Indians have a diverse taste palate and celebrate festivals throughout the year. They have a natural affinity for trying new cuisines and cooking methods. The food business involves manufacturing, processing, and packaging food items. Small food business ideas can be executed via big processing units or home offices. However, prior to investing in a small food business, business owners should:
The food business is among the few sectors adversely affected by inflation and socio-economic factors. It is thus becoming a sought-after career choice. This article suggests new food business ideas with a rough estimate of the initial capital investment. It will be informative to entrepreneurs seeking to invest in food businesses with small capital. Those looking for innovative ideas for the food business must read on.
The organic food business refers to food items produced without synthetic chemicals. Organic farming is a small food business idea that is gaining popularity quickly. Entrepreneurs who wish to venture into the food business in India can adopt this idea. An organic food store would need an investment of Rs. 10 lakh.
Organic farming would need an investment of around Rs. 50,000–Rs. 60,000.
A tiffin service business from home is an extremely profitable homemade food business idea. In metropolitan cities, people commute long distances for work and lead hectic lives. Hence, the demand for fresh home-cooked food is increasing.
A tiffin service business would need an initial investment of Rs. 20,000–Rs. 30,000.
Cafes or coffee houses are ideal places to relax with friends and colleagues. They are gaining popularity amongst youngsters and adults. Cafes allow visitors to sit and enjoy coffee and snacks without any time restrictions.
Starting a cafe requires an initial investment of about Rs. 10–15 lakh.
Surveys reveal that Indians are amongst the world’s largest consumers of chocolate. Therefore, the scope for chocolate manufacturing is growing rapidly. Chocolate making is a popular homemade food business idea. One can sell as a chocolate maker from home or retail through local shops.
Investments can amount to Rs. 3–6 lakh for small enterprises and Rs. 20–40 lakh for large-scale operations.
Food trucks are becoming increasingly popular among the many food business ideas in India. Due to the rise in corporate culture, people are always looking for new food varieties. Food trucks also have lower operating costs than cafes and restaurants.
To start a food truck, one needs an initial investment of about Rs. 8–10 lakh.
People of all ages love ice cream; it doesn’t require a special occasion to be enjoyed. A recent FICCI survey indicates that frozen desserts have a high market share and profitability.
Starting an ice cream parlor requires an initial investment of Rs. 5–10 lakh.
The cooking classes are a great food business idea for anyone investing small amounts. Cooking is an essential life skill for all ages. Entrepreneurs can easily start such a business in their locality.
The initial investment includes purchasing cooking equipment and utensils—between Rs. 2–3 lakh.
Another lucrative business idea for food is baking from home. A home baker specializes in baking cakes and other sweet food items. These also include savory food items like bread and pizza. Depending on the orders received, home bakers can earn up to Rs. 5,000–Rs. 10,000 daily.
The home baking business requires an initial investment of about Rs. 15 lakh.
India is one of the largest tea-consuming nations in the world. It is estimated that each Indian consumes about 750 grams of tea annually. Tea bag making is a lucrative food business idea. One only needs tea and paper bags as the starting materials.
The initial investment to start tea bag making is about Rs. 50,000.
The pet industry is largely unaffected by recession or economic crises. Pet owners want to give their pets healthy food. Ready-to-consume pet food has vast market demand.
Those who wish to venture into this business can expect a 40%–50% profit margin.
Entrepreneurs interested in investing in the food industry can consider starting a Youtube channel. The platform allows people to showcase their talents. Those interested can even hire a cook and upload videos. This food business idea is a great means of passive income and needs minimal investment.
Another great small food business ideas is investing in dairy products. Every locality and residential complex needs a milk and dairy products shop. One can start a milk and dairy products franchise for companies like Verka, Amul, and Mother Dairy. Earnings can range from Rs. 5–10 lakh per month.
Such a business needs an initial investment of about Rs. 2-6 lakh.
Running a sweet shop is one of the best food business ideas. It is well-known that Indians have a sweet tooth and enjoy eating various sweets.
To start a sweet shop, one needs an initial capital investment of Rs. 10–20 lakh.
Jain food refers to food prepared without adding onion or garlic. Some Jains avoid eating onion and garlic during festivals and fasts. Others prefer eating Jain food as a regular practice. A tiffin service providing home-cooked Jain food is a great small business food idea.
