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Pilot & Commercial Production

Though not always the case, the formulation of most food products begins at a benchtop scale (think: an advanced kitchen setting). After specific ingredients are identified, usage levels dialed in, and processing instructions established for a benchtop setting, it is essential to test it at larger volumes of production, and ideally before making the investment into Commercial Production – thus, Pilot Production.

Going Big

Pilot settings vary widely, but essentially give you a glimpse into the types of industrial-grade equipment available, the specifics of how they’re operated and handled, and generally, the ability to produce (sometimes) up to hundreds of pounds of product per day. After 1-3 Pilot Production trials, a Commercial Production trial will provide an ability to produce hundreds of pounds (and more!) of finished product per hour. Of course, capacity varies widely by application type, equipment availability, and the level of manual versus automated labor involved. Regardless, both Pilot and Commercial Production trials require an extensive amount of planning in advance, the ability to observe, rapidly problem-solve, and adapt on site, revise for increased efficiency, and a  high degree of communication and accountability throughout.

Benchtop​

Ideal for initial R&D and creating samples for Buyer and Investor meetings.

General outputs:

  • Formulation sheet

  • Processing instructions 

  • Names of ingredients and suppliers

  • Cost of ingredients

  • FDA-compliant Nutrition Facts Panel and Ingredient Declaration

Pilot

Suitable for the same objectives as Benchtop Scale, but ideal for pre-commercial production tests, and generally only internal/non-consumer consumption. Some formulations are not able to begin at a Benchtop Scale, and will skip right to Pilot Scale.

General outputs:

  • Revised formulation

  • Revised ingredient suppliers

  • Revised processing instructions

  • Coordinating samples to various service providers for: shelf-life testing, nutrition analysis, and other essential QA protocols

Commercial​

Combines the learnings from Benchtop and Pilot Production trials and yields many consistent consumer packaged goods, ideal for placement in a grocery retail setting.

General outputs:

  • Finalized formulation

  • Finalized ingredient suppliers

  • Finalized processing instructions

  • Finalized cost of ingredients

  • Finalized, FDA-compliant Nutrition Facts Panel and Ingredient Declaration per SKU