Consultants aren’t something most people intuitively associate with the confection industry, but they truly serve a vital role in taking many candy businesses to the next level, helping them to streamline production, modernise equipment, train employees, and more. If you feel like your confection business has stagnated somewhat despite producing a quality product very consistently, it may be time to bring in a bit of outside help in order to get things back on track. Typically, a confectionery consultant can provide expert assistance in some or all of the following areas:
- New product development. It’s a fact of the food industry in general that new products are a necessary part of maintaining customer interest. While many candy companies produce old standbys their customers know and love (and these are certainly important), to keep a company growing and profitable, it’s generally accepted that at least 30 per cent of its sales should be from products that are less than three years old.
- New skills development. With new products comes the need for new employee skills; a confectionery consultant can be hired on temporarily to train staff in the creation of new items that challenge their existing skill sets (without you having to take on any extra permanent employees to do the job). Consultants can also help employees learn the use of new food production machinery safely.
- Bakery or food production layout and design. Many consultants will be able to help you plan the most effective layout for your bakery or food production system, a key component of streamlining production. A poorly-planned workspace can seriously slow down any operation.
- Branding. Selling candy is about more than just peddling decently edible sweets; it’s also about the message you’re trying to convey, the image people are buying with your product. What do you want your brand to bring to mind? Romance, luxury, fun (i.e. candy aimed at children), or the old-fashioned comfort of your Nan’s bowl of sweets, nestled in her familiar living room? A confectionery consultant can help you hone exactly what your candy has to “say” to the people buying it, making it memorable in the minds of your customers. Your confectionery consultant may also help you do research into your target market, establishing knowledge of which demographics your candy is already appealing to most strongly.
- Social Media Presence: Nowadays every business worth mentioning—even if they sell something as mundane as laundry hampers—has a social media presence. Social media is one of the key ways people will try to find your business and connect with it, and the lack of a strong social media presence can make a business look unprofessional. However, you may not have the requisite computer skills to develop this presence yourself, and you almost certainly don’t have the time for the hassle of doing so, so this is another area many consults now aid in.