Consumer Packaged Goods

In the food industry, Consumer Packaged Goods (CPGs) are food or beverage products that are packaged and sold to consumers in stores or online. Once you have an idea for a food product, it is important to conduct trend tours and consumer research to ensure that it's features are fulfilling the wants and needs of your target market. This research can be conducted internally, or you can contract a research and development lab to facilitate this process and analyze the data. 

Creating your Product

See "Creating a Gold Standard Product" for more information on labs, organizations and consultants that can guide you in the formulation of your product. The "Professional Services" page lists information about ingredient suppliers as well as co-manufacturers, co-packers and packaging companies once the product is complete. Follow this Food Labeling Guide from the FDA to ensure that the labels on your packaging are appropriate and compliant.

If you have any questions about FDA labeling guidelines, there are professionals who can help! Lauren Swann is a registered dietitian in Bensalem, PA specializing in food, dietary supplement & menu labeling.

Shelf Life Testing

Shelf life testing uses sensory and biochemical analysis to determine how the quality and safety of a food product change over extended periods. Microbial testing focuses on the presence of microorganism growth on a food product over time. The amount and species of microorganisms determine whether or not a product is safe to consume after a certain amount of time has passed. Quality shelf-life testing focuses on changes in the quality of a product over time, including changes in flavor, texture and appearance. While changes in quality may not necessarily affect the product's safety, they may impact consumer satisfaction and, therefore, should be considered when determining shelf life. 

Grocery stores typically have minimum shelf life standards for each food type, so it is important to be aware of these when formulating your product. Check out the "Creating a Gold Standard Product" page for more information on labs that offer shelf life testing.

Distributing your Product

Food products can be sold and distributed in many ways, but the most common are in-person through brick-and-mortar stores, in-person through farmers markets, online via a direct-to-consumer website, or through an online marketplace such as Amazon.