T Nation

How to Get a Product Into Stores?

Hi everyone, now I do not know if this is the place to ask this but I told my friend I would try and get some info anywhere I could.  My friends dad has invented well, created a new product that I think will sell great in supermarkets.

The product is a powder that when put on cereal keeps it from getting soggy. Now he has made the powder and packaged it into a small attractive container but, has now hit a wall.

My question is how should he go about trying to get it into stores? He only has about 2 small bottles with the necessary nutrtion facts and everything. I would assume he should contact the stores district managers and pitch the product. What else?

Thanks in advance for any help

He better get it patented if he hasn’t already. That should be his first step. After that he’s going to have to decide if he’s going to manufacture, package and try to sell it to stores himself (pretty expensive way to go), or if he’s going to license it to a company that will front all the money and take a percentage.

If he’s got patent protection he should really think about contact Post, General Mills… Ect. and getting them interested in the idea.
Hope that helps a little

First of all…that’s HORRIBLE! I love soggy cereal with a passion!

That said, it’s a great invention if it actually works and hhas no health risks. There are ALOT of people out there who hate soggy cereal (for some odd reason).

[quote]lost wrote:
He better get it patented if he hasn’t already. That should be his first step. After that he’s going to have to decide if he’s going to manufacture, package and try to sell it to stores himself (pretty expensive way to go), or if he’s going to license it to a company that will front all the money and take a percentage.

If he’s got patent protection he should really think about contact Post, General Mills… Ect. and getting them interested in the idea.
Hope that helps a little[/quote]

That’s a great post. I’d go that route. Get a patent and contact one of those companies.

More artificial crap in our food. Great.

Seriously, getting stuff on grocery store shelves is a huge challenge. Major corporations battle every day to fight for that space.

[quote]lost wrote:
He better get it patented if he hasn’t already. That should be his first step. After that he’s going to have to decide if he’s going to manufacture, package and try to sell it to stores himself (pretty expensive way to go), or if he’s going to license it to a company that will front all the money and take a percentage.

If he’s got patent protection he should really think about contact Post, General Mills… Ect. and getting them interested in the idea.
Hope that helps a little[/quote]

Now is contacting the big companies a option because the product is panteted or can this route be taken with any product say a new granola bar that cannot be patented?

Also is licensing the product to a company the same option as contacting the company? would you license to say general mills?

If you already own the patent but don’t have the money to market it yourself, approaching a big corporation is a good idea. As far as licensing to a company(which is an option), they would more than likely just buy the patent and everything from you to do it themselves. Seems to me that would be more cost effective in the long run for them.

Expect them to also take advantage of the fact that you can’t market it yourself, and offer lowball deals.

Might be in your best interest to try and find some investors so you can step uo your own operation, and run it yourself for awhile. Once it is semi-established, you can demand more money for the whole package.

Walmart has a “competition” each year were people all over the world try to sell them their ideas/products.

If you get picked up by them you probably hit the jackpot.

Maybe he should also contact cereal producers, it might be more of a producers product looking for a USP than a product that should be marketed to end consumers.

If he did not own the patent could he still approach companies(kellogs) with his product?

He could, but then somebody else may get the same idea :wink:

you should send me the product, and I’ll go ahead and take care of everything, trust me.

[quote]xXSeraphimXx wrote:
If he did not own the patent could he still approach companies(kellogs) with his product?[/quote]

Ultimately yes, since it is his only option.

I would consult an American lawyer specialised in intellectual property first.

And fast, because you would not want someone else buying a house on Hawai because he had the same idea and just moved faster?

If he doesn’t have a patent yet, and that does take time, he can do the “poor man’s patent.” What he will need to do is explain his patent in detail and completely on paper including a notarized date and signature. He then seals it in an envelope and sends it to himself by certified mail. DO NOT OPEN THE ENVELOPE once it has been mailed and received. This will establish the date of the creation or at least a date of when the idea was executed. In the case that someone reads his public patent application and steals the idea, he can present the sealed date-stamped certified envelope to establish his creation date and preserve his right to the idea if his date is established as earlier than anyone elses.

[quote]OctoberGirl wrote:
If he doesn’t have a patent yet, and that does take time, he can do the “poor man’s patent.” What he will need to do is explain his patent in detail and completely on paper including a notarized date and signature. He then seals it in an envelope and sends it to himself by certified mail. DO NOT OPEN THE ENVELOPE once it has been mailed and received. This will establish the date of the creation or at least a date of when the idea was executed. In the case that someone reads his public patent application and steals the idea, he can present the sealed date-stamped certified envelope to establish his creation date and preserve his right to the idea if his date is established as earlier than anyone elses.

