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“Food explorers” open up opportunities in the health and wellness market for entrepreneurs and startups, but do the opportunities outweigh the challenges?
In many ways, there has never been a better time to launch a new food and beverage brand.
Consumer beliefs about what health means are fragmenting and becoming very individualized-personalized nutrition, in effect. This is producing a massive fragmentation of markets and the proliferation of niches, which entrepreneurial companies are perfectly placed to serve. As a result, more and more, products have narrower targets.
Added to this trend is increased consumer openness to small, new brands, new ingredients, new tastes, and new textures. And it’s not just millennials entertaining new possibilities; people of all ages are becoming “food explorers.” This receptiveness is the reason that snacks based on seaweed are already a $250 million market in the United States and the number of snacks based on chickpeas has doubled in Europe in the last two years.
Being a small business gives you several advantages in this fragmenting marketplace:
On the other hand, the life of the entrepreneur is demanding, takes up all of your time, and comes with some very distinct risks:
Although the prospects for healthy food and beverage startups are better than in the past, those prospects are hyped. The failure rate of small, new businesses still stands at 80% and higher. Entrepreneurs can expect many bumps and catastrophes along the road into the unknown. More than branding, marketing, ingredients, or great package design, your personal resilience will be the biggest driver of your success.
Julian Mellentin is one of the world’s few international specialists in the business of food, nutrition, and health. He is director of New Nutrition Business, which provides case studies and analysis of success and failure in the global nutrition business and is used by more than 1,700 corporate subscribers in 42 countries. Visit our website www.new-nutrition.com for more information. For all of our latest updates, follow us on Twitter @NewNutritionB and LinkedIn.