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misc What is more important, the sauce itself or the marketing behind it?

Wasn't sure how to categorize this, so if inappropriate, please alter or remove.

The short back-story: I tried my hand at suace making a few years ago, decided I needed more exposure, got the Heatonist hot sauce subscription, and tried tons of hot sauces from them and other places. Then I lost my sense of smell and taste (never tested covid positive, but...). Couldn't taste heat and anything onion or garlic related tasted very off. Fast forward a year and a half. My taste and smell is finally back to 100% (it was good before, but not great) and I'm turning sauce making gears again.

Ok, with that out of the way, onto the meat of the issue. Having tried so many sauces, I came across a wild collection of different tastes and flavor profiles all the way from bog-standard but tasty to unique and interesting flavors, but kinda niche (had a banana-reaper sauce that was good, but not my jam).

So, from a business sales perspective, is it better in y'all's opinion to have a solid, if not complex, sauce with good branding or wild creations that may not be for everyone, but fill a niche product market?
 

salsalady

Business Member
You kind of answered your own question.

Make a very unique or very hot sauce only a few people will buy, maybe price it high???
Or make a milder yummy sauce that customers will buy again...and again...and again...and again....(you get the idea....:lol:)
 
You kind of answered your own question.

Make a very unique or very hot sauce only a few people will buy, maybe price it high???
Or make a milder yummy sauce that customers will buy again...and again...and again...and again....(you get the idea....:lol:)
So, lets say you make a "jalapeño sauce" that's just some jalapeños, vinegar, onion, garlic, lime, salt, and maybe some cilantro. Nothing particularly special as a hotsauce goes. Perhaps I'm underestimating how far getting the product to market is vs. what makes the product unique.
 

salsalady

Business Member
Do not rely on internet marketing and sales. Get into local real life markets. Get first person feedback. Become a real food business locally. That will tell you if you have a reliable product people will buy repeatedly.

Good Luck and Have Fun!!!
 
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salsalady

Business Member
So, lets say you make a "jalapeño sauce" that's just some jalapeños, vinegar, onion, garlic, lime, salt, and maybe some cilantro. Nothing particularly special as a hotsauce goes. Perhaps I'm underestimating how far getting the product to market is vs. what makes the product unique.

Buy a bunch of other jalapeno sauces which are your competitors.. What are their tastes? How are they different? What can you do to take something to the next level? How can you make something different?
Roast something
Ferment something
Add some other spice or flavor
 
Do not rely on internet marketing and sales. Get into local real life markets. Get first person feedback. Become a real foid business locally. That will tell you if you have a reliable product people will buy repeatedly.

Good Luck and Have Fun!!!

That is actually very heartening to hear. Probably working myself up too much in my head.Not sure how to get it to strangers before setting up licensing and such.


Buy a bunch of other jalapeno sauces which are your competitors.. What are their tastes? How are they different? What can you do to take something to the next level? How can you make something different?
Roast something
Ferment something
Add some other spice or flavor

The game of "can I make this more perfect" is a dangerous game for me to play if I ever want to get something done! hahaha.
 

salsalady

Business Member
This might help...
 

The Hot Pepper

Founder
Admin
It's up to you and your hustle. I have seen brands go viral without a local presence like TRUFF. I have also seen the local hustle pay off, as well as the combo.
 
This might help...

I've read that a few times! Its an excellent right up. :)

I'm currently on the "find people to try it" stage. Really only have friends to try and no co-workers. No real opportunities to have strangers try it out with feedback. Still making tweaks to a "final" product.

It's up to you and your hustle. I have seen brands go viral without a local presence like TRUFF. I have also seen the local hustle pay off, as well as the combo.

Truff has a slick marketing campaign, that's for sure. Bottles look good, labels are good, and their whole thing with adding truffles is right in line with the 'adding interesting ingredients' as a marketing point (I do think its good, but i have a hard time with truffles from all those years of fake junk flooding the market. Burned me out on the taste).
 

HellfireFarm

Business Member
Do not rely on internet marketing and sales. Get into local real life markets. Get first person feedback. Become a real food business locally. That will tell you if you have a reliable product people will buy repeatedly.

Good Luck and Have Fun!!!
^^^ This.

I just started a few weeks ago. I found a local farmers market that wasn't too big where I would get lost, nor too small I wouldn't have any business. In rural NC and Raleigh suburbs, dried super-hot peppers are still quite a niche item.

I've gone 4 weeks now. I'm not selling to everyone who stops by, but a LOT of people are stopping by, and a lot who are sending friends over (not saying they are, actually doing it). Last week I heard the best thing: "YOU'RE the guy everyone's talking about"

That's the feedback you're looking for. The nice thing is, at a smaller market like that, if it's NOT working, you can adjust pretty quickly. It's harder to get that sort of feedback cycle with an online business. And if you have samples out, your feedback cycle is REALLY fast - you'll see pretty much right away how your sauce goes over.

I think that once you've worked out the kinks in that setting, then it's time to look at going bigger, whether that's retail or online.

Just my opinion, based on following the advice I got here :)

Good luck!
 
^^^ This.

I just started a few weeks ago. I found a local farmers market that wasn't too big where I would get lost, nor too small I wouldn't have any business. In rural NC and Raleigh suburbs, dried super-hot peppers are still quite a niche item.

I've gone 4 weeks now. I'm not selling to everyone who stops by, but a LOT of people are stopping by, and a lot who are sending friends over (not saying they are, actually doing it). Last week I heard the best thing: "YOU'RE the guy everyone's talking about"

That's the feedback you're looking for. The nice thing is, at a smaller market like that, if it's NOT working, you can adjust pretty quickly. It's harder to get that sort of feedback cycle with an online business. And if you have samples out, your feedback cycle is REALLY fast - you'll see pretty much right away how your sauce goes over.

I think that once you've worked out the kinks in that setting, then it's time to look at going bigger, whether that's retail or online.

Just my opinion, based on following the advice I got here :)

Good luck!
That's awesome! Well done!
 
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