At some point in your development process, you will need to make the switch from grocery store ingredients to commercially available ingredients. While it may not seem like a big deal, when manufacturing food at scale, even the smallest change can impact a product, so switching to commercially available ingredients early on can help eliminate a headache down the road.
Here are some common questions brands have about commercial ingredients
What are the main differences between grocery store ingredients and commercial ingredients?
The main differences between grocery store ingredients and commercially available ingredients lie in their sourcing, quality control, and suitability for large-scale production.
Grocery store ingredients are typically intended for consumer use in home cooking. They are often sold in smaller quantities, packaged for individual or household needs. These ingredients may vary in quality and consistency, as they come from a variety of sources and may not undergo the same level of rigorous testing and quality control as commercially available ingredients. Grocery store ingredients are generally not optimized for large-scale production and may not meet the specific requirements of commercial food manufacturing.
Commercially available ingredients are specifically designed and produced for the food industry. They are sourced from reliable suppliers who adhere to strict quality control measures. Commercial ingredients undergo extensive testing to ensure consistency, safety, and compliance with regulatory standards. They are typically available in larger quantities, suitable for large-scale production. Commercial ingredients are formulated to meet the specific needs of food manufacturers, providing reliable and consistent results in terms of flavor, texture, shelf life, and overall product quality.
When should you switch?
It's best to switch to commercially available ingredients as early as possible in your development process. This will help you to identify any impact the switch may have on your product and make adjustments accordingly. While you can start doing recipe development with grocery store ingredients, once you start getting down to minor changes in the product, you should be using commercially available ingredients, otherwise you will have to duplicate work.
Where can you find commercial ingredients?
When you’re just starting out and working with smaller volumes, you may benefit from purchasing ingredients from ingredient suppliers and distributors. They’ll offer a variety of ingredients and have lower order requirements.
Once you’re producing at higher volumes, you can order directly from companies manufacturing those ingredients
ThomasNet is a great resource to start to look for both distributors as well as companies to purchase directly from.