[/quote]

http://www.inventionpatent.net/patent/poor-man’s-patent.cfm

no such thing.

http://patentpending.blogs.com/patent_pending_blog/2004/11/the_poor_mans_p.html

[quote]SeanT wrote:
OctoberGirl wrote:
If he doesn’t have a patent yet, and that does take time, he can do the “poor man’s patent.” What he will need to do is explain his patent in detail and completely on paper including a notarized date and signature. He then seals it in an envelope and sends it to himself by certified mail. DO NOT OPEN THE ENVELOPE once it has been mailed and received. This will establish the date of the creation or at least a date of when the idea was executed. In the case that someone reads his public patent application and steals the idea, he can present the sealed date-stamped certified envelope to establish his creation date and preserve his right to the idea if his date is established as earlier than anyone elses.

http://www.inventionpatent.net/patent/poor-man’s-patent.cfm

no such thing.

[/quote]

hey! good to know! Thanks Sean

[quote]OctoberGirl wrote:
SeanT wrote:
OctoberGirl wrote:
If he doesn’t have a patent yet, and that does take time, he can do the “poor man’s patent.” What he will need to do is explain his patent in detail and completely on paper including a notarized date and signature. He then seals it in an envelope and sends it to himself by certified mail. DO NOT OPEN THE ENVELOPE once it has been mailed and received. This will establish the date of the creation or at least a date of when the idea was executed. In the case that someone reads his public patent application and steals the idea, he can present the sealed date-stamped certified envelope to establish his creation date and preserve his right to the idea if his date is established as earlier than anyone elses.

http://www.inventionpatent.net/patent/poor-man’s-patent.cfm

no such thing.

hey! good to know! Thanks Sean

[/quote]
Actually some musicians have used this successfully to copy write their songs. Legally, music is copy protected once it’s down on paper or recorded.

Wouldn’t that have to be approved by the FDA, UDSA or another agency?

Ha… your friend’s Dad must have been a fan of National Lampoon’s Christmas vacation.

“Oh the Crunch enhancer? Yeah it’s a non-nutritive cereal varnish. It’s semi-permiable. It’s not osmotic. What it does is it coats and seals the flake, prevents the milk from penetrating it.”

-Clark Griswold

[quote]SeanT wrote:
He could, but then somebody else may get the same idea ;-)[/quote]

Even if they did they would still have to create it they would be behind.

On a side note how would one approach a company or sell a product that is somewhat created like flavoring for chips? The different flavors are offered but not seperatly in containers.

So my friend’s dad has talked to a couple local stores and they are interested. He has also decided that he would like to run the business himself with the help of a few employees.

How would he go about packing it for shpiment? Does he need to rent a small ware house or room that meets regulations? since it will be added to food or can he get it packaged somewhere for him that way he just worries about the delivery.

[quote]xXSeraphimXx wrote:

How would he go about packing it for shpiment? Does he need to rent a small ware house or room that meets regulations? since it will be added to food or can he get it packaged somewhere for him that way he just worries about the delivery.[/quote]

You’re joking us on this aren’t you? I mean seriously…is your ‘friend’s dad’ asking you for help on this or are you just trying to offer him unsolicited help? Either way…I can’t possibly imagine the conversation that would lead you to solicit help from a Bodybuilding’s Big Waste of Time forum…

Scenario #1:

Friend’s Dad: Okay, now that I’ve invented the secret formula for keeping cereal from getting soggy…how do I go about getting it on the supermarket’s shelves…think…think…c’mon…there must be a way…I know…I’ll ask my son’s friend to post something on that internet forum he’s always talking about…that’s the ticket…

Scenario #2:

OP : Hey Mr. (whatever your friend’s dad’s last name is), that secret formula you invented to keep cereal from getting soggy has some real market potential…I’m going to post on T-Nation and help you get it to the major grocery store chains.

Friend’s Dad: THANK GOD ! I was wondering how I would get my secret formula off the ground.! You’re a true pal. Say…once you’re muscle-head friends figure out how to market my secret forumla, see if they can tell us how to pack it and ship it. Specifically make sure to find out whether I’ll need to rent a small ware house or just a room room that meets regulations.

OP: Okay Mr. (whatever your friend’s dad’s last name is) I’m on it !

Friend’s Dad: Thanks pal…oh yeah…I was just thinking maybe your forum buddies can let us know if maybe I can get it packaged somewhere so that way I just have to worry about the delivery since it will be added to food. Ask them to solve this problem for us in between flaming each other for slamming the weights and looking at partially naked tits and asses.

OP: Sure thing Mr. (whatever your friend’s dad’s last name is) !!!