Starting a Food Business: Knowing Your Customer

Posted on October 25, 2013 by

Starting a business is tough. Starting a food business is even tougher.

There's plenty of regulation, hoops to jump through, and at the end of the day your product has a shelf-life.

One of the most important things you have to figure out is who exactly your customer is. Who is a prototypical customer, or who are the prototypical customers that would buy your product?


In marketing and product development this is often called archetyping. You have to be able to describe your customer in sufficient detail to know what their typical day looks like, how they surf the web, what stores they shop in, how they relax, and what the eat.

Archetyping -> Marketing

Once you go through this exercise, it all of a sudden becomes much easier to decide on packaging, phrasing, marketing strategy, potential partners, and retail outlets.

In almost any business, food or otherwise, you have to understand your customer. Do this, and you'll be rewarded.

Have you practiced this? Had success or failure? Discuss in the comments below.

About Lev Berlin

Lev Berlin ReciPal SlantShack Author Bio

Lev Berlin is the founder & CEO of ReciPal. Having previously been a founder of SlantShack Jerky, he needed nutrition labels and simple tools to start and run the business. He's read the FDA food labeling code countless times in the process of creating ReciPal and helping small food businesses with their labels. He's reviewed and created thousands of food labels, and been a mentor and guest speaker at food incubators, food business courses, and regulatory conferences, like Brooklyn Foodworks and ICE.

After graduating from Princeton with an engineering degree, Lev was a management consultant, then founder or early employee at half a dozen startups. He loves nothing more than helping other small businesses get off the ground and achieve their goals.

Learn something? Check out similar posts:

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