Updated: Mar 23
I have been having trouble getting my sauce company off the ground for months now. The problem, other than a lack of communication from multiple bottlers, seemed to be supply chain and labor issues. Once I finally found someone to bottle it up they did a great job... very poor communication and customer service aside. I was very happy with the results and have had good luck moving those initial bottles of product. I went ahead and ordered a second batch and was told that it would take two weeks. Eight weeks later I received my product. I tested it on site before driving away. It tasted good and the color was spot on. Seemed just a touch thinner than the original but that is often the case with small batch products, you have a tough time completely duplicating them. There are differences with the heat of various pepper crops or the color of various tomato or carrot crops etc. There is also the possibility of operator error in the process. I mean, how often have you made a meal to find that it is not quite the same as the last time you made it.
Of course you can have a high volume product, say fast food burgers but, well, you get fast food burgers. They may be consistent every time but they are plain, boring, use lower quality ingredients and often taste like shit! Ditto goes for craft beer, people pay extra for the craft stuff because they want something higher quality, unique, different, not Budweiser.
Well, despite driving away with what I thought was a good product I later realized that it wasn't right. I does taste great, and the color is good but the consistence is way off. Honey Habanero is a thick, full bodied sauce but this new batch is much thinner. It is more like "normal" hot sauces that you might find in a major grocery store. Now, many people prefer this texture to something thick. I have even had many taste testers try them and give me their thoughts and every single one like the new product as much or better than the first but everyone also acknowledges the difference in texture.
Sooo, what to do? I am seeking some resolution from the bottler but I am not holding my breath. I am a brand new start up and can't really afford to "eat", pun intended, and entire order of product. Nor do I want to piss of my current customers who will be getting a different product with their future purchases. I could Sell it as is and I will probably do fine with it, maybe even discover that it is preferred and maybe even could end up with two different products out of the deal. Or is this difference going to be a problem going into the future?
I will figure it out but in the meantime I am stressing over it big time. Supply and labor shortages be damned, I will persevere and get through the tough beginnings because I know that it will make me and the company better and stronger in the future. Thanks for listening to me rant. I will update if I have any major revelations.