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New food business idea - feedback needed please! :o

(13 Posts)
wonderfulsuzette Tue 12-Jul-11 12:20:14

Hi, this is my first post so i hope i've picked the right section. I'm thinking of starting a business making home cooked meals which families can buy and stash in their freezers each week to save them cooking but a better alternative to supermarket ready meals. I started when i was pregnant as i couldn't trust my husband not to give me food poisoning in the early new born baby days and have carried on for the past 12 years! Do you think this would work? Are people time-poor enough to buy them or would i have too much competition from the supermarkets? Would any of you buy them for example?

HowToLookGoodGlaikit Tue 12-Jul-11 12:33:32

Depends on the cost, how they and when they would be delivered, what food certs you have, how and where you would advertise etc etc. I think its the sort of thing I might have used occasionally, if the price was right.

wonderfulsuzette Tue 12-Jul-11 13:42:14

Hi, am still in the research stages at the moment but i am pricing up most of the meals i make and adding a couple of pounds per meal to see if prices are ok. Including ingredients i am looking at things like lasagne, bologneses, chillis, curries, tagines and stews to feed 4 for between £7 - £9. I would deliver as and when required - a couple of times a week. Food certs include the CIEH award in food safety level 2 and am already in contact with the local Environmental health and would make sure everything was approved and in place before i started. Haven't got as far as thinking about advertising but i had thought ante natal clinics might be a good start!! Any ideas gratefully received!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Aworryingtrend Tue 12-Jul-11 14:13:33

Personally I would not use this type of service, as both DH and I cook and we also have family and friends locally to help out.

Ante-natal clinics sound like a good place to start though. Are you just targetting new mothers? What about the elderly/infirm/disabled who enjoy home-cooked food and dont want to resort to ready meals? I suppose cost may be an issue there though.

BikeRunSki Tue 12-Jul-11 14:16:35

£9 a meal woudl put me off. But I don't mind cooking and generally batch cook. I am more time rich than cash rich. Might work for cash rich, time poor uber busy people.

wonderfulsuzette Tue 12-Jul-11 14:24:08

Thanks for the feedback so far. Not just targetting the new mums but it seems a good place to start - good idea about the elderly though... I guess I'm looking for a (horrible phrase coming up) professional couple with children who are time poor and cash rich - the opposite of me. Keep your feedback coming please - I'm still trying to decide if it's worth doing!

BigBadBear Tue 12-Jul-11 14:25:40

It's a nice idea, but I think there's a lot of competition out there - not just the supermarkets, but also companies like Cook that do exactly what you say. Might be worth looking at their website to see how your offering stacks up against theirs?

yousankmybattleship Tue 12-Jul-11 14:29:43

I'm afraid they seem too expensive to me. I am someone who cares about home cooked food, but that means I cook my own. I wouldn't buy a supermarket ready meal, but I could make enough to feed my family at least twice for £9 so wouldn't buy yours either.
The only time I might have bought them was immediately after having my children. Is there any way you could advertise on maternity wards to fill a freezer with a range of home cooked meals for a one off charge (say, charge £100 and provide them with mian meals ofr their first two weeks)?

wonderfulsuzette Tue 12-Jul-11 14:45:11

That sounds like a good idea about the maternity wards, thanks.
Just had a look at the Cook website, never heard of it before, looks good, although mine would be at least £2 per 4 serving cheaper than theirs. Serious competition though.......

LemonDifficult Tue 12-Jul-11 19:07:53

Ooooh, that's pricey. Could you go for the allergy market - they might pay more? Free from Gluten and whatnot?

bacon Wed 13-Jul-11 16:24:39

Think there are numerous companies already doing this and sure there are a few in city centres who do a door to door thing.

Personally, I wouldnt do it. Food is a difficult industry, once in processing the laws, tracability and fears of litigation terrified me. Have had many a christmas worrying if someone didnt cook their turkey properly or I've poisoned them.

I ran a meat business for a number of years and it wasnt profitable at all. This sort of market is aimed for the very switched on people with good disposible income - and will probably be foodies who know excellent tasting food. Some meals dont freeze that well and some do. and lets face it the meals that do like mince are easy to produce.

I would expect that many people who like the better side of ready meals prob buy from M&S, Waitrose etc. Even through not brill but very cheap.

Please think about your profit margin. How many meals you would have to produce a week to make it worth your effort. You couldnt afford to take on anyone on either, you need good insurance, excellent product and ingredient knowledge understand tracability and food production from field to fork, investment with pots, more cookers etc. Endlessly peeling potatoes - not so glamorous is it?.....marketing is a complete nightmare as no small business can afford this side of business which is the starting of many successful business. I spent thousands on advertising, leaflet drops etc.

This is why all cottage industries all turn into mass production industrial unit producers. Its not viable and the hygine is so controlled now.

Tinkerisdead Wed 13-Jul-11 16:35:53

I would love something like this. Cook website is bit of a faff for me buying portions but somewhere to buy family tray bake kinda stuff would be great.

I've got morning sickness, if food is put in front of me I can attempt it. I can't bare cooking smells or preparing food. Currently we're living on ready meals as dh just can't cook. Also when I had my first c section I filled freezer with meals so I'd pay someone to fill my freezer next time.

I used to have a casserole takeaway near me it was fab. Portion of casserole with either jacket, rice or chips. They did a deal for pensioners too. I used it loads as a career woman who got home late it was ideal to have home cooked food in a hurry. Your idea would work well for lots of people. Not to mention small child friendly portions for toddlers for the days that mummy is too sick growing you a sibling to cook from scratch!

Good luck.

ristretto Sun 17-Jul-11 20:59:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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