It’s 2020 and you’ve decided you’re finally ready to follow your lifelong dream of launching a beverage brand. Then the unimaginable happens – a pandemic strikes. Moving forward with your idea would be foolish, right?
Well, maybe not.
Before you postpone your dream for yet another day, month, year, consider the time it will take you to get your product to market.
From Dream to Drink
When a prospective client first reaches out to Flavorman for beverage development services, it can be about a week, sometimes two, to get all the parameters for their project defined and ready to present in a scope of work. Once a project agreement has been negotiated and signed, our team of experts jumps into action.
Flavorman moves quickly, creating and shipping a client’s first set of samples within 10 business days. Of course, our work is not complete until a client tells us their samples taste exactly like what they’ve envisioned. After receiving their first set of samples, the client will send us their feedback and our lab will return a second set of samples within another 10 business days.
Even though Flavorman is the fastest in the industry when it comes to delivering samples, the creative and collaborative process required to perfect a client’s drink still takes time. Based on our nearly 30 years of experience, that back-and-forth typically lasts about three months.
Preparing for Commercialization
Once a client tells Flavorman we’ve gotten their drink right, we can finalize their formula and begin the scale-up process – that’s where we get their drink prepped for commercial production.
Now, there are a lot of moving parts involved here – from creating the Nutrition Facts Panel and Ingredients Statement to providing blending instructions and certification assistance, generating QC specifications, submitting regulatory paperwork, conducting shelf life and quality testing, finalizing ingredient pricing, and entering the client’s unique flavor component into our Production system so it is ready for them to order.
All in all, this scale-up process usually takes another four weeks after development to complete; however, where shelf life testing is concerned, our lab recommends at least 3 months before going to production.
From Manufacturing to Consumer
When a client is ready to go to their first production, they’ll place an order for any of the ingredients that they’ll need from Flavorman and other suppliers. For our part, we fulfill most orders within four weeks from the date that payment is received, then it is transported to the client’s manufacturing location.
Flavorman has a reputation for excellence in quality and speed to market, but there are aspects of the production timeline that are outside of our control. Scheduling line time at the manufacturing facility and obtaining product packaging are two big contributors to an extending timeline. Depending on the drink and the partners a client has chosen, there is commonly an eight to twelve-week lead time or more involved here.
Between engaging with a development company like Flavorman to having saleable product available for consumers it can, in our experience, take anywhere from nine months to one year for startups and entrepreneurs to be ready for the market. Of course, established brands looking for new products or line extensions can often get it done much quicker, since many of the partners they need are typically already in place.
However, it must be said that so much of the process post-development is not under our control, and because there is such a big difference between manufacturing a flavored vodka versus a protein shake, for example, it is difficult to predict an absolute timeline for when a client might expect to “be on store shelves.”
Your best bet? Start sooner rather than later!
Your Time is Now
With this in mind, it doesn’t matter whether you’re an entrepreneur or an existing brand because waiting any longer to start development on your beverage may actually not be in your best interest – pandemic or no pandemic.
When the world returns to normal, whatever that may look like, make sure your drink is ready to hit the shelves. Your time for action is now.
“Don’t put off for tomorrow what can be done today” – Benjamin Franklin
If you want to learn more about how Flavorman can help you bring your beverage idea to life, fill out this webform or give us a call at (502) 663-8692.