Ever wondered what would be the most appropriate food business ideas? The food industry is constantly growing, and with the world ever changing and new trends continuously cropping up there are a load of avenues to take if you are considering becoming a part of an industry which involves necessity but also passion, cultural expression, and art.
But with this industry being so vast, what is a good food business idea that will set you apart and be successful?
Considering that according to the Guidant Financial that business and food are at the top of the most popular industries with 11% and saw a rise in 2018 by 14%, there are many routes you can take when considering which food business idea to adopt.
Here is our list of 25 great food business ideas that you can ponder over and venture into to live out your food dreams.
How to Start a Food Business?
As is the case when venturing into starting your own business, preparing to launch your own food business ideas takes a lot of determination, drive, and research.
Decide on an idea that you have passion for, something that there is a market demand for, and something that will offer the opportunity to generate profit over your expenses.
Come up with an idea that both appeals to you and which there is a consumer base for. You can then decide on the specifics of what you will offer such as what menu you will have or what products you will sell.
Make sure that you research about relevant regulations and certifications that you may require to ensure your food business ideas is up to par on all laws and requirements.
For a quick lowdown on how you start from your own food business ideas; we’ve compiled a brief list for your ease.
- Create a Solid Business Plan
- Secure Financing
- Choose a suitable location
- Design the layout of your space
- Choose your suppliers wisely
- Get relevant government licenses for your employees
- Hire your employees
- Advertise your business
Before Starting, Don’t Forget to Test Your Great Food Business Ideas
Testing a food business idea is as much important as bringing it to fruition in full form.
Sometimes, people are so excited about launching their startup, that they overlook the testing part as the “I don’t have to do that” step of the F&B conglomerate.
Therefore, when challenges are set in the form of food packaging, food taste standards, and supply chain management, the so-called passion tends to vane in thin air.
Also, without test marketing your food based business ideas, your startup might end up consuming more resources than the anticipated budget.
Take a look at some important tips to help you test things before you launch your food business at full scale:
a. Get Honest Feedback from 3rd Parties (*Exclusive of Family Members and Friends)
Food business is a sensitive venture. When you involve friends and family members during food tasting sessions, they may sugarcoat their feedback instead of giving you the brutal version.
Your customers, however, won’t go easy. They will share their “honest” feedback about your food, and food servicing quality through different online reviews at tons of publicly accessible websites.
It is best to find people from anonymous feedback communities, co-workers, and other participants to check the quality of your food, service standards, packaging, and everything else before you go live with your great food business ideas.
b. It is Better to Perfect One Food Business Idea At a Time:
Start small with only a handful of specialty dishes, instead of going all in.
On a related note, it is much easier to test your food products because it will not create decision paralysis for your test group. You can play around with different taste variations and introduce the same dishes through your online food ordering app under different cost tiers.
Check the response from your actual customers and expand accordingly.
c. Worry about the “Other” 20% of Your Online Food Order Customers:
A vast majority of your food business customers are either going to be okay with your menu items, or they’ll love it.
It is the remaining 20% of the customer base that you need to worry about. These people are active reviewers; they often go out on an impulse to try new food from new vendors like you, and they don’t hesitate in sharing their opinions, and it doesn’t take long for someone to dub your best-flavored dishes as “ it sucked”.
Take criticism with a pinch of salt, but keep an eye out on food blogger reviews, how to handle new online food order customers, and vice versa. Learn from your mistakes and enhance your service quality to ensure a high customer retention rate.
25 Great Food Business Ideas to Consider:
1. Food Delivery Business
The first food business idea on our list is to cash in on the food delivery trend that while already popular, skyrocketed during the Global COVID-19 pandemic.
You can choose to partner with a certain restaurant or brand or provide a general service to different businesses.
There are many players already in this game so setting yourself apart may be a challenge. Figure out what the delivery services in your area are lacking and provide a service that fixes those issues and does better.
2. Gourmet Popcorn Business Idea
Popcorn is a very popular snack consumed in many different regions. Therefore, choosing to start a gourmet popcorn business has a lot of potential.
The startup costs including the preparation of popcorn is fairly simple and affordable compared to some other options.
Gourmet popcorn shops take this staple snack to the next level and experiment with different flavors.
Some of these flavors are classic and common such as butter, caramel, cheddar etc. However, with a gourmet popcorn business you can experiment with some wild and unusual combinations including things such as buffalo wing or Oreo.
Another interesting element is that most gourmet popcorn businesses are family owned and therefore are considered “mom and pop”.
Here are four important reasons for you to consider going down the gourmet popcorn business model: Low Startups Costs, potentially a home based business setup, high Profit Margins and practically speaking recession proof.
