Last week, I wrote about the premiere of Lifetime’s all-new competition series, Supermarket Superstar and my role coaching the contestants as R&D Mentor. This week, I’d like to tell you a little bit more about the process.
Shooting a TV show is an exhausting and exhilarating process. Even when the pilot’s been “picked up,” there’s doubt about whether the network will like the series and if viewers will watch. So it’s hard to believe that the Supermarket Superstar premiere aired and episode two is in a few days … I think the season will be over before I know it!
There’s quite a difference between cooking delicious food at home for people you love, and commercializing the same thing to sell in grocery stores nationwide. Many great ideas never make it past what we call the “bench” because their appeal will be too narrow.
So in a nutshell, here’s the process and the pitfalls. You have the best steak butter, for example, on the block. Neighbors say you should sell it in stores. After going through hours of research, experimentation and money, you complete your prototype and shop it around. If you find a company that will work with you and you still have a few bucks left, you finalize your gold standard, scale it up to a pilot batch, then a production batch.
In the meantime, you’ve pitched savvy buyers and found one who will give you a chance. You’ve developed a brand, a marketing strategy and packaging. And before that you costed the ingredients, distribution, labor and sales expenses to determine a retail price where everyone makes money and the consumer feels like you’re giving them value for their hard-earned money. And supermarkets are tough; if your steak butter doesn’t sell, it doesn’t stay.
It’s exhausting just reading what it takes. So let’s hear it for the Supermarket Superstar season contestants. Each and every one has the courage and perseverance to be successful food entrepreneurs. They all get my vote but only a few will see their dream realized!
About Supermarket Superstar: Supermarket Superstar is Lifetime’s all-new competition series that will give everyday Americans the chance to prove they have the next great product consumers will love. It premiered on Monday, July 22, at 10 ET/PT. Hosted by Stacy Keibler, Supermarket Superstar gives undiscovered food entrepreneurs their chance to shine among the big brands in the highly competitive food industry.
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