The Big Picture. If you are planning on going head-to-head with an established manufacturer for retail space allocation in chain supermarkets, you had better be a superior product offered at a lower pricing point. If you are thinking of national distribution, you are going to need a network of contract distributors and a national marketing agency. Without benefit of knowing what your products will be, either raw food packaged to cook or pre-cooked to heat and serve like a TV dinner it is difficult to advise on.
There are many food processing plants large and small who can do the entire job for you from prepping the products to packing and shipping them for you, even if only producing for local or regional distribution.
Everything, is a matter of dollars. If it is just the two of you involved with the project, you may want to consider expanding this consideration to involve several other people who will be assigned specific tasks to perform. I imagine from your post that your Chef/Wife will be the main person heading the creative side, production and quality assurance nuances while you yourself will be the business interest combining all of the elementary functions of everything from sales and logistical support systems.
Several other people will be a necessary component to carry out specific functions and responsibilities of the general business agenda. Even as a start up, there are only 24 hours in any day and it is never going to be enough to keep on top of every aspect of the business model.
Make 'people' your priority and recruit those you'll need right off the bat ahead of any production nomenclature. Be diligent in your choices of personnel and vet them, don't just accept anyones word that they are the greatest thing since sliced bread, it has been my experience that any idiot can find three people or relatives who will vouch for them with a reference to help them gain employment. Choose wisely, hand pick people who have a proven track record of success and the necessary experience with a similar business agenda. Those simply looking for a paycheck without contributing to your success are going to be the majority of jobseekers, pass on them and find the people who will accept the challenge's to come with positive enthusiasm. Even if you have to poach them from other businesses, get them onboard. Don't be afraid to share your vision with your people and make them party to your strategy, goals, hopes and dreams.
Do your homework, seek out and talk to anyone you can find who has experience with the same business model as you are planning on, and continue to tap into business forums such as this one with specific questions to be asked and answered.
If it is your intent to manufacture and distribute your own products, on any scale, make certain you have a clear understanding of the market opportunities available to you and what you must do in order to impact the existing market share. As you are in the food business, you are in direct competion with all markets and food outlets, including restaurants of all description vying for disposable income percentages.
If you are staying 'regional'; understand that your market place is probably already 'food saturated' and you will need a great deal of work to break into it successfully.
As a Chef myself, I wish you well.
Thank yo so much for your response. We are trying to market pre-cooked to heat and serve like a TV dinner meals. And we like to go for national distribution eventually, but first like to start locally small. We are located in NYC. You said "There are many food processing plants large and small who can do the entire job for you from prepping the products to packing and shipping them for you, even if only producing for local or regional distribution". Can you please help me with few recommendations with good reputable food processing plants? I am kind of lost. Looked all over, but so confused. At the begining, we want the processing plant very much do everything for us since we are not experienced yet. Do you think this is a good idea? Thanks for your help once again.
Hi, My wife and I are planning on starting Frozen Food Business. She is award winning chef. We are very excited, but we have no experience. Where do I find a good frozen food package designer and supplier? I am assuming at the begining we should outsource this. When we grow, should we the packaging on our own?
Thank you in advance for your answer.