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Navigating a sea of food

Modern Americans have a nearly endless supply of food product choices. Fresh, frozen, organic, boxed, bagged, bulk, domestic, imported — you name it, it’s there for customers to buy.

Imagine trying to introduce one more product on top of the thousands already available. Then trying to convince consumers that your product is better or different enough for them to try not just once, but repeatedly. Of course, at the same time you’d be competing with multi-million dollar companies and worldwide corporations for customers.

Sound difficult? It is.

Every year AURI works with dozens of entrepreneurs and businesses attempting to sell a new food product. Some will go head-to-head with established competitors; others will take alternate routes to differentiate their product in the marketplace. Whichever path is taken, it’s no easy task.

In this issue of Ag Innovation News, we take a look at some of the challenges businesses face when introducing a new food product. Included is wisdom from some Minnesota entrepreneurs who have entered the food fray. You’ll see what worked for them and what didn’t.

Agriculture is more than just food, and a primary focus of AURI’s mission is to help develop nonfood and industrial uses for ag products. However, food products are an important facet of Minnesota’s rural economic health. We hope this issue of Ag Innovation News will provide helpful insight into the food segment of value-added agriculture.