Are My Recipes Worth Any Money?

Have you ever wondered “how much are my family recipes worth”?  Did you know secret family recipes have been the start of many micro business owners? One family started a tomato cannery in Chestnut Hill, Tennessee back in 1908. An Ohio family started pressing cider in 1897, then made apple butter. And a homemaker from Pottstown, Pennsylvania made pies. Her son sold them by the slice, door-to-door and at the YMCA local lunch counter. The pie company was sold in 1976 to the Kellogg Company for $56 million.

Did you think this only happened back in the day? A major food company paid $600 million for a protein bar company started four years ago? A Minnesota couple got $250 million for a popcorn company started in their garage. Lastly, 700 million dropped in the wallet of an organic broth maker by the world’s largest soup company. Food companies use to have test kitchens, fueled with innovative cooks. Today this is an expensive task. Working with a small recipes developer means a major part of the work is already done.

Are Your Recipes Worth the Money?

You’ll never know the value of your recipe unless to take it to market. It takes time for large food companies to catch up with food trends. Everything in the food industry is changing at neck-snapping speed. Being small is a good thing. Major food companies are willing to foot the bill. Competitors are lurking, and everyone has their eyes on the next food trend. The truth is if you can’t beat them, and major food companies are not your competition. You might as well allow them to check out what you have to offer.

If you think your recipe has proof of concept. The best evidence is to provide people are using the product and have paid money for it. We’re not talking about thousands of customers. But a large enough sample size to support market acceptance. Everybody, family, and friends love your recipe. Are you selling at the farmers market? How often? What’s unique about your recipe?Distribute to smaller retailers and pay close attention to feedback.

Don’t be fearful of competitors cloning your recipe. There are other ways to show a need in the market. Do a bit of industry research and create surveys and focus groups. You can then show the need. It’s not the best evidence, but it might be enough when presenting to a major food company.

If you’re a professional chef or a food enthusiast with talent for home cooking, there are still ways to sell your recipes. And knowing how to approach food companies to sell your recipe ideas is important. There are lots of recipes in commercial businesses that started with a recipe idea. No matter what your specialty is, it could be worth a few bucks. It may even be worth you looking into selling your specialty food product directly to the consumer.

  • What are the steps to selling your recipe?
  • Determine a food category
  • Define what’s outstanding about your recipe
  • Find an appropriate buyer
  • Consult with an attorney that specializes in foods
  • Design an amazing presentation package
  • Contact a reliable buyer
  • Calculate a fair price for your recipe

Once you are ready to give your presentation, do not offer specific listings of ingredients or preparation instructions. This helps prevent the possibility of someone stealing or re-creating your original recipes. Do you think you’re ready?

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Thank you for sharing you expertise.

    How do you deal with food safety requirements when getting your product enough “proof of concept” for sale to a big company? For example, let’s say I have a recipe that produces amazing chicken nuggets; how do you allay fears about salmonella and such if you don’t have a licensed kitchen?

    • Denay Davis
      July 5, 2021 11:35 AM

      Hi Rosemary, if you are operating a home-based facility producing chicken nuggets, you are operating outside your state/county law. All hazardous foods must be prepared in a commercially licensed kitchen in the United States. There are programs in the states that allow the production of these foods, but they are Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations and Food Freedom programs in selected states. Please contact me through Foodpreneurs Online, a private Facebook group so we can address this further.


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