Everyone needs food, so it’s a commodity that is always in demand. This means there will always be a demand for food until we stop needing it, and that’s not happening. There are a lot of opportunities in the food manufacturing business, and that’s why starting a business in this industry can be very rewarding. Let’s walk you through everything you need to know about setting up a food manufacturing business, including products you can offer.
What is the food manufacturing business?
Food manufacturing involves the production of edible foods using one or more ingredients and raw materials. Companies in the food manufacturing business often produce a vast range of packaged and edible consumer foods. Food manufacturing companies aim to create accessible and convenient foods for consumption.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics1, food manufacturing businesses are industries that transform agricultural and livestock products into food products for immediate or final consumption. The food processing industries range from top companies that manufacture soft drinks to food trucks that sell tacos and bakers to next-door neighbors.
Also, the food manufacturing industry covers everything from simple processes to advanced and sophisticated techniques used to create products. The critical activity in the food manufacturing industry is the processing of original food products to other consumable foods using:
- Food production techniques such as baking, fermentation, homogenizing, and seasoning
Benefits of starting a food manufacturing business
The food manufacturing and processing industry is fast developing and is expected to be one of the leading industries in a few years. Food is a primary need, which explains why the food business is one of the most profitable businesses.2
The food sector dominates the franchise industry and is one of the best businesses anyone can venture in. According to Industry Research, the food processing market reached $5.9 trillion in 2019 and is expected to reach up to $7.7 trillion by 2026.3
The growth of the food industry is attributed to many factors, including technological advancements and increased interest in convenience foods.4 As long as you have a good business idea, food manufacturing is a great industry to start a business that brings a lot of return on investment (ROI). Some benefits of starting a food manufacturing business are:
1. High market demand
An industry with high demand is always a profitable business to start. One of the advantages of starting a food business is that there is always a high demand for food. The food industry is one of the largest sectors in the world, so you can rest assured that you will get rewarding results. The higher the demand, the higher the returns and profits you make from your business.
2. Recession-proof industry
Food businesses rarely have to worry about economic uncertainties or recession. People spend money on food regardless of what the economic situation says. This is especially so now that many people are busy and depend on processed food.
3. Limitless food business ideas
The food industry covers a variety of food products like fruits, spices, vegetables, snacks, beverages, and consumer products like protein shakes, chocolates, confectionery, and so on. The bottom line is that there are plenty of business ideas in the food industry. As a business owner in the food industry, you have the opportunity to explore different areas of the industry. You can open a restaurant specializing in selling packaged biscuits, producing dairy products, and so on. The options are endless, and you can niche down as much as possible.
15 profitable food manufacturing business ideas for 2022
Ready to start a profitable business in the food manufacturing industry? Here are 15 profitable food business ideas you can consider:
1. Food truck
Food trucks are blowing up everywhere, and one of them could be yours too. According to some studies, food on wheels is growing faster than brick-and-mortar restaurants. Want more good news? Forecasts show that food truck companies will continue outperforming restaurants for many years.5
A food truck business involves cooking and selling food to customers from a huge van. If you have a passion for cooking, starting your food truck is a great way to get into the food business. You need less capital and can hop to different locations on your drivable van based on demand. To get started, all you need is to find a perfect location, develop a unique menu and offer delicious meals. There are different food ideas to sell in a truck, including organic food, tacos, burritos, burgers, and so on.
2. Vegan meat
Vegan meat is a meat substitute created from vegetarian products but mimics the texture and appearance of real meat. Most mock meats are made from soya beans, pea protein, and wheat gluten. Vegan meat is an excellent substitute for vegetarians and is less likely to cause food illness. If you venture into this business, you will get high demand from people who stay away from meat, and there are a lot of them.
3. Chocolate production
Chocolate is one of the world’s most popular and demanded food products. The global chocolate market is worth almost $106.6 billion and is predicted to reach $171.6 billion by 2026.6
Chocolates are available in different flavors and forms — they can be liquid, solid, paste, or powdered form. People consume chocolates on their own and sometimes use them as flavor in other meals, like cakes, candies, and snacks with chocolate fillings. You can’t go wrong with starting a chocolate manufacturing business, especially if you have an excellent recipe and packaging.
4. Jam and jelly
Jam is a popular choice of food, especially in combination with pastries and bread. Home-based jams are in high demand and very easy to make and package. Luckily, you can make jam out of almost all types of fruits with little capital. With the right strategy and recipe, you can also get into processing and packaging jam for consumption.
5. Tomato paste production
Tomato paste is a widely used ingredient in recipes all over the world. They are made by processing and preserving fresh tomatoes, which do not stay long in their fresh state.
The acceptance of this product is also high because people now prefer the convenience of processed tomatoes. People don’t need to spend time blending when they can quickly get packaged tomato paste. Besides paste, fresh tomatoes can also be made into purees, tomato ketchup, sauces, and so on. If you live in an area where you can easily source raw fresh tomatoes, then tomato processing may be a perfect small business idea.
