Homemade Gourmet Review
Company Name: Homemade Gourmet
Costs: $39 or $79
What Is It?
Homemade Gourmet is an MLM company that sells food products, including spices and recipe mixes.
In general, I like Homemade Gourmet itself. Selling food in an MLM can potentially offer distributors an advantage and the party model for sales actually works extremely well for this type of product. It reminds me of Blue Apron, a company which I love and use. But this is still an MLM structure and that structure can make it difficult for people to earn money.
As the name suggests, Homemade Gourmet is an MLM that sells food products. That’s actually a pretty unusual choice, and it sparked my interest for a review!
The company offers a selection of different categories, including soups, dips, desserts, breads, seasonings and sides. Homemade Gourmet doesn’t offer an exceptionally large selection, but there is still enough to satisfy many people. For example, the list of seasonings offers 21 different seasonings. These range from $4.50 up to $20.
That limited product selection might turn some potential customers away but in general it is large enough to keep most people interested.
Quality and Price
With these products, it’s really hard to know whether or not they are any good. After all, food is all about taste and there isn’t really any way of knowing this just by looking at images online.
The website for the company does contain a review feature, so you can see what other people have thought about the products. In general, I noticed that most reviews were positive, although some specific products did have negative reviews, like this one for a brownie mix from the company:
I also want to point out that the reviews on the site don’t mean all that much. In general, people only tend to review products if they have a strong opinion one way or the other. That’s why you see reviews like this:
Regardless of how good the cornbread mix is, it probably isn’t the ‘best cornbread ever’. The point I want to make is that you really have to try the food itself to form your own opinion, but at the same time, others may disagree with you.
Now, Homemade Gourmet is an MLM. This means that there is a number of distributors out there trying to promote the products, many of whom use the website. So, it’s likely that many of the positive reviews you see on the site come from distributors, meaning there's going to be some bias. In most cases, they probably feel like they are being honest about products, but if you’re earning money from a product or a company it is very easy to be overly positive about their products.
Another important thing is pricing. With this company, the pricing is a bit interesting. In general, the prices are low enough that the products feel pretty inexpensive, like these:
But, if you compare that to prices that you would find at the grocery store, you can see that these products are actually pretty expensive. So, the price would add up pretty quickly.
In terms of marketing and psychology, this is a clever approach. People tend to find it easier to make small purchases than large ones. For example, you may be more likely to spend $5 four times than to spend $20 once.
This company plays into that mindset. The low (well, lowish) prices of the products make people more likely to make a purchase and in many cases, they will probably make multiple purchases. This does kind of work to the advantage of the distributor (you)!
Selling Food in an MLM
Food is an interesting product choice in an MLM and deserves a separate mention. There are actually a number of advantages in selling food as a product. One of those is that people will use up food products. So, if you get customers who love specific products from the company they make buy them time and time again.
As a general rule, it is much easier to sell an experience than a product. With a product, a person can directly compare the product to other similar ones and figure out which is best. With an experience, this isn’t really possible.
I bring this up because food is a product and an experience. After all, you can eat the exact same meal with the exact same ingredients at two different restaurants and your experience would be completely different. This aspect of food gives distributors an advantage when it comes to promoting the products.
At the same time, people tend to eat and buy food on impulse. So, their purchases are often tied into emotions. The strategies for this MLM take advantage of this part of human behavior. In particular, the idea is for distributors to make sales through parties. That party structure lets distributors show off different products and allow customers to see exactly what the products taste like.
In theory, that can be an effective way to make sales. This potentially makes it easier to make sales in this MLM than in others. Having a party where you make great food, have everyone taste it, then buy the food to make at home definitely has a potential for a successful business.
Without a doubt, Homemade Gourmet is an MLM and you can find many distributors online promoting the company in one way or another. But, the company itself provides very little information about the opportunity. In fact, their website doesn’t even mention the opportunity, which is incredibly unusual.
It seems that this is one company that is mostly promoted through word of mouth, with distributors trying to recruit other distributors that way. The approach does make the company feel more trustworthy, but at the same time it creates some problems.
One issue is that this approach means you really have to trust what your distributor has to say about the company. Personally, I hate that idea, because distributors are never going to know everything about how the company works. As an independent person, I want to be able to do my own research, in my own time, and not rely on “my contact point” to tell me the relevant info.
