Starting an online food business requires a great deal of effort, dedication, and most importantly passion.
If you're interested in how to sell food product, or selling food product 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 an online food business ➜
|Min Startup Costs||Max Startup Costs|
|Office Space Expenses||$750||$7,000|
|Employee & Freelancer Expenses||$151||$352|
|Equipment & Supply Expenses||$563||$5,200|
|Business Formation Fees||$5,600||$20,400|
|Food Business Expenses||$2,100||$35,500|
|Training & Education Expenses||$0||$1,000|
|Advertising & Marketing Costs||$0||$50|
|Total Startup Costs||$9,979||$87,811|
|Food Supplier & Distributor||usfoods.com||#57,853|
|Mondelēz International, Inc.||mondelezinternational.com||#66,632|
|Meat Processing Equipment||lemproducts.com||#141,214|
|Food Handlers Card & Food Safety Manager Certification||statefoodsafety.com||#188,964|
|21 Food and Beverage Online||21food.com||#193,521|
|Simple Green Smoothies||simplegreensmoothies.com||#227,280|
|Traditional / Authentic Spanish Foods & Products||tienda.com||#238,243|
|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.|
|Ability to start your business from home||It's not necessary to have a physical storefront or office space to get your business started. You can do everything from the comfort of your own home, at least in the beginning!|
|Rewarding work||Starting a online food business can be really rewarding work. After all, you are solving an immediate issue for your customer and you're working on something you truly care about.|
|Scalable||With businesses and processes changing daily, there will always be demand for new features, products and services for your 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 as a online food business. This could be the start of an incredible business opportunity!|
|Quick build time||The average time it takes to build your product is quick - typically around 12 months. This will allow you to bring your product to market faster.|
|Crowded Space||Competition is high when it comes to your online food business, so it's important that you spend a good amount of time analyzing the market and understanding where the demand lies.|
|Finding The Right Supplier||Most businesses in this space go the supplier/manufacturer route, which isn't a bad thing! However, finding the right supplier can take a lot of time, energy and trial/error. If done properly, this process can save you months (if not years) of time and energy. More on this below in the "finding a supplier" section.|
|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.|
|Low margins||The gross margins for your online food business are typically around 30%, which can make it more challenging to incur new expenses and maintain profitability.|
Affiliate marketing is a great way to bring in a new revenue stream, especially when you don't sell products or services.
Simply put, an affiliate program is an agreement where a business pays another business or influencer ("the affiliate") a commission for sending traffic and/or sales their way.
The affiliate typically gets a unique link where clicks and conversions can be tracked.
Word of mouth is when a consumers reflects their interest in a company’s product or service in their daily dialogues.
Therefore, word of mouth advertising is essentially a free advertising triggered by the customers experience.
According to Nielsen, 92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family.
Therefore, in today’s hyper-connected world, a single recommendation through a word of mouth can have a huge impact to your business.
Social media advertising is the use of social media platforms to connect with your audience with the objective to build your brand, increase sales, and drive website traffic.
According to Oberlo, approximately 48% of the global population use social media, and the number is ever-growing.
Therefore, social media allows brands access to cost-effective advertising by enabling them to interact with a large audience.