How can a SWOT Analysis be used in determining the decision to start a hot sauce store?
Purchasing a website and setting up an online store can be done through a web site host in an afternoon and making hot sauce is as easy as mixing two ingredients together. So how easy is it to create on online store and sell your own hot sauce? I have done the research on the hot sauce business both globally and domestically and it is booming. However, all businesses can be risky, so I wrote a SWOT Analysis on starting an online hot sauce business.
SWOT is acronym for Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat and is used as a tool to list some quick factors regarding a business decision. In this case I used it to determine how some factors may deter someone from starting an online hot sauce store or allow them to see the prospects.
Do what you do best…hire to do the rest – Don Button, Hell Fire Detroit
The hot sauce market is growing and there will continue to be a demand for hot sauces both domestically and globally through 2026. There is and will be an increasing demand for ethnic hot sauces and gourmet hot sauces and the marketing demographics are increasing as well. Read Who Eats Hot Sauce And Why? for more on the demographics of hot sauce consumption. Sauces can be marketed to a broad group or a specific niche. The Hot Sauce Market Is On The Rise For The Next 5 Years.
Low start up costs
In general, the hot sauce business can have a relatively low start up cost. Read How Much Does It Cost To Make Hot Sauce? for a complete breakdown of product costs. Compared to other food-based products on the market the costs of the raw produce and equipment needed for producing, manufacturing and selling hot sauce online can be very low. In addition the means for selling hot sauce or setting up a website, can also be very inexpensive also.
Hot sauces are available at fast food restaurants, chain stores and just about every type of grocery store across the country. Festivals across the globe are centered around hot sauces and it is continued to be referenced in pop culture. Even non-consumers of hot sauces are familiar with name brands like Franks RedHot and Tabasco.
Selling online offers the unique experience that typical stores cannot, and this is an opportunity to market to Millennial’s and Generation Z. The millennial generation is huge and they love their hot sauces so creating the experience to market to this generation could be achieved by setting up an online store. Knowing who your customers are and marketing to them is extremely important in sales and being able to determine this is a strength in setting up an online store.
None of us had any idea what we were doing…but we made it happen – Elijah X, Elijah’s Xtreme
Many hot sauces and hot sauce related products are on the market right now making the hot sauce industry very competitive. There are thousands of brands of hot sauce for sale through out the United States alone and this is only growing. The top selling products like Franks, Tabasco and Cholula are huge competitors and are available in just about every store throughout the U.S. as well as online. Know what your advantage is in the market.
Converting shopper to a paying customer
Converting a shopper into a consumer is difficult to do if they have never tried the product. This is largely due to an unknown food product being sold without being able to sample it. Therefore you often see sample cart set up in grocery stores offering samples with new products for sale. Unless someone has had your product before or someone has told them about it, there would need to be a great marketing strategy.
What is the value in your product?
It is difficult to market a sauce that will numb your tongue, make you sweat and cause severe pain as you are eating it, although this sometimes used as a novelty approach. Many products use a strategy of marketing the value that is offered in using the product. However, there are some health benefits to eating hot sauce but consumers are not purchasing for this reason.
Make something delicious! Then let people know it exists – Ron Thal, Bumblefoot’s
Easy web site hosting
Starting an online store is easy through WordPress.com or another web hosting site and it can be very simple to maintain as well. If you have an outstanding product you want to sell to a global market, website hosting can be as little as $4.00 per month and could potentially reach a large global audience.
Packaging and shipping made easy
Packaging and shipping can be outsourced to a business who specializes in distributing your product. Smaller independent locations are popping up everywhere and the services can be purchased for very little cost. Because hot sauce is usually packaged in 5 to 10 ounce bottles the shipping costs can be much lower than many other products.
Influencers to market your product
Influencers are a relatively new method of reaching consumers, but it works. They are gaining popularity and are far more accessible than hiring a celebrity or famous athlete to be your spokesman. This is probably not going to go away with Generation Z rapidly coming up as consumers either.
Selling at artisan festivals
This is one way of avoiding the competitive pressure of large producers of hot sauce. They may not set up a booth at the smaller venues that are seen in many cities across the country. This may seem a daunting task but research a few in your area and call for the cost of setting up a physical site. This could be an opportunity to reach the right demographics. Read 21 Ways To Start Selling Hot Sauce Today! for several other quick and easy ways to sell hot sauce.
There’s lots of competition…but lots of companies dropping out – Luis Morales, Humble House Foods
Competition or other e commerce sites can easily be set up and in business through social media channels. Larger companies in any industry are always a threat to smaller start up companies by undercutting their prices, having a large distributor and taking advantage of their popular branding name.
Anyone online has these similar threats but they are real and should be taken into consideration when setting up on online hot sauce store. With cyber security becoming stronger there are still criminals always trying to find new ways of getting through. Customers are not as apprehensive as they once were purchasing online but the threat is still real.
You could have an outstanding product and it you don’t have enough traffic coming to your site you will not have any sales. If you are unfamiliar with how to produce heavy traffic to your site this could be a bigger threat than you think. Getting your product in front of the right consumer could be more difficult then producing sauce.
Large manufacturers are also selling online
The competition could be everywhere your are. The more popular, better selling hot sauces are not difficult to find. Review some of the larger online stores and you see the same popular brands being sold. Name brand manufactures are using social media sites to promote their products just like smaller companies are.
Customer do not know how to use your site
The average person online does not spend much time on a single web page, so it needs to function for the user. If you have too many ads popping up or too many broken links you will lose potential customers. “Buy Now” buttons, shopping carts and checkouts all need to be functioning properly to not lose potential customers.
If you have considered setting up an online hot sauce store a SWOT analysis is a great way to get some quick pros and cons about what you need to do next. Further market research indicates the hot sauce industry is on a growth curve through 2026 so the opportunity to start an online hot sauce business has never been better.