3. Baby Food Business
People are becoming more conscious of what they put into their bodies, as well as what they feed their children.
However, in this modern day, having the time to make good, clean food for your baby is difficult even if it is something that you want.
It is a solution to this challenge that your baby food business can offer to eliminate. Parents are looking to feed their babies natural food with no added preservatives, sugar, artificial colors, etc.
While the preparation is fairly simple with focus being on steaming, roasting, and pureeing foods you want to see what foods are appropriate to feed different age groups, which foods are liked by the end consumer, and ensure you package to preserve freshness.
This industry affords you the prospect to start small with your savings and expand only when you have established our business or developed to some level a certain degree of repeat client base.
The global baby food market is a very competitive market and retail sales are forecasted to grow from US $71.4 billion in 2018 to approximately US $98.9 billion by 2024.
As of April 2020, approximately, 1/5th of US consumers were reporting that they believed that they would increase spending on baby food due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The pandemic resulted in an increase in E-Commerce sales of baby products, as many parents chose to avoid brick and mortar stores. For example, baby formula experienced a 53.2 percent increase in sales from January 20 to March, 2020 when compared to the same period last year.
4. Food Truck
A food truck offers limitless possibilities of what you can sell without having to invest in infrastructure and other such equipment.
It should be noted that the truck itself equipped to prepare food can be quite costly and thus a food truck is a food business idea that will likely require a sizeable initial investment.
However, with the right menu or product, location, and people skills this venture can prove to be quite successful while providing a chance to be creative and meet a load of different people.
Blink is your #1 Commission-Free Online Ordering Platform for Restaurants!
If you’re thinking of how you can actually open a food truck – We have you covered. Here are nine easy steps which cover the major focus areas for you to concentrate on:
- Research your food truck scene
- Choose a Concept
- Compose a Food Truck Business Plan
- Get funding for your food truck business idea
- Obtain relevant government licenses and permits
- Purchase a Food Truck
- Purchase your Food Truck Equipment and Supplies
- Choose the right POS System
- Invest in the right Marketing channels
5. Food Kiosk
More limited in its versatility than a food truck, food kiosks are still great options to have in any location that involves a gathering of people. Whether this be near parks, schools, outside malls, or even sports venues.
Food kiosks don’t need to be complicated and can offer something as simple as water and packaged snacks.
The aim is to select the right location and offer the right product and your food kiosk should run smoothly.
But that’s not all…
There are a number of other reasons too why restaurants need a kiosk strategy:
- Shorter Wait Times
- Heightened Order Accuracy
- Your data collection capabilities will improve
- Loyalty program enrollment expansion is easier
- Targeted Upselling
- Reduced Labor Costs
- Versatility in payment options
- Customer Experience Improvement
If you’re interested in pursuing Food Kiosks, you can head to Startupguys succinct guide on 10 Mobile Food Kiosk Design Ideas in 2021. It’s a great resource.
6. Hot Sauce Business Idea
A hot sauce business is another small food business idea that is perfect if you are looking to start off on a smaller scale, maybe even at home.
The hot sauce niche has a growing and loyal following with different challenges involving hot foods cropping up every so often to boost the sales of such businesses.
You can easily experiment with different peppers and herbs making a unique blend to take your business to that next level.
Since 2000, the hot sauce industry has grown rapidly by 150 percent. In 2017, the industry brought in $1.3 billion in USA alone. With major players like Frank’s Red Hot, Tobasco and Huy Fong’s Sriracha only accounting for 1/3rd of the industry – there is plenty of space for smaller hot sauce businesses to jump into this niche.
7. Mushroom Farm
Our next idea is a mushroom farm or mushroom growing business. This is a great idea because mushrooms have a short crop cycle ensuring that your business will have a steady income.
Moreover, you can easily grow a large quantity of mushrooms in a small space and there is no need for expensive equipment. This could be a business idea that can be quite affordable with a great output.
You can sell mushrooms to restaurants or food stores, or even directly to customers.
You can even create some value-added products from your mushrooms such as mushroom jerky or pickled mushrooms giving you a wider customer audience and new options for revenue generation.
There are three different ways to use wood as a substrate for growing mushrooms – wood chips, logs and sawdust.
- Log Cultivation
- Pro: Cheap, Easy
- Cons: Labor Intensive, Low Yield, Need a lot of space
- Wood chips
- Pro: Good MRR, Good Yield
- Cons: Can be labor intensive
- Pro: Fast MRR, Short NDTP (number of days to initiation), Short NDTH, High Yield
- Cons: Can be labor intensive
8. Novelty Food for Pets
Pets are another member of the family and this means that owners want to celebrate their special occasions or include them in theirs.
