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Broth Is Not the Same As Soup! The Mistake That Cost My Company a Year of Growth Kettle & Fire was selling bone broth like crazy. But when we tried to sell soup, we learned how hard product expansion can be.

By Justin Mares

This story appears in the March 2022 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Courtesy of Kettle & Fire
The author learned a lot about entering a new market. First, research the heck out of it before you jump.

When I launched Kettle & Fire with my brother, Nick, I knew nothing about retail. Like a lot of entrepreneurs, we just set out to make something we couldn't buy — in our case, an organic bone broth made from grass-fed, grass- finished animals, with no additives, and cooked for a long time. In 2015, after Google Trends and Keyword Planner showed us that other people were also searching for something like this, we introduced our first product.

This was three years before bone broth became a thing, with celebrities like Halle Berry and Chrissy Teigen swearing by it. But we found this group called PaleoHacks, which had some 800,000 members at the time, and these people were into all the health benefits. Once we let the group know about Kettle & Fire, we did close to $5,000 in sales in two days. By the end of the first year, we'd done about $3 million and made it into Whole Foods. It was insane. In 2018, our biggest problem was going out of stock.

And then we made a mistake.

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