Guest post is provided by Food Trade Consultants, a consultation service offering seminars and packing of small orders to entrepreneurs in the food industry. Visit www.foodtradeconsultants.com for more information.
If you want to protect your trade secret from being stolen you could patent it. Although patents require extensive viewing by the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the information would then become public, it gives you certain protections. If someone tries to reverse engineer your product by tinkering with it in the kitchen to get it to taste the same, they can legally reproduce their copy with no legal repercussions.
However some companies like Coca Cola and KFC guard their secrets so closely, they have their recipes written on a piece of paper and locked in a safe. Many imitation brands have tried to match the Coca Cola taste and have obviously failed. Once India demanded that Coca Cola give up their recipe in order to sell their product in the country, but Coca Cola decided to abandon the market altogether rather than give up the juice. Thus companies like these are ever-growing their empires.
This, however, is incredibly impractical if you don’t have the means to guard your secret this carefully. You would have to establish your own production plants, and most start-ups don’t have those kinds of resources. Don’t worry; you won’t need to hire any hit-men to protect your trade secret. All joking aside, you will need to consult someone who has been in the food business longer to get you on the road to success. Signing a non-disclosure agreement when you consult a food trade professional will ensure that there will be no theft of intellectual property.