There are so many different ways to make a little bit of extra money. For example, you can sell food. Whether you sell it at farmers’ markets, from a food truck, going door to door, or through a small online business, selling food can be a great way to garner some new income. You want to find easy food to sell, especially as you start out. After all, you want to make money, not spend a lot out of pocket to get started.
How to Sell Food
Before you begin to sell food, you need to think about what kind of business do you want. Some examples of food-based small businesses include:
- Package a favorite recipe, such as homemade jam. Sell it online, at farmer’s markets, or in partnership with a local restaurant.
- Start a home-based food business. This might mean that you offer a small menu of items that you sell through. variety of channels. You may sell to small restaurants or do direct-to-consumer sales online.
- Become a vendor at a concession stand, food truck park, or other area where individuals and/or small businesses are allowed to sell food.
- Sell food “door to door” which might mean visiting construction sites to sell meals to the workers at lunch time or using word of mouth to let your children’s parents know that you have food for sale.
There are Legal Issues
Depending on where you live and how you want to sell your food, there are legal issues to think about. These include general issues about small businesses, such as setting yourself up with a business license. Additionally, there are specific rules about food-based businesses. For example, you may have to determine whether your local laws allow you to cook from your own kitchen or require you to rent space from a commercial kitchen.
You Need Easy Food to Sell
If you want to make a lot of money, then you need to look for easy food to sell. There are two different aspects to what “easy foods” means:
- Foods that are easy to prepare.
- Foods that easily sell because they are highly popular.
If you can prepare food quickly, inexpensively, and easily, then you’re getting off on the right food. If you’re choosing foods that sell well because of their popularity, then you’re going to sell out. That’s how you make money.
Finding Easy Food to Sell
When deciding what you want to sell, there are some important factors to take into consideration. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What are the foods that I find easiest and most enjoyable to prepare?
- When I go to the type of place where I’ll be selling my food, what foods do I want to purchase?
- What are the most popular foods at these types of places? Is the market already too saturated for those foods?
- What is the cost investment and the time investment of the food I’m interested in selling?
In other words, you want to think about your market, your experience, your passion for food, and the cost of both time and money that you’ll invest into this business. Ideally, you will come up with a food that’s inexpensive to prepare, easy and fun to make, and popular but also unique from what’s already available around you.
Examples of Foods That Sell Easily
Your market may vary widely in terms of which foods sell easily. For example, in some places, the easiest food to sell is French Fries. In contrast, other places have good niche markets for organic, artisanal, vegan food trends. You’ll have to research your market to figure out what’s going to sell easily in your area. With that in mind, though, here are some examples of easy food to sell:
- Candy and packaged snacks that you simply buy in bulk and resell
- Chili or baked beans
- Concession stand foods such as fries, corndogs, nachos, and funnel cakes
- Cookies, pastries, and other baked goods
- Corn on the cob or elote off the cob
- Drinks including lemonade, coffee, and mocktails
- Fresh-baked bread
- Hummus and/or other dips with bread and crudités
- Jams, jellies, and other homemade canned items
- Kebabs / skewers
- Pickles and other pickled vegetables
- Pizza including deep fried pizza; consider offering both traditional toppings and more unique ones
- Simple salads with just a few fresh ingredients and your own dressing
- Simple sandwiches, such as grilled cheese, done really well
- Tacos and quesadillas
- Toasts, such as avocado toast and bruschetta
- Trending foods, such as meat marinades, açaí bowls, or plant-based protein dishes
Additional Factors to Consider
You’ve already reviewed the legal issues for starting a food business. You’ve looked at some easy food to sell. Moreover, you’ve thought about how your food interests intersect with popular foods to come up with a good product to sell. Here are some additional factors to consider before you decide for sure what food to sell:
- How will you source the food ingredients?
- What will you need in order to store the ingredients? For example, will you need to buy a freezer?
- What will you need in order to prepare the food? For example, will you need to buy a deep fryer or Mason jars for canning?
- How long will the food prep take? How long after preparation will it be good to sell? Consider, for example, that initial food prep to can a lot of foods at home can take a long time but then the canned food is something you can save and sell over time. In contrast, as soon as you make French fries, you have to sell them; they don’t save well. That said, they’re quick to make in comparison with something like canning peaches.
- What additional items will you need in order to serve this food? If you’re making a prepared food at home, such as cookies, then how will you package and ship them? If you’re handing out food at a stand, what plates or other supplies do you need to provide?
You can start a business selling food. It might turn out to be not just a passion project but one that you earns you a solid steady income. If you really love the work, it could even turn into a professional small business. That said, you want to make sure that you start slow, invest your time and money wisely, find easy food to sell, and then grow your market over time.
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