Roadmap to Phase One

Phase One: Launch

Phase One: Launch is about building a cohesive concept, executing the technical elements of a market-ready product, and launching into the market. We want to get to market quickly so that we can start learning and moving towards what people want.

Phase One works through three sections: Concept, Technical Execution, Launch.

Phase One: Three Sections


1.1 | Concept

Concept is the first of three sections in Phase One: Launch. In this section, you will define your company’s mission, core values, and the six elements of a cohesive concept.

Mission + Core Values:

  • Mission: A mission answers why your company exists. It allows you and all of your partners to make decisions on the direction of your company without misunderstanding. 
  • Core Values: Core Values are a set of principles that you believe in. They define how you will achieve your mission. 
  • Case Study | Compass Coffee: Michael Haft and Harrison Suarez, co-founders of Compass Coffee, learned the hard way how important a mission and core values are to a successful business. Now that they have a mission and core values, they have a clear direction towards success. 

Learning Tools:

  • OODA LoopA tool that standardizes the decision making process so that we can make better decisions faster and learn more from each decision 
  • Backplanning: A simple and effective tool for making sure you achieve your goals in a timely manner. In backplanning, we start with the end goal and work backwards to set a timeline for everything that needs to happen for us to be successful. 

Cohesive Concept: 

  • Pain Point: A specific problem that someone faces

  • Value Proposition: How the solution you are providing solves the consumer's pain point better than any other option

  • Product: A product is how you deploy your value proposition

  • Core Consumer: The person that most acutely faces the pain point that your product solves

  • Market: Markets represent the aggregation of consumer choices

  • Brand: The perception you create around the qualities and attributes of your products

1.2 | Technical Execution

Technical Execution is the second of three sections in Phase One: Launch. In this section, we will apply your conceptual work from Concept to create a market-ready product.

Product Development: Manufacturing

Product Development: Formulation

Product Formulation, in the context of what we will discuss, is understanding how ingredients, the environment, and packaging behave and interact to create your final product. As with everything in food manufacturing, this is an iterative process.

  • Shelf Life: Your product must taste great, remain stable, and achieve minimum shelf life to successfully engage with distributors and retailers. 
  • Stability: In addition to shelf life, products must be stable. While shelf life focuses primarily on time, stability looks at potential effects of temperature, humidity, and other environmental factors.
  • Ingredients


  • The Ins and Outs of Packaging: You will need two types of packaging for your product: unit packaging and case boxes.
  • Legal Requirements for Packaging: The FDA regulates labeling under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and its amendments. For a full list of legal requirements for your packaging, please reference your Launch Checklist Workbook.
  • Case Box Requirements: All distributors have requirements for how you pack and deliver your product.
  • Barcodes: While not a legal requirement by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), GS-1 UPC Barcodes are very important for successfully engaging with retailers and distributors.
  • Packaging Designers
  • Design Tips for Packaging: We've seen many successful designs and not-so-successful designs. We've captured these lessons learned.
  • Packaging Suppliers: Once you know the type of packaging you are looking for, you'll need to find a packaging supplier.
  • Interpreting Packaging Quotes: Once you meet with a packaging supplier and provide them with information on what you are looking for, they will send you a price quote.
  • How Much Packaging to Order: You’ve found suppliers you are comfortable and confident in as partners. How do you know how much to order? As with most things in business, it's a balance. The more you order, the lower the per unit cost. But large inventories can slow innovation and tie up a lot of upfront capital. 


  • Pricing: Pricing reflects what consumers are willing to pay and your costs (COGs) to make the product. 
  • Pricing Terms: Understand COGs and Margins vs. Markups
  • Dive into Margin vs. Markup
  • Sell Sheet: A sell sheet is a summary one-sheeter that provides all the information a buyer needs to know to make an informed decision about picking up your product. 

1.3 | Launch

Launch is the final of three sections in Phase One. We are in the home stretch! Section 3 Launch focuses on tying everything together. We will work through your initial channel strategy and prepare for product review.

Direct to Consumer

DTC is selling your product directly to a consumer without an intermediary like a distributor or wholesaler: 

  • Amazon: Launching on Amazon and other online platforms allows CPG brands to reach consumers directly at home. 
  • Shopify:  Set up your e-commerce site on Shopify with step by step instructions.