For those that didn’t know: I’m working towards significantly scaling up my operation. Like full-on industrial manufacturing using a co-packer.
Today I finally got pricing for a vitamin/mineral pre-mix. There are a bunch of reasons for this but to name a few:
- Everything in every room in my house has Keto Chow powder on it. Like literally everything. Rooms on every floor have it on every surface, it’s kinda nuts. Ever done drywall work and had the dust all over? yeah, that’s easier to clean up (I know this because I just did that in the living room).
- My production capacity is currently limited by how much time I can devote to it, I can’t handle much more order volume than I’m currently experiencing. This limits the business in general. I have refrained from doing any marketing at all to prevent crushes in orders I can’t handle.
- Haven’t had an issue with quality control other than 2 batches that didn’t get the right amount of mineral pre-mix. One was several months ago and the other was last week, this last one we caught before any were shipped out; anyway – I’d like to improve the quality control so it’s even better than what I currently have going on.
- I’d like to be able to take a vacation this summer =)
Anyhow several months ago I contacted a few vitamin pre-mix people to see if it was possible for them to make a replacement for the Kirkland Signature Multi-vitamins I’m currently using in my mix. The few places that responded told me they had a minimum order of 100 kg. Back then I balked and let the inquiry die because 100 kg in 10g/week increments would make 9,293 “week” (21 meal) bags of Keto Chow! Now that I’m looking into co-packing I need to be able to get all my stuff in massive bulk quantities so I’m not grinding several hundred pounds of vitamin capsules, it would be a full time job. In my inquiries about co-packing I was put in touch with a place that does nutrient pre-mixes. While hashing out the mix we eventually ended up incorporating several of the ingredients into the pre-mix. Turns out several of the ingredients are particularly hygroscopic and needs to be paired with something to keep it dry. So if you want Choline Bitatrate you have to add Calcium Phosphate or it won’t last 6 months. We have the formulation formalized on paper and I’ll be getting a sample in 2 weeks or so to test out. In the end we’re replacing
- Calcium Citrate/Magnesium Citrate/D3 powder
- Calcium Phosphate
- Choline L-Bitatrate
- Kirkland Signature Vitamins
- Vitamin MK-7
The best part is it actually costs slightly less than what I’m currently using ( $0.20859/day compared to $0.27655/day) even if I get it in the smallest quantity I can order. If I scale up to 2500kg I can save even more =).
Friday I finally got a sample of psyllium husk that I can get in 55lb and 2000lb bags, it was more finely ground than the NOW psyllum powder, I’m super excited about it! Still don’t have pricing yet though =(
The next step that I’m working on is getting a replacement for the Dymatize protein powder I’m using. It’s gotten harder and harder to find the various flavors and some (Pina Colada, Banana, Cinnamon Bun) I haven’t found in several weeks and don’t think I ever will be able to get again – 2 of my suppliers have indicated the Pina Colada has been discontinued by the manufacturer. I’m working with a lady locally that formulates flavors to come up with suitable replacements. Hopefully I’ll have this ready in the next month and before the Dymatize goes completely unavailable (which I doubt Rich Chocolate and the other really popular flavors will disappear but I haven’t been able to get them in 10lb boxes for months).
So what does this mean for the future of Keto Chow, the recipe? Well, I’ll have Keto Chow 1.0.4 open for anyone to use still, that’s not changing. I’m also going to open the new recipe (tentatively called Keto Chow 2.0) but it likely won’t be something a regular person can make themselves since it’ll require a custom vitamin pre-mix along with using a custom protein powder and custom flavorings. For the most part you’ll still be able to make 1.0.4 yourself but whatever flavors I come up with (along with the expected ones I’m planning on trying for plain and savory flavors!) will only be available from me, but one of the goals in all this is also to reduce the cost and therefore the price of the stuff I’m selling. Better quality, easier to get, less expensive – that’s the plan.
Don’t hold your breath unless you can do so for a long while but that’s the plan for the future. At some point I’m going to check out some of the manufacturers I found that specialize in aseptic packaging of mixed liquids. Pre-mixed Keto Chow in a bottle with the cream and oil already mixed in and doesn’t require refrigeration? Yeah that would be awesome!