It needs an initial investment of about Rs. 20,000–Rs. 30,000.
Apart from sweets, Indians love fried and baked snacks. Farsans are ready-to-eat savory snacks. A papad is a thin wafer that can be either fried or baked. A person can set up a small to medium-level kitchen to make farsan and papad.
A food business of this type needs an investment of about Rs. 10,000–Rs. 50,000.
Another great food business idea is to manufacture sauce or ketchup. Tomato sauce is the most common type of condiment that accompanies several snacks and dishes.
This business needs an initial investment of about Rs. 90,000.
The diet food business is profitable and unique. Due to hectic metropolitan lifestyles, full-time workers find it hard to prepare healthy food daily. Instead, they prefer to buy ready-to-eat diet food.
One can start this business with an initial investment of around Rs. 2–3 lakh.
India is famously known as the “home of spices”. The preparation of most Indian dishes is incomplete without spices. To start a spice manufacturing business, one must buy ungrounded spices and packing materials. The initial investment needed for the spice manufacturing business is about Rs. 5,000–Rs. 10,000.
If most snack business ideas seem unappealing, you can invest in something healthy instead. In general, people find it easier to consume chopped and diced vegetables. The initial capital for a chopped vegetable/fruit business depends on the level of operations. One can start this business independently or hire staff.
Jams and jellies are either eaten as food accompaniments or with bread as breakfast. They are commonly found in homes, and kids enjoy eating them. India has a growing market for jam and jelly making.
The initial investment needed for the business is around Rs. 10,000– Rs. 30,000.
Also, read the following: 20 Unique Business Ideas to Stand Out in 2023
Meat food items have a considerably shorter shelf life than fruits and vegetables. Such products should be washed properly and stored at low temperatures to prevent decay.
The meat processing business, which needs an investment of Rs. 4–5 lakh, has considerable scope.
Due to the prevalence of lifestyle diseases like diabetes, many follow special and restrictive diets. Such individuals look for gluten-free and vegan food options.
Those who wish to start this business can provide fresh, home-cooked special diet food. It needs an investment of Rs. 2–3 lakh.
Another great snack business idea is to invest in potato and banana chip manufacturing.
Entrepreneurs can either set up small-scale or large-scale manufacturing units. The raw material for this business is easily available. Business owners can retail products through local shops and large departmental stores. The initial investment varies for small-scale and large-scale operations.
The flour milling business is a high-competition business with the scope to profit at all levels. Indians consume a variety of flours—such as wheat flour and ragi flour—in everyday cooking. One can start flour milling at a small level and then increase the production level.
The initial investment needed for this business is around Rs. 30,000–Rs. 60,000.
Food blogs are great for those interested in the food business but hesitant to invest. A food blog is also a great way to earn passive income. Moreover, it doesn’t need much initial investment. Food blogs can feature restaurant reviews, recipes, and other food business-related content. There are numerous free online platforms where one can easily host a food blog.
Here are some helpful resources:
One of the best fast food ideas for business is running a burger joint. Making burgers requires no expert cooking knowledge, so this is a great food business idea. Those interested can also consider setting up a franchise of an established burger joint. The initial investment can vary depending on whether one chooses to franchise or self-produced.
As per estimates, India is the third largest producer of dry fruits worldwide. Dry fruit processing is a bankable food business ideas. Dry fruit business owners can expect to earn around Rs. 45,000- Rs. 50,000 per month.
Such a business needs an initial investment of about Rs. 3–4 lakh.
Coconut and olive oil manufacturing is not new to the market. However, one can be successful if one delivers high-quality products. The oil manufacturing business needs an initial investment of about Rs. 5–10 lakh.
Business owners can expect a profit margin of about 35%-40%.
Ginger and garlic paste is the most common cooking ingredient in Indian households. The ginger garlic paste business has significant market potential and profit margin scope.
The business needs an initial investment of around Rs. 3–4 lakh.
Shops selling momos and Maggie noodles attract hordes of college and school students as clientele. A Maggie stall is among the easiest small business food ideas. One should consider starting a Maggie and momos kiosk near schools and colleges.
The business needs an initial investment of Rs. 80,000–Rs. 90,000.
Due to increased health-related issues, people are cautious about what they consume daily. A fresh fruit and vegetable juice business is easy on the pocket and yields profits. Such shops do not require too much space and have lower operational costs.
