How to Start a Condiment Business

by Melinda Gaines; Updated September 26, 2017
Some condiment businesses produce gourmet ketchup.

People have made their own recipes for condiments and sauces for years, but now more and more aspiring entrepreneurs use those recipes to develop their own condiment businesses. It's fairly common to see artisan condiment brands sitting alongside national brands on store shelves. Some condiment businesses have even gone on to enjoy great success and are national brands themselves. If you want to start a successful condiment business, you will need more than a tasty recipe.

Step 1

Specialize in making a certain type of condiment, such as salsa, hot sauce or gourmet mustard. Once your brand is established, you can branch out into making and selling other types of condiments.

Step 2

Contact your state's department of health to determine what permits you will need to operate a food business, and where you can manufacture your condiments. Most states don't allow food that is sold to the public to be produced in a home, so you may need to rent or purchase a commercial kitchen.

Step 3

Establish an image for your condiment business. For example, you can have a healthful-food company that uses all-organic ingredients, focus on using humor to sell your condiments, create an old-fashioned image or incorporate the culture of your city or state into your brand.

Step 4

Source as many ingredients as you can locally to save on shipping and transportation costs. Using local food suppliers will also enable you to produce condiments made from the freshest ingredients possible.

Step 5

Develop packing for your condiment line. Ensure that you use food containers that are certified as being “food-safe” by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and that your finished product looks well put together and attractive.

Step 6

Secure retail outlets to sell your condiments. Options include selling wholesale to local delis, restaurants, supermarkets and grocers, at a farmers' market, through your own e-commerce website or through an Internet marketplace, such as Foodzie or Etsy. Use multiple outlets to earn revenue year-round.

Step 7

Promote your condiment business. Sponsor a local food fair, sample your products locally, request reviews from food critics and restaurateurs, launch a promotional website or blog, or send press releases to media outlets and publications that cover food products.

About the Author

Melinda Gaines has been a freelance writer since 2006, with work appearing online for YellowPages and other websites. Her areas of expertise include business, beauty, fashion and sports. Gaines attended the University of Houston where she earned a Bachelor of Science in sport administration.

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