There aren’t many people who have the willpower to turn down the occasional snack. That goes double if the snacks are free — in fact, a survey recently found that a whopping 83% of employees said that free, healthy snacks are a “huge perk” when it comes to office culture.
Thinking about starting your own snack business? You need to know that while it can be a lucrative and rewarding venture, there are also some pitfalls to avoid. Read on to learn the pros and cons of starting a food business.
First: Is Snacking Healthy For You or Not?
Snacking has gotten a bad rap. But are those between-meal noshes truly a bad idea? Or can snacking actually be healthy?
It turns out that how you snack is important, as is what you snack on. Chowing down on greasy chips, sugary cookies or candy, or treats that are high in saturated fat and sodium certainly isn’t a healthy choice. Don’t get us wrong — these snacks are delicious, and they have their place as a splurge in an otherwise healthful diet.
Have you ever opened a bag or box of something tasty, maybe while watching TV or reading a great book, and realizing a little later that somehow you managed to eat the whole thing? It’s not smart to consume a steady stream of snacks. Doing so, even if the choices are relatively good for you, can cause you to consume many extra calories.
If you make smart decisions, however, then yes — snacks can be a good way to keep your blood sugar stable throughout the day and prevent yourself from overeating at mealtime.
Turn Your Love of Food Into a Snack Business
Maybe you’re not cut out to be a professional chef. Working in a restaurant kitchen can be stressful, and a successful catering company can be a challenge, too. If you love to create delicious, healthy treats, a snack business could be the solution.
What kind of snack business opportunities are there? We’ll break it down for you!
Small Batch Snacks Sold Locally
If friends rave about your homemade pickles or keto-approved cookies, turn that fanfare into a lucrative business. At first, you will probably have to start small. That will allow you to produce high quality snacks, as well as keeping your start-up costs low.
You can sell these snacks directly via a food truck or cart, or keep things casual and have those same enthusiastic friends spread the word.
Internet Snack Business
Is there anything the internet can’t do? Selling your snack foods online is another way to go — and it may well be the natural next step after developing your local snack biz. It doesn’t cost much to set up a website, even one with a retail component.
Some people have found that listing their edible wares on Etsy is a good way to reduce overhead but still share the snack love, and make a tidy little profit.
Stocking Shelves with Your Snacks
Again, this entrepreneurial path might develop somewhat organically, once local customers start raving about your snacks. Local gift shops, independently owned markets, and other retail outlets can help you grow the business without too much extra effort.
Snacks are among the top impulse purchases. If the retailer can place your snack foods near the checkout counter, chances are they will do well.
What Are the Necessary Steps to Sell Snacks?
You can’t just start cooking and expect the money to come rolling in. Well, you can — but you might get into some very hot water before too long.
Starting a Small Business
Before you can open your business, you will need to meet a couple of legal requirements. Depending on the jurisdiction where you live, you may have to be licensed, and operate out of a commercial kitchen (or have your home kitchen approved for commercial purposes). It’s important to do your homework so you don’t get into legal trouble.
It’s not just the edible aspect of your business that will require compliance with federal, state, and local authorities. If you new to the entrepreneur game, know that there are some legal hoops you’ll have to jump through. A good place to start researching the ins and outs of small business ownership is with the SBA.
Once you have ensured that your business is in good stead, legally speaking, it’s time for some fun stuff. Choosing a name, designing a logo, and doing some marketing of your snack company are all among the first steps to take.
Other Tips for Successful Food Sales
Having a standardized recipe is also key. Even if you usually just wing it, customers will expect consistency. They will also want to know what goes into your snacks, so be sure to source your ingredients with quality in mind, not just price.
Who is going to help your run your food business? If you have a large family, press them into service. Lots of snack companies are family owned and operated, including Argires Snacks.
As you grow and expand, prepare to compensate those hard-working relatives, and/or hire some bona fide employees. Sooner or later, you might even find that expanding operations is necessary. Of course, that’s the good kind of problem to have!
On Your Marks, Get Set, Snack!
Opening your very own snack business isn’t quite as easy as handing a bag of homemade sweet potato chips to a friend and getting five bucks in return. It will take research, dedication, and a lot of sweat equity to get your business off the ground. But the rewards — following your passion, helping other people to snack healthfully, and being your own boss — are truly worth it!
Do you have a “signature snack”? Have you ever been told that you should consider opening a food-based business? Let us know about your experience in the comments. Or just tell us what your favorite snack is!
Here’s to healthy, successful snacking!