Food Industry Research

Market Research

3125Hort19

3125Hort19 (Photo credit: College of Ag Communications)

As part of my ongoing effort to reinvent myself as a freelancer, I was looking at some of my other interests like opening a barbecue joint, or perhaps a bed and breakfast.  Given my nature and background I used a spreadsheet to look at the food industry in general.  What part of the food industry was profitable and growing?  What needs are not being fulfilled?  What niche can I fill?  In other words, some market research.

All interesting questions, right?  Food!  In America, at least, it’s everywhere.  We eat all the time, and a lot of it is not so good for us.

English: Frozen meat grinder GW 300.

English: Frozen meat grinder GW 300. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I remember very vividly getting a meat grinder attachment for our Kitchen-Aid mixer, to grind our own meat to avoid pink slime.  That’s one where the manufacturers got their hand caught in the proverbial cookie jar.  It’s also a gnat sitting on top of this huge elephant.  There’s so much we don’t know, unless we’re industry insiders or very, very vigilant.

The farm-to-table concept is catching fire; I hope to see this become a norm, not just another food trend!

I’m still researching food as a business opportunity.  If I do start a restaurant or produce a food product, I definitely want to avoid anything that smacks of “secret” ingredients, to get us to eat more, or pay more for less.

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Sunday Morning Ramblings

English: French Press

English: French Press (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sitting here drinking a bit of coffee. I so enjoy coffee made by a french press.  Over the years, I’ve tried drip and the Kuerig pods.  They make acceptable coffee.  I’ve obviously had coffee in restaurants and coffee houses; where they mostly use a drip method.  I saw a very small french press for a really cheap price, and figured I wouldn’t be throwing away a lot of money if I didn’t like it.  It’s so good, I even made my wife a convert.

One thing to note, there is sediment in the bottom of your cup after drinking, unless you pour it through a filter first.  Personally, I don’t notice the very fine sediment while drinking the coffee.  The mouth feel isn’t that much different due to the fine particulates.  But, the taste is at least twice as good, assuming you start with ah good coffee.

I could go on for several more paragraphs about coffee, grinding beans, types and roasts of coffee, but, I’ll leave that for another post.  I’ve been cross posting between WordPress and Blogger.com, and I’m beginning to notice a trend, and I wanted to jot down a couple of the pros and cons from a newbie freelancer.

The free versions of WordPress & Blogger.com are what I’ve started with; I may go paid on one or the other, eventually.  I have no conclusions so far about which is better. Here’s what I’ve observed to date, just looking at the plain vanilla free versions:

  • First comment left on WordPress and first reblog too
  • Both sites seem easy to navigate and publish a blog
  • Blogger.com offers a lot of both Google tools & third-party addons
  • WordPress.com offers more in some areas without having to go the third-party route
  • Both sites won’t let you monetize your site, easily without having your own domain name at least
  • Integration with social sites like Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, Google+ and more seems about the same, give or take a few social sites
  • Both offer apps for blogging via your phone or tablet.  I haven’t tried to blog, but, I have read blogs this way.

Now, on to to my other ramblings for this post, technical writing training.  I mentioned in a earlier post about iTunes U, and a training course.  There were about 10 or 12 lectures, but, all audio.  It seemed like a very nice university professor, and I’m sure it would have been better in person as opposed to just audio.  So, I went looking at YouTube.  Wow, what a wealth of videos on that one subject.  Of course, I’m having to weed out those that are just advertising their services.  Still, I did find one complete course, and I’ve watched the first three out of about 20.  If I like it, I’ll link it in a future post.

To those of you who actually read to the end, thanks.  I think you are very tough and determined people.  Happy Sunday!

Writing 101: Measuring Your Success

This looks like an interesting blog about how to be effective at blogging.

The Daily Post

Before Writing 201 gets underway on Monday, we thought we’d take a look back at 101. You were a prolific bunch, and seeing just how much you accomplished feels great and an is excellent way to get motivated for 201.

*Blogging U. challenges are open to everyone including self-hosted, Tumblr, and Blogger bloggers, who we can’t analyze.

Ready for some numbers? During Writing 101, the 1275 bloggers we’re able to track* got nearly half a million pageviews — 442,717 to be precise — and were responsible for:

Overview

This comes from your publishing 66% more posts than you did pre-Writing 101 — 92% of you posted twice as much. Not too shabby, considering that the main goal of Writing 101 was simply to help you develop a regular writing habit, whether you chose to publish your writing or not!

And what about your individual blogs? When we took a look at Writing 101 participants’ blogs in the month…

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Serendipity?

Paying it Forward

Elance is the first site that I’ve enrolled with and I’ve bid a couple of jobs to start the ball rolling and get my feet wet.  I’ve done some research on the kinds of jobs that I think I can do, and what is popular on Elance.

On my second application to freelance some technical writing, I get a very quick reply from the person that is hiring.  She said she wanted a female.  Wow! Reverse discrimination?  Nope, she was looking for someone to write an article about breast feeding.  No doubt a female can relate more to breast feeding than most guys, so, I was okay.

My wife is a NICU nurse, and therefore more familiar with breast feeding than a first time mom; so, I suggested to the person hiring that she might be a good fit.  My wife is not a specialist in this area, but, she knows more than average, and has helped new moms in this area, at least for preemies.

Here’s the part that I found strange in this process, is that she gets an offer to write, while I did all the work registering for Elance, putting in all of the background information, applying for a freelance writing job, etc.  I guess I’m paying it forward somehow?