Research & Development

Learn from BCIT food scientists how to monitor and measure your product shelf life; understand testing required from outside laboratories; know when you need a food scientist and finding the right one; frame your project scope; improve COGS; and learn the difference between producing your own products versus using a contract manufacturer (co-packer).

Finance and Access to Support Services

Learn from Vancity Savings Credit Union financial experts how to manage your cash flow during the first two years of business. Gain insights from investment expert Keith Ippel, co-founder and CEO of Spring Activator, about best strategies for when and how to pitch for investment. Learn to research and qualify for available grants to support your growing business.

Market Channels & Distribution Strategies

Learn how to create a market channel strategy for your product(s). We’ll dive into what market channels make the most sense for your business now and in the next two years, and what the costs and benefits of each one are. Learn short-term solutions for building your retail sales and how to plan for expansion, both geographically and to larger retailers.

The workshop will cover in detail how to build the cost of distribution into your pricing model; how to determine who the best distributor for your business is; how to interview a distributor, what to expect from them, and how to manage that relationship.

Ready to Sell

Learn how to approach a buyer from any market channel and how to perfect your sales pitch. We’ll cover the elements of building an effective sell sheet and price list for retail and food service, and best trade show practices.

Labeling

Learn Canadian labeling requirements from representatives from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), including an open Q&A period. We will cover the CFIA’s Food Regulatory Framework; Safe Food for Canadians (SFC) Act and Regulations; when SFC applies; and how to get your SFC licence through MyCFIA.

Packaging

Learn from packaging experts Great Little Box Company & Ideon Packaging how to plan your packaging from start to finish; tips on merchandising for your product; and the recyclability and sustainability of cardboard packaging.

We will cover branding and packaging for both retail and food service, including different packaging options for your product; sourcing and supply; procurement, ordering, and lead times; and inventory quantities. We will review best practices for colours and fonts for food and beverage branding, and we’ll dive into how retail stores are laid out (store and shelves) and what that means for your product.

Marketing Strategies for Consumer and Trade

Learn how to create a marketing budget for your consumer and trade activities, including what each entails; how much you should allocate; and key strategies for both.