The food industry offers a wide range of opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs. There is a food business idea for every taste It ranges from restaurants to catering services, and food trucks to online food delivery. Here in this article, we have listed small profitable food businesses with low and medium investments.
Food is an essential consumable item. Many aspiring entrepreneurs nowadays are seriously searching for profitable and trending food business ideas to start a new venture. Food is an important consumable item for the mass population. For daily basis requirements, people need to buy food items regularly.
Broadly there are 5 niche subsections you can find in the food industry. These are food processing, food retail, food delivery, food eCommerce, and food consulting businesses. The startup costs of a food business will vary from low to high depending upon the type and scale of operation.
Find below the list of
60 Food Business Ideas
A bakery business can be initiated in two ways. You can either establish a bakery with a retail location or sell freshly baked items from your store. Or you can establish a large-scale bakery unit and sell products through retailers. A bakery is one of the proven and most profitable food business ideas that can be initiated with proper planning.
Learn More: How to Start a Bakery Business
A brewpub’s business demands adequate knowledge and experience in microbreweries. The business is a combination of restaurants and microbreweries. It offers craft beer with different customized tastes and flavors to its clients on-premise. Studies have shown that drinking beer with different customized tastes is a trend of today’s phenomena.
#3. Fast Food Restaurant
Currently, a fast-food restaurant is one of the most profitable low-cost businesses in the food retail segment. Depending on your investment capacity, you can open a restaurant of any size. In this business, selecting the menu and tariff are the most crucial aspects that you must consider carefully.
As per reliable sources, 7 out of 10 restaurant owners are running their businesses as single units in the United States.
#4. Cake Shop
Starting a cake shop is a lucrative food retail business. The business is easy to start and manage. Additionally, the cake retailing business is perfect for women entrepreneurs. Any individual can start this business by taking a minimum risk (finance).
Learn More: How to Start a Cake Shop Business
#5. Meal Planner
The job of a meal planner is similar to that of a dietician. Meal planning is all about helping and monitoring the diet chart of people. Most people looking for weight loss generally hire professional meal planners.
#6. Catering Service
Catering service is a popular business in the food industry. For every small and big gathering and get-together people always looking for a catering service. Apart from that, you will get business through event planners. With moderate capital investment and proper planning, any individual can initiate a catering service of his/her own.
Learn More: How To Start a Catering Business
#7. Cookie Business
If you are passionate about making and baking cookies, you can initiate a cookie business as a home-based or commercial. As a whole gift industry is booming and the demand increases during festive seasons. This is a self-rewarding and profitable business any individual can initiate with a creative mind.
#8. Cooking Classes
If you love to cook and enjoy crafting new tasty food recipes then you should consider starting a cooking class business. This business can be initiated as a home-based with small startup capital. You can have business tie-ups with retail stores that sell fresh foods.
#9. Coffee Shop
Over the past decade, the coffee shop industry is increasing rapidly. The coffee shop is treated as a third place outside of work and home to relax. The coffee shop business is one of the best ways to turn your love for coffee into a profit-making business.
Learn More: How to Start a Coffee Shop Business
#10. Dessert Shop
Dessert shops have been a very popular and profitable business from the early days. This business approach is simple. Simply you will need to have a store location. Keep different items like cake, pastry, cookies, ice cream, pies, and any item that suits the locality’s food habits.
#11. Food Processing
The food processing business includes a vast activity of inventory management, processing, packaging, marketing, and distribution. Jam, jelly, squash, pickles, sauce, and ketchup are popular products you can produce.
#12. Food Truck
The mobile food truck business is different from a normal restaurant. This business is a moving, makeshift restaurant. A person having minimum experience in the food service industry can initiate this venture in the city area.
From a food truck, you can sell frozen and packaged items like ice cream, soft drinks, sweets, and snacks or you can go for cooked items with a specific menu including breakfast, Tiffin, and lunch.
Learn More: How To Start a Mobile Food Truck Business
#13. Frozen Yogurt Store
A frozen yogurt store is a profitable business that can be started with little money. Selecting the right location and value-added products are the most crucial issues in achieving success in the frozen yogurt store.
#14. Ginger Garlic Paste Making
Ginger garlic paste is ready to cook the item. It comes under the FMCG segment. The shelf life is higher when stored in the refrigerator. Ginger and garlic are two important spices for cooking many foods including non-veg items. Nowadays, the product has huge popularity throughout the globe.