The business needs an initial investment of about Rs. 50,000–Rs. 100,000.
Indians love their evening tea or coffee with biscuits and cookies. Like savory snacks, biscuits and cookies also have a high market demand. One can retail their own products or franchise brands like Britannia and supply to supermarkets.
Iodized salt production might not seem like an ideal food business idea. However, it has a good profit margin. Iodized salt, an FMCG good, has a considerably high market demand. The business does not need the installation of very complicate machinery and equipment.
The initial investment ranges from Rs.1,00,000–Rs. 1,50,000.
India has experienced a recent surge in demand for craft beer. Due to this, many restaurants have started microbreweries and are manufacturing their own beer. Microbreweries attract more customers to the restaurant, resulting in better sales.
This business requires an initial investment of at least 50 lakh.
People who enjoy meat and non-vegetarian food prefer fresh fish to avoid contamination-related health complications. It is not one of the new food business ideas, but it offers a decent profit margin. A person can provide products to restaurants and hotels or customers directly.
The business needs an initial investment of around Rs. 50,000.
People who cook can upskill themselves by specializing in particular cuisines, like Chinese or Italian. They can work as freelancers or apply as full-time chefs. Hotels and restaurants often hire chefs who specialize in a particular cuisine.
People are becoming more health conscious and choosing healthy food options in their routine diet. Due to this, the demand for herbs and medicinal plants has seen a sudden surge. Business owners looking to venture into this food business can start herb and medicinal plant farms.
This business needs an initial investment of around Rs. 1,00,000.
Selling imported fruits and vegetables is an exceptional food business ideas. Individuals can start a shop stocking exotic fruits and vegetables. They may even sell fruits and vegetables through a website or mobile application. The business needs an initial investment of around Rs. 60,000–Rs. 75,000. The demand for this particular business is increasing, and a considerable profit margin exists.
After tea, coffee is the most consumed beverage in India. The business of coffee roasting has a considerably large market share. A person can either sell coffee online or supply it to coffee houses.
The business needs an initial investment of around Rs. 3–4 lakh.
Any mealtime in an Indian household is incomplete without adding some pickles. Due to hectic lifestyles, people prefer buying ready-made pickles from the market. Pickle manufacturing is one of the best homemade food business ideas. Those wishing to start this venture can do so with little capital and raw materials.
The business needs an initial investment of Rs. 10,000.
Ghee is a powerhouse of health. It contains nutrients necessary for bone and brain health and growth. Many households have an extreme fondness for ghee or clarified butter consumption. While churning ghee at home is possible, it is time-consuming. Due to this, people prefer buying ready-made ghee from the market. The ghee business requires an initial investment of Rs. 10,000–Rs. 20,000.
As listed in the article, there are plenty of options to begin a small food business. Many of these do not even require significant capital. However, having too many options can be confusing.
Ans. Honey production and coffee shops are among the most profitable food businesses. These businesses have an average profit margin of 30% and 25%, respectively. Other lucrative small businesses include coconut and olive oil manufacturing, pickle making, and tiffin services.
Ans. Some of the best food businesses to start include a food truck, gourmet popcorn shop, coffee shop, baked goods, and jam and jelly. Easy options include a fruit and vegetable juice shop or a Maggi and momos stall. Food blogging is a food business that can be set up practically free of cost.
Ans. There are several options when it comes to small food business ideas. These include starting a microbrewery, herb farm, fish farm, burger joint, and dry fruit packaging. The spice manufacturing business is profitable. To start a spice manufacturing business, one needs ungrounded spices and packing materials.
Ans. Some of the easiest food items to sell in India include pickles, spices, homemade butter or ghee, chocolates and cakes, instant mixes, and protein bars. Maggie shops do well near schools and colleges. One can make and sell burgers without having any cooking expertise.
Ans. The food item with the highest profit margin is coffee. Starting a cafe requires an initial investment of about Rs. 10–15 lakh. The coffee industry is lucrative, as over 2.3 million cups of coffee are consumed each minute. It offers the highest profit margin, between 25%–30%.
Ans. There are several ways to make money with food. Think beyond conventional business ideas and invest in something innovative. For example, you could set up cloud kitchens selling meals, burgers, and snacks; run a food blog, or teach cooking classes.
Here are some useful resources:
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