Hatch’s Consumer Product Goods Bootcamp program is a 12-week crash-course in the skills restaurateurs need to create a packaged food product inspired by their menus and get on supermarket shelves before the end of summer 2021.
An ambitious goal, which might give traditional CPG companies concern – not just about having new competitors to deal with, but a new model for speed to market – which they have always struggled with. Hatch’s program seems complete and covers subjects including packaging, testing and government approvals. “Making something in the restaurant for service is different from scaling something up for the shelf,” Hatch President and co-founder Austin Green told Richmond Biz Sense.
The program’s first group of participants consists of local restaurants Abuelita’s, Soul Tacos, Lehja and Saison and is free to participants, with Hatch Helps picking up the tab. Green said program expenses will depend on the products, though he estimated each concept would cost $5,000 to $10,000. Green said that he expected the group would seek out sponsors to bankroll future cohorts. While Hatch Kitchen facilities are used to manufacture the products during the program, the participants are able to relocate their production if they choose once they’ve completed the courses. Hatch is still working through exactly where the restaurants’ products will be sold, which in my opinion is the hardest part for new products, especially those who don’t have the experience in navigating the retail space. The program was developed to help restaurants create new revenue streams out of their existing food items after a difficult year of closures and restricted operations due to the coronavirus pandemic. It’s a great concept that we will follow and hope it works and expand to other restaurants and bring their foods to supermarket shelves across the country.