#15. Candy/ Chocolate Making
Candy-making business is a fantastic way to turn your hobby and skill into a profitable home-based business Homemade candies are very easy to make and also quite popular. From chocolates to lollipops, children and mature adults enjoy indulging in candy. It’s a wonderful idea you may consider converting your hobby into a profitable, home-based candy-making business.
Learn More: How to Start a Candy/Chocolate-Making Business
#16. Hookah Bar Lounge
Hookah Bar Lounge is a cash-intensive business but returns are high. If you have a good funding capacity backed up by a detailed business plan, consider launching this business in your locality. However, do market research and check whether there is a demand for a hookah bar in the desired location.
#17. Ice Cream Stand
For a metro city starting an ice cream stand or kiosk is a very profitable idea to generate a handsome income. You can also run this business on a seasonal and part-time basis. A mobile ice cream stand is more profitable than a fixed location compared to the ROI.
#18. Jam Jelly Making
Jam and jelly are the most important food items in the food processing and FMCG industry. The products come under the preserves category. The manufacturing process is simple. Additionally, you can expand the business in several ways including area expansion or initiating a new product line.
#19. Juice Bar
The juice bar is one of the most popular food business ideas from the early days. You can also keep synthetic juice with fresh juice. A fresh juice bar can be initiated with low startup capital. Location plays an important role in achieving success.
#20. Nutrition Coach
Increasing awareness about health among people creates a demand for nutritionists. As a nutritionist, the main service you will be rendering is, helping them as a diet coach to live longer with healthy health. This food business requires almost no capital to start.
#21. Grocery Store
The grocery store is one of the most profitable food business ideas one can initiate with proper strategy making and substantial capital investment. Huge media promotion is needed. Crafting the right business model is important for a successful grocery shop.
#22. Organic Food Store
In starting an organic food store business most important consideration is the store location. As with any other retail business, the right location is the main parameter to get success in the business.
With the increasing awareness of healthy living, people are more interested in eating organic food though they are more expensive than non-organic food. The retail organic food market is an emerging trend and it is growing by 20% every year.
#23. Packaged Drinking Water Supply
As the quality of normal water is decreasing very fast, people become heavily dependent on packaged drinking water. Now drinking packaged water is not a luxury, but essential. Packaged drinking water is one of the most profitable food business ideas one can initiate with substantial capital investment.
#24. Papad Making
Papad-making business is very profitable in the food industry considering the investment of low start-up capital. Papad is often served as an appetizer. It’s a thin wafer-like product. The variety of pulses and the proportion of pulses and spices vary from region to region depending upon the preferences of local people whereas certain varieties are popular on a larger scale.
#25. Personal Chef
Any individual having a passion for cooking can initiate this business right from his/her home location. Many celebrities and health-conscious people generally like to keep a personal chef to have a daily basis of healthy and hygienic food. If you enjoy becoming a personal chef and working for a celebrity you may initiate this business.
#26. Pizza Delivery
The main focus area of the pizza delivery business is choosing the right delivery boy and selecting the menu. A lot of people will likely have meals at their doorsteps due to their ultra-busy work schedules. Pizza is now a well-known, favorite, tasty dish all over the world. Starting a pizza delivery business can be a popular and enjoyable way of profit-making.
#27. Start a Restaurant
Starting a restaurant is one of the most lucrative food business ideas all across the globe. People always love to have a meal according to their own choice and enjoy selecting from many options. The right location and proper marketing strategy are important in starting a restaurant.
Learn More: How to Open a Restaurant
#28. Sea Food Selling
Initiating a speciality seafood-selling business is a wonderful and profitable business one can start from a home location. You will need to source the products as wholesale purchases and store them in frozen condition. Through a delivery vehicle, you can make the delivery at the customer’s doorstep. A proper product promotion plan is required in this business.
#29. Specialty Cake Making
Speciality cake making is one of the most profitable food business ideas one can initiate from his/her home on a part-time basis. You may focus on a specific niche with some specific products like wedding cakes, birthday cakes, etc.
#30. Tea Bag Making
The tea bag-making business requires only two major raw material components – tea and paper bags. A tea bag is a small, porous sealed bag containing tea leaves and it uses a hot cup of water to prepare the beverage called tea. An aspiring entrepreneur having adequate knowledge about tea leaves can start a tea bag-making business with moderate capital investment.
