Mention the food industry to any entrepreneur, and for the most part, our minds start thinking about the restaurant industry, food trucks, food wholesalers, grocery stores and stakeholders for the various entities. However, most of us entrepreneurs forget that the food industry incorporates more than just restaurants and grocery stores but also start up companies specializing in creative food creations. From this misconception, I decided to do little to do research on various startup food companies focused on the food industry. Hopefully this brief review helps all of us entrepreneurs expand our perception of the food industry. From this expanded perspective, new and creative methods for exploiting the food industry opportunities may be found.
Treats and Sweets equal Fat Sales…
News junkies, such as myself, read articles, almost daily, about the issues of obesity for both adults and children. Obesity problems also have been also trumpeted by government and private entities as well. The information relayed from the various sources often connect the obesity with junk food and lack of exercise. This has spurred business growth in numerous industries.
This is exceptionally true for the food industry. Most large corporations have taken the obesity issue to heart (pun intended) and have started offering healthy alternatives to their normal junk food product line. However, a healthy product line is not monopolized by only a few large businesses. Just ask the 13-year-old entrepreneur who started and manages Zollipops.
Zollipops was started by Alina Morse when she was seven years old. The incredibly popular story states that as the young lady was exiting a bank, she was told to forgo a delicious lollipop because of the nasty ramifications of tooth decay. From this chiding, she hypothesized the possibilities of having a lollipop without the negative effects of rotting teeth. To make a long story short, the young lady built upon her healthy lollipops idea and now has a respectable product line of lollipops, candy drops and taffy all sugar-free and teeth safe. This shows that even children can exploit the almost limitless opportunities in the food industry.
Food Industry is not Just for the People
To take this a step further, the food industry creativity may very well be expanded to other edible industries, such as pet food. Industry statistics show that pet care products, which include pet food, has grown by approximately 14% over the last five years (Petfoodindustry.com). This exponential growth indicates that people love to spend money on their pets. Not only do people want to spend a significant amount of money on their pets but they also are interested in creative food treats for their animals as well. For example, Bone Appetit Bakery, in Raleigh, NC., line of dog treats offers an amazing made from all-natural ingredients. Not only are the treats delicious but they are healthy for your pets as well. A creative entrepreneur may take this concept to the next level and design amazing treats for other pets like cancer birds. The differentiating possibilities are endless as well as the potential profits.
Move over Potato Chips, Kale is Crunchy too
Who would have thought that we would live to see the day where potato chips may be replaced as King of couch snacks? A growing trend in the snack food industry is kale chips. Kale chips are simply bake kale. After baking kale, the vegetable turns crisp similar to a potato. This trend is so popular that General Mills decided to invest over $3 million in a startup company focused on making kale chips. With this said, one has to wonder what other vegetable could we bake for a few million dollars?
The food industry is often thought of by entrepreneurs as the inclusive domain of restaurants, grocery stores and the like. However, just taking a look at the few innovative concepts employed by entrepreneurs related to the food industry shows that with a little bit of creativity, the food industry is right for growth with sufficient diversification.
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Author: Paul Borosky, Doctoral Candidate, MBA.