In general though, the company appears to work off a typical MLM model. This means that distributors earn commissions from sales, but there tends to be more bonuses from recruiting others and from developing a successful team under you. For this particular company, the base commission rate is 40%, which isn’t too bad compared to other MLMs! So, this gives people an advantage for making money through sales.
Despite this, making a living through the company isn’t as easy as it sounds.
The MLM model means that you earn money through two ways. One is through sales and the other is through recruitment and team growth. Members could make a little money through sales, but the key idea is to recruit others into the company and earn money through bonuses and through the actions of your team members.
This is always the part that trips people up.
For one thing, the structure can get a bit confusing if you don’t have a lot of experience with the model or if you have a sponsor that explains it poorly. I’ve seen people who join MLMs who find that they have to stick only to sales because they simply don’t understand the MLM side of the model.
At the same time, recruiting people can be quite difficult. I mean, how many people do you actually know that would be willing to get seriously involved in a company like Homemade Gourmet and sell food from your home for a living? Many people, at least among my friends, are quite happy staying in their 9-5 jobs. We're a rare breed (you and me), that look to exit the rat race and work from home.
Realistically, most of the people you would find might only be interested in casually being part of the company. So, they might have a party every so often and make some sales, but they certainly wouldn’t recruit and wouldn’t make the business a priority.
That brings me to the most frustrating thing about the MLM model. Regardless of the company or the products, your income ends up depending on how other people perform. That is a horrible setup. Ultimately, you have no way of making sure that people actually focus on making money and there is a pretty good chance that most won’t.
The Company Itself
Homemade Gourmet is a fairly small company with modest revenue. This can create both advantages and disadvantages for distributors.
In particular, the small size of the company does increase risk because a smaller company with fairly low profits is more likely to go under. Likewise, the size of the company means that fewer people will have heard of it, which can decrease your chances to make a sale. However, the small size may also mean that the company offers more personalized support, which is certainly an advantage.
If you’re considering becoming a distributor it is worth considering these aspects of the company before making a decision.
MLMs are tricky because the process is never as simple as just selling a product. In this particular case, one of the key ways of promoting the products is through parties. This makes a lot of sense for a food-based company as parties provide a chance to show off the food.
But, this also adds to the cost. After all, you have to purchase the products that you are going to promote at a party. In theory, the more products you have to promote, the better your chances of making a sale is. You might even find that people are unwilling to purchase products that they haven’t tried.
This puts a lot of pressure on distributors. It encourages you to spend more money. But, should you?
In business, there is this concept that you have to spend money to make money and to a degree that’s true. MLMs often use this idea as a way of getting people to buy more product. However, buying product to make money isn’t actually a particularly good investment. You have no way of knowing whether your purchases are going to help you make money or not.
In fact, many distributors for MLMs find themselves spending much more on products than they ever make from the company. That’s not too surprising, because distributors start buying products long before they actually make a profit. Because of this, it’s easy to end up majorly out of pocket with an MLM. If nothing else, you’re constantly trying to make back money that you’ve spent. That’s seriously not a good approach to business.
The products from Homemade Gourmet do give this MLM more potential than most other MLMs. In theory, the nature of the products should make it easier to make sales and easier to get people interested in the business (providing the products do actually taste good). So, if you love food, this MLM might have some merit.
However, it is important to remember that this is still an MLM opportunity. As such, it does come with some pretty major challenges. To make a decent income from the company, you need to be able to make consistent sales and recruit others into the company.
Now, this is possible and some people do actually do well in MLMs. But, achieving this is also much more difficult than it first seems. Because of this, most people find that they don’t make all that much money from the approach. I would recommend carefully weighing up the risks versus the benefits before seriously getting involved in this company. I've never really known anyone to be successful in MLM that did not recruit heavily, regardless of the company they were involved in.
MLM VS Affiliate Marketing
As a company, I kind of like Homemade Gourmet. They have a focus on products rather than on hype and at face value their products seem pretty good. It’s the model itself that I have issues with. The MLM model puts you at a disadvantage right from the beginning and you have to constantly fight to make money.
The thing is, you can make money without having to rely on the MLM model at all. A particularly powerful approach is affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing lets you earn money from selling products, without having to buy products or recruit others. This puts you firmly back in the driver’s seat of your own income.
The product looks good, there is not an overemphasis on recruiting new members, and I personally think food is a good match for the “party” structure of network marketing. However, the lack of information online regarding the opportunity side of things prevents me from giving this company a better score. Still, if you are into food and want to do network marketing, I think Homemade Gourmet is alright!
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