Having a business that provides special treats or food items for special occasions for these family members can be a great business idea considering that in the United States alone 70% of households own some kind of pet.
You could create things like pet friendly cupcakes, advent calendars with treats in them, and other such food items. The options are limitless and you can really use your creativity to set your business apart.
9. Food Canning Services
Food canning is a great way to preserve food, whether that be meat products, fruits, or vegetables.
Canning services can cater to people who want to preserve their food for events such as camping trips.
The process is labor intensive but depending on what you offer you can create a business that is seasonal or year-round.
How does a typical food canning service work?
The canning kitchen is pretty much a self-help facility equipped for the preparation, preservation, and heat processing of seasonally available fruits and vegetables, relishes and pickles, syrups and sauces and of course jellies and jams.
The foods are processed by using the home style method of canning by using traditional water bath canners.
The rapid achievements of Heinz, Campbell, and others marketing canned goods reflected the growing public acceptance n packaged food stuffs.
In Canada alone, it is projected that the Fruit and Vegetable Canning, Pickling and Drying niche will amount to approximately US $2819.9 million by 2024.
10. Nut Butter Business
You probably know of peanut butter, but with peanut allergies being so common there are many other nut butters that people enjoy.
You can make nut butters from a variety of nuts. For example, there is almond butter, macadamia butter, and more.
While there are many nut butters available in grocery stores, creating nut butters that are free of preservatives and other added sugars can set you apart and you can create an appealing product for your consumers.
Keep in mind that working with different types of nuts requires a lot of care and attention to detail. Since peanut allergies are so common and so serious you need to be sure that if you are working with other nuts, they don’t come in contact with each other, or that you label your products accordingly.
Another thing to keep in mind is that sourcing nuts can be expensive depending on the type. Take your time to find a reliable yet reasonable supplier for your business.
11. Biscuits and Cookies
While it’s true that biscuits and cookies are available at pretty much every grocery store, many people enjoy freshly baked treats over the mass-produced options.
This business idea does not require a large starting capital and can take off at a smaller, at-home scale. Yet it has a huge potential based on the popularity of such treats.
Focus on different flavors and good quality ingredients to set yourself apart.
Important steps to start a home based cookie business include:
- Find the laws of the land in your country that govern food sales
- Decide what types of cookies you want to work on
- Decide on a business name
- Setup your business structure
- Draft your business and marketing plan
- Apply for all the relevant needed permits
- Pricing Strategy for your cookies
- Order packaging material to deliver your cookies in
- Take cookies to your local coffee shop to see if they are willing to sell them
- Create a process for creating and marketing your cookie business
12. Catering Business
A catering business requires a lot of skills including excellent planning and people handling. If you are up for the challenge this business idea is very lucrative.
This food business idea is great if you are starting off, as you can begin your endeavor by catering to friends and family, and once you gain some experience and know what works you can then choose to branch out and take on bigger events.
In the recent past in the MENAP region catering businesses have started to mushroom left, right and center.
This growth was fostered by the wide increase in construction services ever since the Saudi government launched Vision 2030.
If you’re looking to setup a food catering business in MENAP – you can read up further on how to go about things on the following resource.
13. Jams and Jelly
Jams and Jelly are a popular condiment eaten worldwide and are a staple breakfast item for many households.
The process is straightforward and offers you and your business the opportunity to experiment with different flavors.
This venture can be started from home with a low investment to begin with.
14. Pickle Making
Pickle making is yet another small-scale food business idea. Pickling is an easy process involving fermentation and can be applied to a variety of fruits and vegetables not only to preserve them but also to add a bit of sour flavor to your favorite dishes.
This business can cater to both individual customers or you can contact different restaurants and food businesses and offer them your product.
With low production costs and storage costs the business is one with little up-front investment.
15. Ready-Made Meals
Everyone is running some sort of race nowadays and each individual has a busy schedule. This means there is over reliance on takeout and other food delivery options.
However, this is more of a necessity than anything else for many people. A lot of people are after good meals and clean eating options.
By creating a ready-made meal business, you allow individuals to eat home cooked good food even when they do not have the time to cook themselves.
This type of business idea has the potential to grow and can even help you launch a restaurant in the future or other food businesses as a result.
16. Meal Preparation Kits
One of the things that came out of the COVID-19 pandemic are meal preparation kits that many famous restaurants released so you can cook your own favorite dishes at home even when the restaurant was closed.
This is a great business idea and can be implemented by anyone not just restaurants.
It involves putting together the ingredients for a dish and recipe guide of how to put the dish together.