6. Baby food production
In 2020, the global baby food market was valued at $71.4 billion and forecasted to reach $108.8 billion by 2027.7 The demand for baby food is booming, with parents looking for convenient, delicious, and nutritious choices for their little ones. This makes processing baby milk or cereals an excellent business idea to consider.
7. Baking powder
A good food manufacturing business idea is producing baking powder for sale. Baking powder is essential for many baked goods to improve their texture and maximize volume. This ingredient has a high demand in the market, especially among other food business owners.
8. Nuts processing
The high demand for nuts is making them a very profitable business. The good thing about this food business idea is that you can start on a small scale and expand as your business grows. Common nuts in demand include almond nuts, cashew nuts, peanuts, and groundnuts. Also, people tend to love mixed nuts, so you can consider mixing up the nuts in a single package.
9. Biscuits or cookies
Biscuit is a widely consumed food among all demographics, especially younger ones. Although the biscuit industry is quite competitive, you can make your business stand out by producing a more flavored and healthier choice of biscuits. For example, biscuits with low fat, low sugar, etc., are likely to sell more as people become conscious of what they put in their bodies.
10. Veggies and fruits canning
Dehydration and canning are great food businesses, especially for vegetables with low shelf life. There are a lot of veggies, and most of them must be eaten as soon as possible because they are highly perishable. However, all the fresh veggies can’t be consumed at once, but you can preserve them by drying and canning them.
11. Fruit juice processing
Like veggies, fruits have a short shelf life, and you can preserve them by making them into juices. Ready-to-serve fruit juices are in high demand in restaurants, parties, and homes, especially in summer. Fruit juices also provide many health benefits, so here is your cue to start your own fruit juice company. Meanwhile, it’s best to figure out how you will get steady supplies of fruits before starting your company.
12. Energy drink manufacturing
Energy drinks containing caffeine provide people with a boost, especially after stressful activities or while at work. Many consumers prefer this over coffee, so be assured you have a huge market in your corner. However, you will need strategic marketing campaigns to give people a reason to choose your brand.
13. Ready-to-eat snacks
One of the most profitable food business ideas is snack manufacturing. There are limitless options for edible snacks, and now it’s a great way to start packaging potato chips, plantain chips, and other snacks. Also, many people now prefer healthy and nutritious snacks, so you will stand out if you make your snacks healthy.
14. Spices powder processing
Spices make food taste better and have a lot of medicinal properties, so there is a high demand for them. Also, readymade spices are easier and more convenient to use while making dishes at home. There are different niches to choose from in the spices processing industry, such as garlic, ginger, curry, cumin, nutmeg, coriander, and onions. You can start your business with one or two spices and expand to others as your business grows. Another excellent food business idea is to produce mixed blends of spices.
15. Ice cream making
The demand for ice cream is huge. As of 2021, the global ice cream market was valued at $71.52 billion.8 You can start making your packaged ice cream which you can sell at supermarkets and other food markets. Meanwhile, ice cream making requires you to learn how to make unique flavors from ingredients.
5 tips for a profitable business
The food industry is gaining much popularity, making it a highly competitive business. For this reason, you need to leverage some tips to compete with others in the industry. Here are 5 tips to boost your food business:
1. Research the market
You need to know your market and customers for any industry you enter. So before starting a food business, ensure you conduct market research. Some of the questions to ask to know if a business idea of profitable include:
- Who is your target audience, and what’s their interest?
- Is there a demand for the product?
- Who are your competitors?
- What is the selling price of similar food products?
- How much will it cost to start a manufacturing business?
2. Create unique concepts
There are a lot of food companies out there, and it’s essential to differentiate your business from your competitors. You can offer the same products as your competitors but find a concept that distinguishes you. For example, you can make your product healthier and more delicious or add a special ingredient that upgrades it from your competitors.
3. Choose a great location
If opening an offline store for your food business, it’s essential to be strategic about your location. A good location can boost your business and increase sales. That’s why it’s best to research a place for your food business. Some of the things you may need to consider when finding a location include your target audience and the number of competitors in the area.
4. Create the right packaging
Your food packaging will attract customers, so it’s best to invest in packaging that will stand out. A good way to create suitable packaging is by understanding your target audience. For example, if you are producing a vegan protein shake, you want to include the ingredients and a label that shows it’s great for vegans.
5. Create great marketing campaigns
A great marketing campaign will help people know more about your brand and your offer. Developing effective marketing campaigns to reach more customers and increase sales is crucial. Your promotion and marketing campaigns should create awareness about your business and help customers understand why they should choose you.
Start selling on Alibaba.com
Starting a food manufacturing business is very profitable, and now is a great time to set up your business in this venture. One of the best ways to make your food products reach a wider audience is by leveraging marketplaces like Alibaba.com.
Alibaba.com is an e-commerce marketplace perfect for small business owners who want to sell to a global market conveniently. Whether you are producing powdered spices, jams, jellies, or tomato paste, you can find customers who need your products on Alibaba.com.
To get started, open a seller account, create a storefront, post your products, and sell to a global audience.