Services

OUR RECIPE

for bringing profitable food products to market

 

Skip straight to our Packages and Rates.

 

We've formulated an innovative recipe of proven strategies to ensure your product concept is developed safely, efficiently, and sustainably. We'll verify that it complies with all the necessary regulations to get onto store shelves and start driving your sales.

Whether you have an established company that needs to outsource only one element of product development; or a startup that needs comprehensive guidance to navigate this industry for the first time – we can create a customized recipe for success to perfectly suit your unique needs.

At Concept to Shelf, we deliver a high-quality experience that engages, informs, and elevates the businesses we work with. We’ll help you accelerate the process of product development and amplify your profits thanks to our toolkit of industry knowledge, best practices, and innovative thinking.

FULL MENU OF FEATURED SERVICES

1

PRODUCT

DEVELOPMENT

  • Advising on the best course of action for taking food products from the “concept” stage all the way to execution

  • Performing concept development and concept formulation to ensure that you create the right product to accurately meet your target consumers’ needs the first time around

  • Customizing formulas that are scalable and sustainable

  • Working with your Purchasing Team to order new ingredients and meet with suppliers

  • Working with your Sales and Marketing Teams as well as with customers to clearly define the product characteristics

  • Developing lab samples and prototypes

  • Setting up trial formulations and plant trials

  • Setting up trial and debrief meetings

  • Determining new formula costings and producing formula cost information

  • Responding to customer requirements if formula revisions are required

  • Completing and publishing competitive evaluations and product cuttings

  • Performing sensory evaluations on products and packaging to provide information to Sales, Marketing, and customers

 

2

RESEARCH &

DEVELOPMENT

  • Finding solutions to technical challenges

  • Optimizing costs for savings

  • Improving the product based on the findings from the research

  • Identifying new and alternative ingredients to cut costs

  • Eliminating and consolidating ingredients without impacting product quality

  • Supporting Manufacturing with existing and new products, processes and systems

  • Providing technical support to Quality assurance, Purchasing, Operations, Sales, Marketing, and external customers

  • Investigating, justifying, recommending and implementing new process systems

 

3

QUALITY

ASSURANCE

  • Ensuring that the regulations in the Safe Foods for Canadians Act (SFCA) are implemented and respected

  • Helping you develop products and formulas that are safe for your plant

  • Setting up QA specifications for new and existing products and formulas – creating meaningful measurements to deliver results

  • Analyzing and evaluating production samples and finished goods

  • Maintaining and updating formulas to reflect any modifications made to the ingredients, suppliers, packaging size and look, fill factors, and procedures

  • Establishing preventative controls for food allergens

  • Instituting Good Manufacturing Practices for meeting quality standards

  • Practicing proper food traceability protocols that are vital for food safety and for operational efficiency

  • Preparing, maintaining, and implementing a Preventive Control Plan (PCP) to address how hazard and risks to food will be identified and eliminated

  • Implement a hazard identification, risk assessment, and risk control procedure

  • Establishing a formal Supplier Food Safety Assurance Program

  • Ensure trials and first production match product labels with accurate information and legally meet Canadian label requirements

  • Ensuring that the food formulas are correct and also comply with legal product labelling requirements (correct and legal)

 

4

REGULATORY

AFFAIRS

  • Developing processes to maintain scientific and regulatory documents for new and existing formulas

  • Liaising with internal and external groups to collect necessary documents

  • Providing regulatory affairs consultative support – developing and implementing regulatory strategic plans

  • Recommending changes to company procedures in response to changes in regulations or standards

  • Collaborating with and providing mentorship

 
 

5

B TO B
SALES
SUPPORT

         

Below is a list of topics that you many come across as you develop your sales team: 

We are here to support and coach you through each one of them.

Try Our Express Consult  - Best Value

  • Advising and coaching on best practices when to start considering utilizing the services of a food broker and /or food distributor in Canada.

  • Advising and coaching on vendor selection, contract agreements and all on-boarding steps when bringing on a food broker and/or food distributor in Canada. 

  • Advising and coaching once selected resources are in place and actively working in partnership with your company: troubleshooting, seeking another ‘point of view’, incremental strategic support & guidance. 

  • Validation of red-flags, conflict resolution if needed between parties to mitigate the need for legal support.

  • Do not want/need a food broker, no problem, we can step in (and out) as needed as you navigate your business without officially retaining a food broker firm.

  • How to present /introduce your brand to a targeted retailer.

  • What is a great product information/sell sheet (POS) look like? What components are the buyers looking for? What’s clutter?

  • Forms, Forms, Forms and More Forms…we’ve seen them all --- need some help completing the form? 

  • Do you have a trade marketing program in place by food channel, by retailer? Yes, but need help?  

  • Do you understand the differences between a Distributor promo planner and a retailer specific program planner? Can you afford both, how to prioritize, what is important (in the moment or in the longer term?)

  • Need support launching your product (or relaunching?) …

  • If re-launching – there is a lot of paperwork and lead-times to navigate – we can help.