You can choose to offer a variety of different food options or create a limited menu that customers can choose from.
17. Cooking Classes
Much like the meal preparation kits, many people are keen to learn how to cook good, healthy, and tasty food at home.
You can hold classes in a rented space or even have them virtually as online cooking classes.
How you wish to manage such an endeavor is up to you. You can choose to offer classes on a one-on-one basis, have group sessions, or even a more formal classroom format.
What you teach also offers a range of possibilities. You could include basic cooking lessons such as knife skills, or teach your pupils how to cook their favorite dishes in different cuisines.
18. Cake Decorating Classes
Cake decorating is a fun skill that anyone can master. It allows you to put a custom spin on store brought desserts and make them your own.
Similar to cooking classes, you have the option of holding in-person or virtual cake decorating classes.
Such classes are popular amongst foodies yet easy and inexpensive for you to conduct.
They are even a great way to supplement your income if you already own a cake or dessert shop.
19. Dietary Food Business
Another food business idea is creating meals that meet specific dietary requirements. These could cater to patients who have dietary restriction, or people with allergies, or even people who are following a diet to lose weight.
You can employ a dietitian to help with creating meals catered to people with specific dietary needs or requirements.
This type of business has a lot of potential customers and if targeted to the right audience can generate quite the buzz.
20. Bread Making
There is nothing quite like a freshly baked piece of bread. Whether you use it to make a sandwich or simply slather on some butter the freshness and quality of the bread speaks for itself.
You can create a bread making business and provide freshly baked breads of all varieties.
This business can be aimed at individual consumers or you can provide your product to cafes or restaurants.
21. Pasta Making
Similar to bread, creating a pasta dish with freshly made pasta can make or break a dish.
While making most pastas is fairly simple, the effort is usually not undertaken by those cooking at home or even some smaller food businesses and restaurants.
You can create a variety of fresh pastas and offer them to different types of consumers whether they be individuals or businesses.
22. Sauce Business
Sauces are condiments that are eaten with a variety of different foods and in different cuisines.
These sauces while available in grocery stores are often full of preservatives and artificial flavors. To eat an authentic sauce, you need to try one that has been crafted without these added artificial flavors.
You can decide which sauces or maybe just choose one sauce that you will be producing depending on what is demand in your market as well as what capital you have to start the business.
23. Dessert Shop or Business
We have spoken about offering cookies and biscuits but why stop there? You could start a dessert shop or business offering a range of sweet treats from cupcakes to brownies, pies and cakes, to everything in between.
You can choose whether you want to start your business on a large or small scale keeping in as an at-home business or alternatively opening up a store instead.
If your desserts get rave reviews, then we’d definitely recommend that you start your very own dessert shop.
Important steps you should keep in mind when determining how to setup your own dessert shop include:
- Get a Mentor
- Write a Business and Marketing plan for your dessert shop.
- Evaluate your resources
- Find a location to purchase or lease.
- Arrange for a pre-inspection with your local health department.
- Buy or lease kitchen equipment
- Hire help and prepare for your grand opening
- Market your dessert shop.
24. Organic Food Shop
People are becoming more conscious of what they consume preferring to buy organic food.
While such food items are available in grocery stores and super markets, they are usually limited to a single shelf of options.
You can open your business to offer people a variety of organic foods to meet their search for healthy food options.
25. Gourmet Candy Business
With the amount of people looking to fulfill that sweet craving it is no wonder that the candy manufacturing business is a multibillion-dollar industry.
Mass-manufactured sweets don’t cut it for many individuals.
You can create gourmet candies that you can be sold through various avenues such as online, at local fairs, or even in restaurants and bakeries.
This is another business that only requires a low startup cost and possess the opportunity to allow you to grow your business in the future.
How Blink Can Help with Your Food Business Ideas
According to FreshBooks statistics, 24 million Americans wanted to become self-employed by the year 2021.
Starting your own food endeavor can be both profitable and enjoyable, with the added benefit of being your own boss.
However, this journey is often not as easy as many people presume it will be. In fact, only half of small businesses are predicted to survive 5 years or more according to the US Small Business Administration.
So how can you set yourself apart and not be one of the businesses that are part of these statistics?
A major part of starting your own food business is getting people to know your brand and associate with it.
According to Sydney web design agency Chromatix, having your own website and app can help your consumers know who you are and what you offer. And with COVID-19 and most people relying on at-home delivery having an online ordering service is also useful.
However, setting these up is a difficult task that can become complicated. That is where Blink comes into play.
Blink helps businesses create their websites and apps offering a range of features to kick-start your business with the perfect platforms.