Owning a juice factory can be a profitable venture if you follow the appropriate steps. Many retail outlets, including grocery stores, carry juice drinks. Operating a juice factory requires proper planning, an extensive market research, patience and the ability to expand and grow as you enlarge your market. Build a successful juice business by partnering with and employing people who have the same commitment and dedication as you do for this product and business.
Juice consumption in the U.S. is encouraged as an important part of a healthy diet. However, to run a successful juicing business, you need to research your potential market, the nature of the industry, your competition and supply chains. You will also need to understand consumer preferences. For example, whether you want to manufacture vegetable or fruit juice, or both, the health aspect of your product will play a significant role in your ability to penetrate the market. Consumers are increasingly becoming sensitive to high-sugar-content products, and they prefer safer alternatives such as juices with no added sugar or preservatives. If you plan to get funding from financial institutions, research on terms and interest rates in the market.
Registration and Licensing
If you choose to use a business name that is different from your personal name, you will need to register that business name with your county clerk’s office. The laws and regulations of your state might also require you to register with a state agency. It is advisable to trademark any words, logos or shapes that distinguish your business from the rest with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to acquire legal claim over your design. Also, contact your nearest Department of Health to determine the types of licenses you need to open your factory. For example, you need to determine your state tax obligations and obtain federal business tax IDs to allow the government to track revenues for taxation purposes. You might also require a license from the council and a certificate of safety compliance from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA.
Designing Your Products
The vegetable and fruit juice industry is becoming increasingly competitive and is roiled with unpredictable changes. You need to analyze how the market has evolved to its current configuration and identify what you need to do to stay on top of challenges in the future. For example, traditional consumption patterns in the U.S. are changing, and consumers are slowly turning away from classical products such as frozen juice. According to a story by Report Linker in April 2013, consumers are also embracing new juice drinks with innovative flavors and forms such as smoothies. Design your products with such facts in mind and have a clear idea of what market you intend to target. Further, have your product tested by the Food and Drug Administration to ensure it adheres to set standard and labeling rules as defined by them.
Establish a Location
When choosing a place to set up your factory, you should consider aspects such as room for expansion, room for receiving raw materials, production, packaging and dispatch, and accessibility to raw materials. For example, California, Florida and Washington were listed as the largest fruit-producing states in 2010. Other large producers include Michigan, Oregon and New York. Ensure that you adhere to set government guidelines on how a food factory should be set up and operated. For example, OSHA requires that factory workers should be able to access materials without straining or twisting their bodies in an unnatural position that could cause injuries. The production team needs to wear gloves and hairnets to prevent contamination. Use a real estate agency to find a place that caters to your needs and have an attorney help you look at items like the condition of the property, terms of the lease and your build-out allowances.
The final step is to start your business. Hire an expert to advise you on preservation methods that do not denature vitamins and other nutrients in the juice before buying processing equipment. For example, sterile filtration – passing juice through a membrane filter with small pores the size of less than 0.2 microns – is a safe preservation method because it does not involve heating, which can destroy nutrients without the proper technology and regulation. Also, work on attractive packaging and labeling with the help of a designer. If your budget allows, advertise and sponsor social events in your state to make your product noticeable. Consult your nearest department of labor office to understand your obligations as an employer before hiring employees.
- U.S. Small Business Association: Register Your Business Name
- U.S. Small Business Administration: Filing & Paying Taxes
- Food And Agriculture Organization: Practical Aspects Of Citrus Juice Processing
- United States Department of Labor: Occupational Safety and Health Administration
- U.S. Food and Drugs Administration: Registration
- Report Linker: Fruit and Vegetable Juices: U.S. Market Trends
- United States Department of Agriculture: Fruit and Tree Nuts: Background
- Food and Agricultural Organization: Juice Stabilization And Preservation
- Andy Sotiriou/Photodisc/Getty Images