Q: Hi Dave:
What route would you recommend for a new Jamaican hot sauce to enter the U.S.? Ethnic market…then hopefully mainstream? Or maybe I should ask what are the prospects for a new hot sauce (so far no one else is doing anything like it in Jamaica) to enter the U.S. market at this time?
A: Hello Roxanne:
There are many, many—maybe too many—hot sauces in the U.S. It is very difficult to establish a new one in ethnic markets or the mainstream. To do so, you would need:
1. A unique selling proposition, meaning a different sauce with a unique twist. Just another habanero or Scotch bonnet sauce with a tropical angle won’t do.
2. Not just one product, but a line of products based around a central theme.
3. Extremely good artwork/graphics for labels, packaging, ads, etc.
4. Enough money to promote the product by taking out ads, running banners, exhibiting in shows, sending out samples.
5. Longevity. There is reluctance for buyers to take on new products because so many companies go out of business.
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