Approaching the Production Batch
We’re getting close to the 440-gallon seven-thousand-jar production batch of Payo! Here’s an update on a couple of the ingredients, the label, the Amazon storefront, and shipping. For the type of eggs used in Payo, the preference list is:
- Organic, pastured, fed traditional diet
- Organic pastured
- Organic free-range
- Organic cage-free
- Cage free
I went down the list, looking for suppliers. For this batch, the best I could find was type 4 egg whites and type 7 egg yolks. There are a couple suppliers who may have type 4 yolks available next year. The reason good eggs are hard to find is that companies aren’t ordering them in the form I need, so egg suppliers aren’t offering them. When I ask how large an order I would need to put in for them to put their good eggs through the separation and pasteurization process, I hear a number between three and six thousand pounds. I need less than six hundred pounds (on the order of eight thousand eggs) for Payo. And while I kind of like the idea of having an extra 5.4 thousand pounds of pastured eggs to gift to friends and use in cooking, it would be a mite expensive, and I don’t think I would be able to consume them all.
I had hoped my manufacturer would be able to find organic NFC (not from concentrate) lemon juice in sizes above Santa Cruz/Lakewood 32oz glass jars (which would be a tad comical to manufacture with), but they came up dry. I also didn’t find any, many suppliers saying they were out of stock until next year due to a strong fresh market (meaning many more people were buying whole lemons at markets/grocers, so farmers were selling them there instead of in bulk to juicers). If anyone would like to help out by searching for a US bulk supplier, preferably a drum (50 gallons) in the northeast US, that would be welcome :-)
The initial label stock I planned on using I found in a wine label collection and had a very nice three-dimensional texture, with a deep groove pattern. My label printer had thought it would work fine, but found on a test run that the ink didn’t hold. The next stock we are testing out is a very earthy/crafty matte – similar to construction paper.
On the Amazon front, the single jar packaging is set, but it will be more expensive than in the grocery store, due to the high per-order fee and because it needs to be over ~$10 in order to not be classified as an add-on item (which often dramatically lowers sales). A less expensive per-jar option will be a two-pack, for which I’m designing a custom-sized and -printed box, similar to the ghee box pictured on the Kickstarter page. Mine will have a white outside, and will have the Amazon stocking label printed on the back to avoid the ~$0.20 labeling fee (which the customer service people at Fulfillment by Amazon had never heard of being done, but eventually agreed to allow). An interesting aspect of the box design is the amount of friction between the top and the sides, which determines how much force is required to open it. I’m trying to strike a good balance between being easy on your hands to open but unlikely to accidentally open during shipment.
For shipping out Kickstarter rewards, I will be going to the manufacturer on production day, taking the first cases that come off the line, unpacking them, and repacking jars into variously-sized packages along with a thank-you note, spec sheet, and other rewards. I’m new to the world of mailing packages economically, and was given an excellent primer by Steve Tinsky of Wild Mountain Paleo Market while visiting his warehouse in Portland. I didn’t even know basic things, like USPS is usually less expensive than UPS and has regional rate boxes. I highly recommend Steve’s comprehensive Paleo food online store at www.wildmountainpaleo.com, which is the first retail store to sign up to carry Payo!