More Profitable Food Business Opportunities
#31. Food Blog
If you are a food lover and enjoy exploring new recipes, starting a food blog is a good money-making business. You will find many successful food bloggers making a good income out of their blogs related to cooking and recipes.
Learn More: How to Start a Food Blog & Make Money
#32. Sauce & Ketchup Making
Specialty sauce and ketchup have a great market demand. And if you have expertise in making different types of delicious sauce and ketchup, you can start this business. You can sell the products both offline and online.
#33. Squash & Marmalade Making
This is another great business in the food processing industry. Marmalade generally comes with orange peels. However, you can produce squash from different types of fruits. The production process is simple. And the business demands a small startup capital investment initially. However, you have to pay attention to the packaging.
#34. Vending Machine
This is a unique food retail business that you can operate from home. You need to put the vending machines in the right place and ensure sufficient storage. In addition, you can start the business in two ways. Either you can start your own, or you can start with a franchisee of a reputed vending company.
#35. Food Delivery
Without having a retail location, you can start the food delivery business from home. The business demands moderate capital investment. However, it demands strategic financial and marketing planning.
#36. Seafood Selling
This is a niche food eCommerce business. Seafood is a healthy food item. And people generally, like the taste and flavors of seafood. You can sell both fresh and ready-to-cook items from your online store. However, when you are starting the business from home, you must have sufficient arrangements for keeping the food items.
#37. Snacks Store
The demand for ready-to-eat snacks is increasing globally. Nowadays, people prefer to buy snack items than prepare them on their own. However, start a business locally. After getting the order, you will need to deliver the food within the stipulated time.
#38. Wine Shop
Starting a wine shop requires a substantial capital investment because the wines are high-value products. In addition, you are targeting an upscale clientele. Furthermore, you have to offer different types of products like vodka, wine, champagne, etc.
39. Herbs & Spice Store
Herbs and spices are costly items. However, these are very essential items for preparing food. You can start a niche online store focusing on herbs and spices. You can start the business at home. In addition, you can operate the business with two to three employees in the initial stage. You will need to be careful with good packaging and on-time delivery.
#40. Online Organic Retail Store
The demand for organically grown items is increasing very fast. An organic retail store eliminates the costs of renting a brick-and-mortar shop. If you can properly procure organic food items, then this is the best business to start from home. However, fresh vegetables and fruits are highly perishable items. So you will need to be very careful about that.
#41. Biscuit Making
Though there are several biscuit brands in the market, people prefer to have sometimes freshly baked biscuits. And they generally look for the same. In addition, if you can offer some special taste and fragrance then you will get a huge response.
Learn More: How To Start Biscuit Making Business
#42. Sell Regular & Gourmet Popcorn
One of the most popular snack items all over the world is popcorn. Other than regular popcorn, you can also serve the best quality gourmet popcorn by adding different flavors and colors. This food business requires extremely low investment to start and one can launch it right tomorrow.
Learn More: How to Start A Corn Roasting Business
#43. Chuck Wagon
Chuckwagons are generally mobile restaurants. The concept is that you prepare the food at home, load those items in the van, and park the van in a busy area. Allow your customers to pick up the food from your food van or food truck. However, you will need to offer the food according to the taste of the local people. In addition, you can also sell ice cream or soft drinks from your chuck wagon.
#44. Coffee Service
If you are living in a metro city, you can start a coffee business from home. In every city, you will find small offices that don’t have coffee-making arrangements. You can offer your service to those employers. You have to serve the hot coffee at the scheduled time of the day. This is one of the most popular small food business ideas to start with little money.
#45. Wedding Cake Selling
This is a food business for creative individuals. Wedding cakes are very special items. And the preparation demands the utmost care and dedication. However, the business ensures a very lucrative profit margin for the owners. Even if you don’t have the skill, you can learn wedding cake making from books and online tutorials.
#46. Dry Sweets & Namkeen Making
Dry sweets and Namkeen have a larger shelf life compared to many other food items. In addition, these are healthy snacks. If you enjoy cooking sweets and snacks, you can turn your hobby into a profitable business today. This is the perfect business for housewives, moms, and homemakers.
#47. Fruit Bar Making
Fruit bars are healthy snacks. In addition, fruit bars have a larger shelf life than fresh fruits. The fruit bar-making process is also simple. And you can produce delicious fruit bars from your kitchen. However, you must identify the locally available fruits and the time duration of the availability. In addition, you can also make delicious fruit candies.
