Are you a beef jerky enthusiast with a passion for making your own delicious homemade jerky?
Have you ever wondered if you could turn your hobby into a profitable business venture?
Well, the answer is yes, but it’s not as simple as just making jerky and selling it.
There are many regulations and hurdles to overcome before you can legally sell your homemade beef jerky.
In this article, we will explore the ins and outs of selling homemade beef jerky, including the costs involved, regulations to follow, and tips for marketing and selling your product.
So, grab a bag of your favorite jerky and let’s dive in!
Can You Sell Homemade Beef Jerky?
The short answer is yes, you can sell homemade beef jerky. However, there are many regulations and requirements that must be met before you can legally sell your product.
The meat market is highly regulated by the FDA, USDA, and other government bodies. This means that selling beef jerky made at home is not allowed. Instead, you must set up a production facility, team up with a factory, or rent a commercial kitchen in a local restaurant.
In order to sell and process jerky legally, you will need a food service license. This license helps ensure that food-service establishments are following health and safety requirements and keeping the public safe. The registration process varies by location and is typically through the local health department, though a state license may also be needed. Licensing typically requires employees to have a food handler certificate or food sanitation certification, in addition to the facility being randomly inspected.
The Costs Involved In Selling Homemade Beef Jerky
When it comes to selling homemade beef jerky, the costs involved can add up quickly. The first thing to consider is the cost of the meat itself. Beef is an expensive protein, and traditional beef jerky typically starts with a cut called “round”. Denuded rounds typically cost around $5 per pound, and this cost increases when you factor in the additional cost of flavorings and seasonings.
The cooking process is another expensive aspect of beef jerky production. During cooking, the beef will lose approximately half of its weight, meaning that rounds that started as $5.00 are now worth well in excess of $10.00 per pound. Packaging and labor costs must also be factored in, with a nice ziplock pouch costing around $.15 per pouch and labor costing $1.50 per 3oz bag.
When all these costs are added up, the total hard cost of a 3oz bag of homemade beef jerky is around $3.54. This means that in order to make a profit, you would need to sell your product for more than this price. However, it’s important to keep in mind that there are many other costs involved in selling beef jerky, such as marketing and distribution expenses.
Another factor to consider is the legal requirements for selling food products. In order to sell homemade beef jerky legally, you will need to obtain a food service license and meet health and safety requirements set by local and state governments. These licensing fees can also add up, depending on your location.
Finding Your Niche: Identifying Your Target Market
Before starting your beef jerky business, it’s important to identify your target market. This will help you determine the type of beef jerky you should produce, as well as the marketing strategies you should use to reach your audience.
One way to identify your target market is by conducting market research. This can be done by using tools like Google Trends to find trending topics and keywords that are highly searched. It’s also important to determine whether the niche you have chosen has a need and whether people are willing to pay for what you have to offer.
Consider the different types of consumers who might be interested in purchasing beef jerky. For example, athletes and fitness enthusiasts may be interested in high-protein, low-fat options, while foodies may be interested in unique and gourmet flavors. Convenience store shoppers may be looking for grab-and-go options, while farmers market shoppers may be looking for locally sourced and sustainable options.
Once you have identified your target market, consider the best ways to reach them. This could include partnering with local stores or restaurants, selling at farmers markets or online, or even starting a subscription service. By understanding your target market and catering to their needs and preferences, you can increase the chances of success for your beef jerky business.
Marketing Your Homemade Beef Jerky: Tips And Strategies
Once you have your homemade beef jerky production up and running, it’s time to start thinking about marketing your product. Here are some tips and strategies to help you promote and advertise your beef jerky business:
1. Host a Jerky of the Month Club: This is a great way to build a loyal customer base. Customers can subscribe to receive a new flavor of jerky each month, and you can offer discounts for long-term subscriptions.
2. Offer a loyalty program: Reward customers for referring friends or for continued purchases. This can be in the form of discounts, free samples, or other incentives.
3. Host tasting events: In-store tasting events are a great way to introduce new flavors and announce promotions. You can also partner with local businesses and venues to host these events.
4. Offer bulk discounts: Encourage customers to purchase in bulk by offering discounts for larger orders.
5. Partner with local businesses: Partnering with local restaurants, bars, and sports venues to offer your jerky as a snack option can help increase brand awareness and sales.
6. Build an online presence: Create a website and social media accounts to showcase your product and connect with potential customers. Use social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook to share photos of your product, announce promotions, and engage with followers.
7. Attend trade shows: Attend industry trade shows and events to network with other jerky producers, connect with potential buyers, and showcase your product.
Remember that marketing your beef jerky business takes time and effort. Be patient, stay consistent, and keep experimenting with new ideas to find what works best for your business.