What market trends are happening in your industry?

Forecasting can help you throughout the year, helping you know when and how to launch your products. For example with Creative Natures baking mixes we launched around the time of Great British Bake Off as it provided an easy at home solution to those who wanted to get involved with baking but didn’t have the time or skills. This is a great example of looking at what’s going on around your market and in pop culture in order to create a successful launch.

So how do you come up with an actual idea for a product or niche in the first place? In my case it was looking at solving a problem that I knew many people had. Allergies. Is there something you wish you had a solution to? When you look to solve a problem you have it’s more than likely other people have it to.

Now, whether or not to run with it comes down to do through market research, I now use Mintel’s because they have the most data readily available for business who want to see whether there’s a gap in the market and how big that market is. For example the free-from market is worth £521 Million in UK alone. The only downside with all this data is that it’s not free mintel ca charge up to £2000 for 1 report. Top tip: Make an appointment with the British Library has all the data you need you just have to put in the time and take notes and photocopies.

What about packaging and brand? One of the hardest things is deciding on packaging, the good news is all that market research and forecasting can help. Your packaging has to be clear in what problem it’s helping to solve, and using the market research we then knew what messages to put across on front of pack: gluten free (biggest market), dairy free (2nd largest), nut free (3rd largest).

So how do you decide whether to launch a product based on what the market says or just going off and running with your own idea that may not have a market yet? The answer lies in apple. When they launched their first Mac, iPod, iPad, people didn’t know they needed the product.. Yet. What apple did was use their first product/ iteration as there market research. When they saw a niche, core group start to love their products, they then made improvements based off them to take it to a larger mass market audience. Tip: don’t be scared to try out something new in the market but set yourself a timeline to get your first loyal customers. If no one buys, there may not be enough people to make it a viable product.

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