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Do I extend my product line?

Discussion in 'Small Business' started by Lizzie, 17th Jan, 2016.

  1. Lizzie

    Lizzie Well-Known Member

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    I'm in two minds about this ... asides from growing garlic and grapes, which are seasonal ... I make a "year 'round" product for sale ... cheese platter pastes ... that sell exceptionally well from deliberately limited outlets. I also make exclusive versions (Semillon and Dessert Wine) for specific cellar doors and wine mustards for general sale.

    The cheese pastes are like a quince paste, but made with local wines instead of quince, and more like a dense wine jelly ... technically still a fruit, but don't know if it'd count towards your 5 a day ;)

    I currently make a range of Shiraz, Chardonnay and Port (Tawny) in both original and "mulled wine" (and mustard) ... for the mulled wine version I cook up giant pots of wine with orange, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves - filter - the make the paste.

    Once reason I stick to the three base varieties - range of 6 pastes and 3 mustards in total - is simplicity (making, storage, labels etc) and consistent supply of the wine, at a low price, from a local cellar door.

    Today I had an offer - from another cellar door - to buy three further varieties of wine - Merlot, Verdelho and Rose - at the same base price. I probably wouldn't convert these to mulled and may only do the Merlot as a mustard.

    I am tempted - but my concern is "would people actually buy more" if I had the larger range?

    Simply, if someone is going to buy only one, would they still buy only one despite more on offer - or - if they weren't going to buy at all, would they be tempted to part with the cash if they see a wine they like?

    Those that have tasted my cheese platter pastes ... feel free to rave :D;)
     
    Last edited: 17th Jan, 2016
  2. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Gut feel is to stick with the limited range. A greater diversity of products rather than depth would be more beneficial, that is adding different products rather than more of the same thing (pastes are already the novelty, more pastes will only make that same decision harder and may not necessarily lead to more sales).
     
  3. moyjos

    moyjos Well-Known Member

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    [Rave start]. Spotty Dog wine pastes are FABULOUS so so so SO delicious with a good triple cream Brie. [Rave end]

    I am not sure about adding a Merlot or Rose paste, I wonder if they might be a bit mild? Verdelho can see pairing ok with a good bitey cheddar.

    What about single variety wine vinegars? The crispness of a verdelho could work, Merlot might make a nice soft vinegar.
     
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  4. moyjos

    moyjos Well-Known Member

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  5. Lizzie

    Lizzie Well-Known Member

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    It did also have a range of wine jams/marmalades - shiraz/orange and chardonnay/lemon. These sold okay - but probably 30 pastes for 1 jam as "jam" is pretty common, even if it's not wine jam.

    Similar sales for the mustard versus the pastes, but they are different and I did want some variety. I'm happy for suggestions as to unusual products ... :rolleyes:

    There are vinegars and flavoured olive oils everywhere around here, being wine and tourists - and fairly common elsewhere but, most people have never seen a wine paste. I'm trying to stay unique and not in competition.
     
  6. Lizzie

    Lizzie Well-Known Member

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  7. moyjos

    moyjos Well-Known Member

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    Can you get the marmalade so into any breakfast baskets at local cottages/ b&b's? Once someone tastes the simply DEVINE chardy/lemon marmalade, they will have to have it :D (in a big jar so they don't run out :D)
     
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  8. moyjos

    moyjos Well-Known Member

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    What about combining both products and try a red wine and garlic marinade ...works for Masterfoods :)
    MasterFoods

    White wine and garlic (maybe with some lemon) marinade/sauce for fish and chicken?
     
  9. EN710

    EN710 Well-Known Member

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    Can you test the market, I.e. Buy some of the wine, sell some and see the demand?

    I think the product is not the type where people put a list to "buy 1 and that's it", I think it's more like "Stocking up on my favourite taste, but oh look a new flavour. Maybe I should try. Let's grab one more"

    On the other hand, I think you should stick with the current range if that's the most efficient for logistic and maintenance
     
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  10. Lizzie

    Lizzie Well-Known Member

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    p.s. don't need "non alcoholic" for sale ... I spoke at length with the NSW licencing board and was advised that, because the product (pastes and mustards) are in a solid "food" form, I don't need a licence to sell even if it does have a small alcohol content.

    I'd probably make the wine gum base in a pan, where some of the alcohol boils off, rather than in a vacuum sealed bag.

    This has got me "gut" excited
     
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  11. moyjos

    moyjos Well-Known Member

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    Lol... I would love to try Chardonnay/ lemon balance (same as the marmalade) as a wine gum. Mmmmmmmmm nice :)
     
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  12. EN710

    EN710 Well-Known Member

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    Totally sell that alcoholic product to your wine lovers, I'd say on Friday and Monday :p
     
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  13. WattleIdo

    WattleIdo renovating Premium Member

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    You are already very busy. Maybe your question at this point is whether or not you want to employ more people?
    I'd be looking at doing more of what works. Stick with your own business model - specialisation. Are you able to find out how much people usually buy? Sometimes less is more, as you know.
     
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  14. Lizzie

    Lizzie Well-Known Member

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    Often people "pick one up", from the local cellar door, for on their cheese and crackers that night ... tourists ... and they return the next day to stock up after tasting it.

    I do tastings at the market and can just about guarantee a multiple sale after tasting.

    The information centre sells it (fabulous display on a wine barrel) with a sign "$Y each or 3 for $(3xY)" ... they say that everyone buys the three.

    I don't really want to employ anyone - which is why I like the wine gum idea ... can make in bulk and store at room temperature ... same as the pastes/mustards.

    That's my niche - unique (specialised) wine based products that you don't see anywhere else.
     
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  15. WattleIdo

    WattleIdo renovating Premium Member

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    Seems that they buy in bulk then - which suggests that more flavours could work well. The rose does jump out at me. You might need to do a trial.
     
  16. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Now that I have seen the rationale, expansion of the range may be more advantageous than different ranges.
     
  17. skater

    skater Capitalist Premium Member

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    Will adding the extra's make more work for you? And if so do you

    A) Have the time for it?
    B) Have the drive to make the time for it?
    C) Want to make the time for it, which is different from B?

    I know with my own Business, it is small....except November & December, when it's insane. I COULD expand, but I like that I can run it out of home and don't need to employ anyone. It's not really there to provide a large income, although I could push forward & make it so. I guess what I'm trying to say is....are you comfortable where you are, and will adding the extra products change that?
     
  18. Lizzie

    Lizzie Well-Known Member

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    Important points Skater ... I do have the time.

    Currently (asides from market day) the product takes me only 1-2 cruise-y days a week at most ... some weeks I do nothing if I'm fully stocked ... some weeks I'm working 2-3 x 14-16 hour days churning out to get the stock up after a run on orders.

    Time has been scarce this last year due to renovations at the tourist cottages - issues with the garlic with the weeds getting out of hand due to renovations at the cottages, and rain at the wrong time for garlic harvest/curing - and - procrastination (my biggest time enemy).

    Basically I need to treat it like a proper "part time" job - clock on and off - and keep on top of stock/ordering etc, instead of getting to the panic stage after I've slacked off for a few weeks.

    We don't NEED the extra money - but it is handy - and I do enjoy the marketing side.
     
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  19. moyjos

    moyjos Well-Known Member

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    While you do have time now.. Keep in mind your daughter starts high school this year? Will her schooling steal any of your time?

    You don't want to get to the point of a 30hr week and then daughter suffers :(
     
  20. Steven Ryan

    Steven Ryan Mortgage Broker Business Plus Member

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    Questions:

    1. Can you scale your current range first? If so, how far?
    2. Will new products allow you to scale further?