Inventing New Products/Inventions/USFDA for a new drink?

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Question
Hi

I am looking into creating a new health drink and was wondering of you had any advice.  So far I have worked on the formula and the bottles.  What would be the next step?  How do I get it approved for the US market? What about exporting? What about getting a name patented? Any other hurtles?

Thanks for your help!

Katie

Answer
Hi Katie,

I do have a lot of experience developing new products....but not food products. I do feel that the basic need for taking a disciplined approach to tackling risk elements is applicable to any product. What I mean by that is taking an objective view of your product to determine what are the most likely things that could undermine your success, and taking well thought out action to reduce those specific risks.

It is great that you have made progress on your formula and packaging. We see a lot of startups drop the ball on the market side of their product. Have you been able to quantify the market opportunity in a meaningful way? Have you put prototypes in front of people to try yet? If not, you will learn a lot from both of these things. It is very rare for a startup to get their product right the first time. This is why rapid iteration and frequent market testing are critical. Check out a book called "The Lean Startup" by Eric Ries for a good approach to this.

As for regulatory approval, this often has to wait until you have chosen a production partner. I'm assuming you would use a co-packer or contract manufacturer to make / bottle your product? I would work with them on the regulatory side of things. Do keep in mind that this part can be slow and expensive - especially if the FDA is involved. For exporting, it will depend on where you want to export, and what your product is. But I would imagine you will need CE marking at the very least. I would recommend bringing on an expert in export regulation for food products.

On naming, you actually would trademark a name (and logo). You would patent your formula. Go to  www.uspto.gov for more on trademarking and patents.

The most important thing to focus on at this point, in my opinion, is the market side of things. It is the right time to quantify the market, test your assumptions about your product and the need it fills, and build your financial projection. This projection will tell you how much money it is worth investing to get this product to market.

I hope this helps. Like I said, food products are outside my area of expertise. But I think there are some universals in the product development world.

Cheers!

Inventing New Products/Inventions

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Ryan Gray

Expertise

I would like to field questions that relate to the process of designing and developing new manufactured products. I have strong experience in product design, product development, product engineering, manufacturing, project management of product development projects, and feasibility analysis of concepts.

Experience

I have worked for fortune 500 business in new product development (NPD) roles, and also am co-founder of a business that is focused on helping businesses develop new products. This means I understand the business context of product development as well as the technical resources required to get a concept through design, prototyping, design for manufacture, and cost optimization.

Organizations
Kickstand Idaho: Board of Directors

Publications
"The Lean Startup" by Eric Ries

Education/Credentials
Oregon State University: BS Wood / Fiber Science Wharton School of Business: Executive Education

Awards and Honors
"Spirit of Continuing Innovation Award" from TechHelp Idaho, a NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership, April 2013.

Past/Present Clients
TechHelp www.techhelp.org L & H Industrial www.lnh.net LiFoam Industries www.lifoam.com WMD Tech www.wmdtech.com JLS Automation www.jlsautomation.com Weyerhaeuser www.weyerhaeuser.com 2A Armament www.2a-arms.com FAMCO www.famcomfg.com Ear Hero www.earhero.com ATTCO, Inc www.skyhookmfr.com Eberlestock www.eberlestock.com Global Mining Equipment www.globalmining-equipment.com Promoto Billet / Fastway www.promotobillet.com Battle Sports Science battlesportsscience.com Alpha Scooter and Skate alphascoot.com Meyer Industries www.rodenator.com Sloan Security Group www.sloansg.com Loon Outdoors www.loonoutdoors.com U-Grokit www.ugrokit.com Miltech www.miltechcenter.org Boice Box Pedal Boards boiceboxpedalboards.com Motive Power www.motivepower-wabtec.com

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