Even with the economy in bad shape, there will always be room for a food business. People will always need a source of nutrition and if it comes in a convenient form, such as ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat meals, that’s even better. But what is even great is if you can start a business offering healthy food, not just to encourage people to eat healthy but also to promote better diets and lifestyles. Natasha Giannetti from Snacks With Bite recommends these 5 healthy food business ideas you should consider starting:
Go Vegan Meals
Tired of the same old animal meat and fat dishes? Why not use your kitchen talents to whip up delicious snacks and meals? Veggies, as long as they are well-prepared, can convince even the most avid carnivore to make that switch once in a while. Bump it up a notch and offer organic veggie meals if organic produce is accessible for you. Veggies offer plenty in terms of goodies – they are tasty, available in a wide range of colors and textures, and rich in vitamins and minerals.
What’s Good: Veggie meals cater to a growing number of the population that are looking for ways to start a healthy diet. Veggies are quite flexible and can be prepared a hundred and one ways, from appetizers to entrees to dessert.
What’s Not: Some veggies have a higher price point compared to others. This can have an impact on your pricing if a certain type of vegetable is a major component of a dish you want to sell.
Corn… Just Corn
Corn is a readily available crop that is well-loved by people of all ages. Corn is filling and high in nutrients. It can also be prepared in various ways. Just think of all the healthy food you can produce with corn – steamed or roasted corn-on-the-cob, corn kernels, veggie or fruit salads with corn, corn soup, corn pudding, corn pizza, low-fat corn muffins…
What’s Good: You will be selling a staple ingredient that has been around for centuries. It’s not only familiar, it also tastes good! From snacks to dishes to dessert, you can prepare corn any which way you want.
What’s Not: The only thing that limits the possibilities of your corn-based business is that there are people who have sensitive digestive systems that cannot readily process corn. Corn kernels are surrounded by cellulose, an outer cell that is not readily broken down by the stomach. The softer interior, however, can easily be digested. Other than that, you have a good potential market.
Seeds, Nuts, and Grains
Seeds, nuts, grains, and beans are healthy food options that remain popular because they are a rich source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. If you want to start a healthy food business that caters to a wide range of customer needs, this is a place to start. With nuts, seeds, and fruits, you can sell your products raw, shelled, or unprocessed. You could also process them yourself and sell them pre-packaged in snack-sized portions or as bars and trail mixes.
What’s Good: Nuts, seeds, and grains are tasty sources of fiber and other nutrients. They make great snacks and ingredients for other dishes, as well.
What’s Not: Nuts can be expensive, especially since some types have to be imported. Pistachios, cashews, and pine nuts are generally sold at higher prices. However, there are huge fans out there who are more than willing to buy from you.
Dried Fruit Business
Dried fruits are cut or whole fruits that are dehydrated either through sun-drying or with the use of a dedicated equipment, such as a dryer oven. They make healthy snacks – sweet, rich in vitamins and minerals, and generally low in calories. Dried fruits are fairly easy to make, although they do require some pre-production prepping such as washing, classifying (usually by size or color), and cutting/slicing.
What’s Good: Dried fruits are quite popular as healthy snacks and as ingredients for salads and cakes. You can distribute independently through your own brick-and-mortar store or online, or work with resellers, other shops, and markets.
What’s Not: You might have to invest in equipment such as a dryer and have enough space for processing and packaging.
If you are a farmer or a fruit/vegetable grower, consider starting a business that makes use of the produce you have. Healthy fruits and vegetables such as apples, oranges, berries, pumpkins, squash, eggplants, lettuce, you name it… are excellent healthy food options that you can sell through a picking farm or as a distributor to markets, shops, diners, and restaurants.
What’s Good: Your customers get to purchase fresh produce that they pick on their own. Many people enjoy the chance to be outdoors and share a few hours with family and friends getting their choice of luscious fruits and vegetables they harvested themselves. You can charge by the piece, by weight, or by basket.
What’s Not: Your picking farm has to be accessible to potential customers to make it attractive. If you choose to become a distributor, you will need a delivery vehicle such as a truck or van or hire a third party to do the job for you.