable of handling the whole process of manufacturing and helping you distribute your new drink. That usually includes (but certainly isn’t limited to) designing the beverage as well as its packaging, mixing, flavoring, and testing the beverage to ensure it has the right shelf life, viscosity, flavor, and look, and scaling production at their manufacturing plant. A good beverage development company will also be able to offer you customer service that helps even neophyte beverage developers to create a winning drink.
Lean into your differences when marketing your drink.
From your packaging to the copy you use on social media posts and imagery you pick of your new drink (and those who drink it), each decision helps contribute to your overall brand. Especially as more entrepreneurs are looking to get into the beverage market, it’s a good idea to focus on your differences and what makes you unique compared to your competitors. Even if this seems like it would cut you off from other customers, it’s far more important to build a small following when you launch a new beverage, especially considering how many different beverage categories there are. If you have fanciful flavors for your energy drinks or are focused on perfecting a ready-made protein shake with clean ingredients and the mouthfeel of a milkshake, own it!
Set goals and keep your team accountable.
The first few years of any business owner’s life can be tricky, and without a clear vision and a system for tracking your company goals, you’re likely to lose your way. Using OKR software is one way to keep yourself and the rest of your team on track since OKRs (also known as objectives and key results) clearly identify what you’re trying to accomplish as a business and what steps are necessary to reach that goal. From strategic objectives in marketing, customer service, and beverage development to organizational goals surrounding how to get more press for your company, a simple OKR can go a long way. Plus, OKRs are the same goal-setting framework used by the people that made Google, and if it works for them it’ll surely work for your new beverage company!