Hypotheses: If you effectively use Doodles IP to design gluten-free food product packaging/ themed retail environment, the products will generate sales in a local market.
Independent variables: Packaging, Booth Design, Flavors Dependent variables: # of goods sold
There is a stigma that GF snacks taste bad, but when you curate a dialed in recipe they are indistinguishable from or even better than snacks with gluten. Long term, I am seeking to: A) create more delicious food options for people who are celiac or intolerant to gluten, B) create a character based CPG brand that attracts folks who do not follow a gluten-free diet to enjoy consuming GF snacks (using enjoyable artwork and tasty food to Trojan Horse people into Doodles IP).
The first step in pursuit of a Doodles Character-centered CPG brand is to sell Chef Tony’s GF Treats at a local farmer’s market in Austin Texas. If there is a good appetite I will look to Inkubate the business to scale. We would like to build a more immersive Farmer’s Market exhibit if we can get demand off the ground from the first test + open an e-commerce store. For production moving to commercial kitchens, co-packing, and eventually co-manufacturing. For distribution expanding beyond B2C on to: retail partnerships, regional chains, and national chains. I have much more documentation in regards to proposed steps forward following a successful experiment but will spare sharing them in the interest of keeping the length of this proposal brief.
The product: Gluten-Free Snack Bars aka Chef Tony’s GF Treats
The Experiment: Produce (in-home) an initial line of gluten-free snack bars that will be packaged and branded with IP from Doodle #4437. Design, build, and host a Doodle #4437 themed Farmer’s Market Stall in Austin Texas (at Lonestar Farmers Market in Bee Cave) to sell Chef Tony’s Gluten-Free Bars in-person to customers. The experiment will run for 4 weeks (markets open for the season in mid-September). This 4 week time horizon will allow us to pop up 4 times, as the market runs from 9am to 1pm only on Sundays.
What defines success? KPIs to be measured: # of goods sold, # of each flavor sold, # of customers, $ gross revenue generated over 4 weeks of operation, emails gathered, followers gained.
Chef Tony’s Farmer’s Market Experiment will explore the efficacy of leveraging Doodles IP tied to a popular online persona, cleverly branded packaging, and a themed Farmer’s Market stall retail pop-up to sell gluten-free snacks to local customers.
The bars will be made in 5 flavors to provide options for different taste preferences. Due to the relative simplicity of the recipes and the fact that in-home batches are small, making multiple flavors of bars will not initially be any more time consuming. Over the duration of the experiment we will gather data on flavor preference to inform our future batch production decisions. We explored outsourcing food production but at small scale, the MOQs for gluten-free food producers were substantially higher than our test batch needs.
From a regulatory POV this experiment involves food production in a home-kitchen, thus we will be operating under the designation of “Cottage Food Business” in Texas. Operating as a Cottage Food Business will help us avoid unnecessary regulation, permits, and licensure for an initial experiment. Cottage Food Businesses are not regulated by the FDA, USDA, or Texas Health and Human Services.
The only requirements to operate a Cottage Food Operation in Texas are: Obtain a Food Handler’s Certification Package and label according to guidelines found in Section 229.661 of Texas Administrative Code Goods produced must not be found on the Potentially Harmful Food (PHF) list, an exhaustive list of banned foods is located in Health and Safety Code, Chapter 438D.
We have the necessary business & legal structure to avoid personal liability in case any customers become sick from consuming food (Chef Tony’s LLC), our packaging design will contain the necessary verbiage related to Cottage Food Law in Texas, our snacks are not found on the PHF list, we are securing the permits to pay Texas State sales tax, and have Food Handler’s Certifications.
Any OG Doodles holders that come visit our Farmer’s Market Booth during our 4 week experiment will receive free GF Treats. For this experiment we will not be introducing e-commerce sales to keep things focused on local customers and allow us to iterate on the product prior to expanding to non-local audiences and shipping.
*(There will be a number of tests required prior to introducing shipping from melting risk due to exposure heat, avoiding snacks from being crushed during shipment, etc. we will save these complications for future iterations)
If we are successful, we do plan to introduce e-commerce via Shopify. We would leverage Shopify’s built token-gating in our online store to provide OG Doodles holders a discount on our gluten-free snacks. OG Holders will never pay full price for our products!
If the brand successfully scales over time, we may explore working with other OG Holders for collaborations on future product lines. (TBD)
Simple + Replicable
Materials for packaging can be used for multiple flavors, we will place stickers for each specific flavor to have more evergreen bulk packing materials/avoid paying for multiple small runs of packaging. The farmers market stall is reusable and will be popped up on a routine basis (for 4 consecutive weekends - weather permitting). Farmers market stalls in Texas are 10x10 (industry standard) so it could easily be used in another locale to further prove repeatability and grow our customer base.