#48. Ice Cream Making
The home-based ice cream-making business is a profitable food business. It eliminates the cost of getting a location. In addition, you can sell ice cream from online marketplaces. However, establishing a local distribution network is always better to get immediate orders. In addition, it helps to maintain the regular cash flow of your business.
#49. Office Meal Delivery
Office meal delivery is a low-cost food business you can start tomorrow. People always prefer to have homemade food in the office. And if you can offer healthy and tasty food, you will get positive responses. Pay attention to the packaging as you have to move the food packets from your home to different offices.
#50. Bed & Breakfast Business
The demand for the bed and breakfast business is getting popular worldwide. If you have extra rooms for renting out, starting this business will fetch you good returns.
Learn More: How to Start a Bed & Breakfast Business
#51. Mushroom Farming
The mushroom farming business can be done both from home and commercially on a larger scale. The production process is easy and can be started by anyone after training.
#52. Fish Farm
Fish provide many essential nutrients to the human body. The consumption of fish is growing all across the globe. More and more people are farming fish as it fetches a high profit.
#53. Herb Farm
The demand for herbs has grown significantly in recent years. Herbs are now more and more used as alternative medicines and food supplements. Industry experts predict more growth in the herbal industry in years to come.
#54. Aquaponics Farm
Aquaponics is an advanced form of agriculture farming. It is a mechanized form of raising fish and vegetables with hydroponics. The business is ideal for those who have a vacant backyard and are passionate about farming.
#55. Bagel Shop
The concept of Bagel was made popular in the city of New York. A bagel is a sumptuous meal for breakfast and lunch. In addition, most bagel business owners offer beverages and side dishes to their customers. At present, running a bagel shop is one of the most lucrative retail-based food business ideas.
#56. Olive Oil Selling
As per Statista, the global production of olive oil has grown from 2.5 million metric tons in 2012/2103 to 3.36 million metric tons in 2019/2020. This data proves the consumption of olive oil is on the rise. You can make good money selling olive oil as the profit margin is quite high.
#57. Cooking School
If you love cooking and enjoy teaching, the cooking school is a profitable food-related business. The business primarily suits women and housewives and can be started from home with a nominal investment.
#58. Noodle Making
Most fast-food restaurants sell dishes made up of noodles. But, not everyone makes noodles of their own. Talk to local restaurant owners and if you find there is a demand, the noodle manufacturing business will fetch you good returns.
#59. Food Kiosk
Be it a roadside, or shopping mall, nowadays food kiosks are seen in plenty. The main reason for its success is that it is an extremely low-cost business and customers are available with ease.
#60. Asian Food Shop
People of Asian origin are seen in every nook and corner all across the globe. Asian people are food-loving people. Starting an Asian food shop is a potentially profitable business, especially in the United States.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a food business?
In the present day, the food industry is complex. It includes a wide range of activities from manufacturing, distribution, processing, certification, transportation, and packaging.
Which type of food business is most profitable?
Broadly five types of food businesses are the most profitable. They are manufacturing food items, retailing and food distribution, farming, and online food business. some of the most lucrative food businesses are the bakery, food trucks, fish farming, restaurants, food items for pets, and wine shops.
How do I start a small food business?
To start a profitable food business you must follow some basic steps. Here are the following:
- Create a business plan.
- Do market research and understand the local demand for the product.
- Get necessary licenses and permits.
- Calculate the costs and expense heads.
- Hire manpower.
- Have a plan on where and how to sell your food items.
What is the cheapest food business to start?
The cheapest food businesses are those that do not require much space. Businesses like gourmet popcorn selling, food trucks, home food delivery, personal chefs, fast food restaurants, and cooking classes are some of the food-related businesses that can be started with minimal investment.
How do you price homemade food?
The first thing while pricing a food item is to calculate the production cost. Then add all other costs and divide them by the number of units you are producing. You can go for a flat or value-based pricing model based on the nature of the food item.
How much does it cost to start a food business?
The initial cost of starting a food business will largely depend on the nature of the venture. One can launch a food business from home with an investment as low as $300. However, for bigger business formats like coffee shops or restaurants, it can cost more than $75,000.
In addition to this list, there are plenty more food business ideas that can be explored. The success of a food business largely depends on the local taste and demand. Hence, it is essential on your part to do extensive research on the local market, find the gap, and accordingly plan your food business.
About the Author: 99businessideas.com led by Rupak Chakrabarty is committed to helping beginners, entrepreneurs, and small business owners in starting, managing, and growing their businesses.