Business Idea

Start A Food Distribution Business

About

Starting a food distribution business requires a great deal of effort, dedication, and most importantly passion.

If you're interested in how to sell food distribution, or selling food distribution online, you can use this page as a guide for everything you'll need to know.

Want to learn more? You can check out our full guide on how to start a food distribution business ➜

Key stats

market size
$18.7B
revenue (monthly)
$10K
starting costs
$34.7K
gross margin
60%
avg product price
$5
time to build
11 months
growth
Email marketing
business model
Brick & Mortar
time investment
Full time
work from home?
Yes

About

Starting a food distribution business requires a great deal of effort, dedication, and most importantly passion.

If you're interested in how to sell food distribution, or selling food distribution online, you can use this page as a guide for everything you'll need to know.

Want to learn more? You can check out our full guide on how to start a food distribution business ➜

Key stats

market size
$18.7B
revenue (monthly)
$10K
starting costs
$34.7K
gross margin
60%
avg product price
$5

 

time to build
11 months
growth
Email marketing
business model
Brick & Mortar
time investment
Full time
work from home?
Yes

Startup Costs

Min Startup Costs Max Startup Costs
Office Space Expenses $35 $3,250
Employee & Freelancer Expenses $0 $5,500
Equipment & Supply Expenses $525 $5,500
Website Costs $232 $6,500
Business Formation Fees $5,600 $20,400
Inventory Expenses $350 $14,750
Software Expenses $150 $3,044
Advertising & Marketing Costs $0 $2,800
Other Expenses $0 $800
Total Startup Costs $6,892 $62,544

Successful Businesses

Business URL Rank
FoodTec Solutions foodtecsolutions.com #40,131
KeHE Distributors kehe.com #59,755
FoodBev Media foodbev.com #108,992
Muscle Foods USA musclefoodsusa.com #237,328
World Central Kitchen wck.org #256,861
Animal Supply Co. animalsupply.com #260,575
N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services ncagr.gov #298,675
What Chefs Want! whatchefswant.com #333,278
Four Seasons fsproduce.com #362,683
unknown smithfieldfoods.com #425,048
Cheetah gocheetah.com #441,527

Pros & Cons

Pros Description
Flexibility You can put as much time into the business as you'd like. If you like the work and have some initial experience, you can start small and manage all aspects of the business on your own.
Scalable With businesses and processes changing daily, there will always be demand for new features, products and services within your food distribution business. Additionally, there are several different business models and pricing tiers you can implement that will allow you to reach all types of customers.
Meaningful business connections You never know who you will meet or get to work with for your food distribution business. This could be the start of an incredible business opportunity!
High customer retention rates Once a customer invests in your product, they've invested their time and energy to utilize your product/service which is highly valuable to them. Typically, your food distribution business becomes an integral piece of their every day lives.
High margins The gross margins for your food distribution business are typically around 60%, which is considerably high and allows you to grow your business and manage costs easily.
Control of workload With a food distribution business, you get the unique ability to choose how little or how much you want to work. You also have the freedom to decide which projects you want to work on, and can turn down the ones that do not interest you.
Cons Description
Motivation of employees If you plan to have a sales/content team on board, finding creative ways to motivate them can be a challenge. It's important that you're able to offer great incentives and a good work environment for your employees.
High employee turnover In the food distribution business, employee turnover is often high, which can be quite costly and time consuming for your business. It's important to try and avoid this as much as possible by offering competitive pay, benefits, and a positive work environment.
High overhead expenses With starting a food distribution business, there are overhead expenses that come with selling a physical product. You will want to make sure you strategically budget for these overhead costs. We discuss this more in the startup costs section below.
Work can be repetitive You may find creating the same product over and over repetitive and tiresome. One way of avoiding this is to diversify product lines and revenue streams - this will keep things interesting!
Time commitment With starting a food distribution business, all responsibilities and duties will be in your hands. Although this is not necessarily a negative thing, it's important to understand that your work-life balance may be a bit unbalanced at times. This can place a strain on friends and family and add to the pressure of launching a new business.
Difficult to build trust with your customer With a food distribution business and any online business, there is little physical interaction, which means it can be a lot more difficult to establish trust and clout with your customers. You'll need to go the extra mile with your customer to grab their attention as soon as they reach your site + assure them that your brand is legit and trustworthy.

Marketing Ideas

  • 1

    Affiliate program

    An affiliate program is a way to reward people outside your organization to share your product.

  • 2

    Word of mouth

    The most tried and true way to grow a food distribution business is through word of mouth - some entrepreneurs would say it's more important than all social media.

  • 3

    Advertising on social media

    Social media advertising is one of the leading ways to get the word out when it comes to food distribution business.

    There are various different Social Media platforms available to you. Some may be more critical for your marketing efforts than others, however, it's important to have an understanding of what's out there and available to you.

    Learn more about advertising on social media ➜