  • What kind of distributor do you need? What do you need to consider?

  • Do you need help finding an appropriate distributor? 

  • The food industry is inundated with reports weather they are distributor or retailer generated – we can help you get the most out of the reporting you receive.  What information are you paying for vs what information is relevant. 

  • Listing forms (both distributor and retailer)– we got you covered! We’ve completed…100’s…

  • GS1 – again, we got your covered – from a quick Express Consult to a turnkey solution for inputting data and it being accepted/approved – a time saver that’s for sure! 

  • Gap Reporting – Retailers and distributors can provide Gap Report which can reflect areas of success, opportunity, and red flags – we can help you navigate and interpret these important reports. 

  • Safe Food For Canadians – it’s critical and we are well versed in it…we have gone through this process with several vendors and area able to advise: a) if a license is necessary b) how to obtain the license through My CFIA and Safe Food For Canadians Licensing website.  (also, Concept to Shelf offers full QA and Food Labelling support services if the scope expands beyond the administration o the license) 

  • Retailer Portals (yes, can be a nightmare) but we can provide support with the following retailer portals:

  • Loblaw (LCL)MetroCDS/OWFG – Save On Food, Costco, Sobeys/Thrifty Foods/Farm BoyLongos

  • We can provide support with creating merchandise contracts, Bill management, Quarter and Q&A payments as well as annual listing and promotional periods. Just ask! 

  • Recycling Stewardship: Is your company obligated to register? We can advise how to register and best practices for reporting.

  • Market/Category Audits – Instore audits. It’s often helpful to have a snapshot look at what similar products are currently in the market, their price point, where they are merchandised etc.. We can put together a proposal to assist with key market instore audits – TWA and CTS have joined forces to offer this service to ensure we can offer key market coverage (east/west) 

  • Need a Canadian based national full-service food broker in the health and wellness space - let's talk!

 

6

FOOD LABELLING COMPLIANCE

  • Navigating clients through the onerous process of creating or modifying a food packaging label that meets CFIA & FDA standards and regulations

  • Providing multi-market support – US, Canada, UK

  • Offering translation services

  • Minimizing your risk for product recalls as a result of non-compliant on-shelf labelling

  • Providing feedback on the risk associated with innovation when the regulations themselves are not crystal clear or still ‘in-development’ with CFIA

  • Ensuring that clients generate compliant label claims and accurate Nutritional Fact Panels

7

HUMAN

RESOURCES

Recruiting and Staffing:

  • Thinking about adding a team member?

  • Not sure what documentation you need to hire?

  • Should I hire them on contract or as a permanent employee?

  • What’s the best legally defensible questions to ask in an interview?

  • Should I use assessments during the interview process?  

  • Are reference checks really worth the time?

  • Should I have a probation period for new employees? How long should it be? 

  • Can I extend a probation period?

 

Performance Management:

  • How do I safely and legally terminate someone?

  • How do I handle chronic absenteeism? Perpetual lateness?

  • How do I tell someone they’re not performing well? Best coaching techniques?

  • How do I resolve conflicts between my staff?

  • How do I handle delicate personal hygiene issues like body odor?

  • How often should I do formal performance reviews?

  • How do I set objectives that are reasonable and achievable?

  • How do I motivate and inspire my team?

  • What’s the best way to manage remote employees?

  • How do I handle a sexual harassment complaint?
     

Compensation & Benefits:

  • What’s the best format for a job description?

  • How much should I pay someone? Hourly or salary?

  • Should I consider incentive programs?

  • What kind of benefits will attract staff?

  • How do I calculate overtime and who is eligible for overtime?

  • How many hours can people work a week?
     

Human Resources Policies & Practices:

  • Do I need an employee handbook? How big should it be? What should it contain?

  • What documents do I need to start staffing my business?

  • What HR policies do I need in place for my team to be compliant with Occupational Health & safety, AODA, Sexual Harassment & Violence in the Workplace?

  • Am I prepared if an Employment Standards Inspector arrives at the office?​

 
 

8

PROJECT

MANAGEMENT

  • Generating creative ideas and running Innovation meetings

  • Completing and publishing a Project Brief

  • Generating critical paths using validated simple tools to ensure internal accountability

  • Providing time management support

  • Completing and publishing product initiation requests

  • Participating in and/or organizing customer presentations

  • Providing templates, checklists and knowledge for effective project management

  • Managing or advising on Product Life Cycle

 

9

MARKETING

Marketing Services are offered in partnership with Concept To Shelf-approved partners.

 

Sample of types of Marketing Services:

  • Innovation strategy

  • Brand strategy

  • Brand development (logos, packaging, in-store, out-of-store marketing services)

  • Website strategy, design & development

  • Social media strategy and content management

  • Photography and videography

  • Recipe development

  • Naming, copywriting, editing

  • Support from: registered dieticians, certified nutritionists, and certified chefs

  • In-store demo coordination & execution

  • Other – just ask!