What is complete already: LLC formed Food Handlers Secured Recipes = Finalized Packaging source = selected Farmer’s Market location = selected POS selected Initial booth design mock up done Initial packaging mock ups done Initial style guide done Secured: @cheftony_gf on: Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, FaceBook Business
To-do prior to launch Submit new vendor application at Lonestar Farmer’s Market - pending approval to align with accurate start date Receive Sales Tax Permit (2 week waiting period) Finish focus grouping packaging design + select final design from pool Order packaging Order booth banners Order online packaging supplies + stickers Purchase fresh cooking equipment (to ensure GF sanitation) Capture video + photo content for socials & for products listings for future shopify store
Time from fund disbursal to launch: approximately 3 weeks (main wait is shipping + sales tax permit wait time). Team Space:** On approval Days until launch: 27 Requested Budget (USD): 3900
Tony: Cooking, Project Management, Social Media Management, Vending Products Samantha: Culinary Arts, Accounting/Legal, Vending Products Brooks: Web Design, Package Design, Booth Design, E-commerce, Advertising, Vending Products Doodlifts: Advisor Contractors being explored: Art Dood, Sushi, ARB8I, JJ Pencils – illustrations for packaging, booth banners, social media content, and physical marketing materials
What’s the key hypothesis your proposal tests that could bring value to the brand and holders? If you effectively use Doodles IP to design gluten-free food product packaging/ themed retail environment, the products will generate sales in a local market.
Independent variables: Packaging, Booth Design, Flavors Dependent variables: # of goods sold
What’s the distinct value proposition of your proposal? Expanding the Inkubator's portfolio into the CPG/food industry.
Can your proposal be scaled and replicated if successful? Our booth materials are reusable and fit the standard 10x10 foot print for Farmer's Market Stalls. Our packaging is standardized and we will be using stickers to denote each flavor to avoid redesigning/reordering packaging if we incorporate new recipes.
We chose the venue of the Farmer's Market as a way to test products and iterate based on customer feedback. We plan to eventually outgrow home-cooking and solely providing for Farmer's Markets to a much larger operation.
For example, a simple scale up could include renting a commercial kitchen to scale production, designing a more immersive market stall with painted elements, animations on projector or digital screen, and opening an e-commerce store.
Does your proposal introduce a new benefit for OG Doodles? OG Holders who visit Chef Tony's GF Treats Farmer's Market stall during the experiment window will be given free products. Moving forward when we implement e-commerce sales via Shopify, OG holders will receive discounts on all of our products (thanks to Shopify's built in token-gating).
Who knows, we may be able to collab with other culinary doodles on future product lines if things work out...
How will your proposal broaden the appeal of Doodles to new audiences? This experiment is to target an entirely new demographic with a B2C model of Austin Texas locals. The broader target audience is individuals with Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance.
My significant other as well as my best friend since childhood are both allergic to gluten so I've experienced the lack of GF options firsthand. I hope to be an active agent for change of making GF treats more tasty than their glutinous counterparts. I also think with well done branding/ eventually instituting immersive elements into the retail space we should draw people who eat gluten over to the dark side.
Does your proposal have the potential to increase revenue for our holders or the Inkubator? Yes, we are selling products that will be selling for substantially more than the price of ingredients and packaging in our local market. The margins will increase as we scale and buy wholesale ingredient and supplies/ eventually outsource production. The entire business idea is to make and sell goods which would open an opportunity for a rev share with the Inkubator.
Is your proposal structured to self-sustain its expenses? We are aiming to be as net neutral for this experiment as possible, keep in mind we have initial equipment, booth elements, design/illustrations costs that are front-loaded and will not be reoccurring.
From forecasting if we sell a majority of our products we should be able to recoup at least 50% of our initial seed conservatively.
If we expand the time horizon we could possibly spin a higher % of return but we should have a better idea after vending a few market days.
If successful, do you plan to move your project to the Inkubation stage? Yes indeed
Project Lead Additional Remarks
Let us cook 👨🍳
I have an itemized budget and substantially more information that I omitted to try and keep things short. If you have any further questions or require any additional documentation please reach out and I will provide it expeditiously.
In addition, I hope this reflects a true MVP of my much grander idea. The budget is set up in a way that the returns from initial sales will be turned into more ingredients since I will not be purchasing wholesale. I did this to make the initial ask as low as possible without it becoming too much of a pain for # of trips to the store.