Are you searching for profitable food business ideas that can be started with a small investment from home or on a small scale? Here we have compiled a list of the most profitable and trending food business opportunities for your ready reference.
The food industry covers a wide range of products like fruit and vegetables, meat and poultry, milk and milk products, alcoholic beverages, fisheries, plantation, grain processing, and other consumer product groups like confectionery, chocolates and cocoa products, Soya-based products, mineral water, high protein foods, etc.
The food industry caters to a wide range of business activities. It starts right from agriculture and farming to food processing, packaging, and distribution, to retail, export, and catering.
Also, it caters to the online delivery of grocery and cooked food. Literally, there is plenty of opportunities you can explore for starting a food business.
Which Food business is Most Profitable?
When you search for food business ideas on Google, you might think about which food business is most profitable to start. However, there is no exact rule for making a business profitable or loss-making.
Simply, it depends on several internal and external aspects. Initially, you must perform market research for the product or service that you want to offer. As food items come under the essential commodity segment, there is always a market for a food product in our country.
List of 45 Profitable Food Business Ideas
Food Processing Business Ideas
The bakery makes and sells flour-based baked food. The items include bread, cakes, pastries, and much more that are generally produced in an oven.
You can also take a franchise of a reputed bakery brand and sell their items from a retail shop.
Also Read: How to Start a Bakery Business
#2. Baking Powder Making
Baking powder is an ingredient largely used to maximize the volume and smoothen the texture of baked goods. It has a good demand in the market. You can start baking powder making units on a small scale without much investment.
#3. Banana Wafer Making
Banana wafer not only has a good demand in the domestic market but also has high export potential. If you are interested to start this business, read our detailed business plan guide on starting a banana wafer making unit.
#4. Biscuit Making
Though the market is competitive, the sheer largeness of the market produces a wide scope for new entrants to explore the market. If you can plan properly and can invest considerable money, biscuit making business can fetch good returns.
#5. Canned Rasgulla Production
Canned Rasgulla is a popular sweet item in our country and also in the international market. You can start a canned Rasgulla making business with moderate capital investment. Additionally, revenue-wise the business is lucrative and highly profitable.
The availability of major raw materials like milk is most important. You will need to ensure the smooth delivery of milk at your processing zone daily.
#6. Cashew Processing
The demand for processed cashew nuts is growing. This is a high-profit food business that can be started on a small scale.
Read this Guide on starting cashew processing unit: How to Start Cashew Nut Processing Business.
#7. Chocolate Making
Chocolate is another food product that is consumed all around the year. You can make homemade chocolates from home with nominal investment. If you sufficient money to invest, you can also make a small-scale unit and sell it to a wider market.
#8. Coconut Oil Manufacturing
Coconut oil is not only used for cooking recipes but also required for many industrial applications. If you are staying in coastal areas and have easy access to coconut cultivation areas, starting a coconut oil manufacturing unit is worth considering.
#9. Flour Mill
Flour mill or Atta Chaki is a profitable business in our country. However, apart from wheat flour, you can produce a lot of products like Sattu, Gram Flour (Besan), Rawa (Suji), etc.
These products have sufficient domestic demand. Additionally, there are export potentials also. Crafting a proper business plan is the most essential thing in starting this business.
#10. Ginger Garlic Paste Processing
Ginger garlic paste is a must ingredient in making most Indian recipes. Though the market is competitive, there is still a big market to exploit as the volume of consumption is large.
#11. Honey Processing
The honey processing unit removes wax and other foreign unwanted particles from honey. You can establish the processing unit either by the manual system or by electrically driven.
#12. Jam Jelly Making
India is the 2nd largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world. It opens a huge opportunity and scope for new food entrepreneurs.
You can produce jams and jelly from almost every type of fruit and some vegetables. Fruit jam contains rich fruit pulp and available in mango, apple, mixed fruit, pineapple, and orange flavors. Jelly is a clear, bright mixture made from fruit juice, sugar, and sometimes pectin.
Also Read: How to Start a Jam Jelly Making Business
#13. Noodles Making
Noodles have become hugely popular among Indians as it is very easy to cook and tasty to eat. Brands like Maggi is instrumental in making noodle a household food item in this part of the world. You can also start a noodle-making unit on a small scale and sell those items locally.
#14. Packaged Drinking Water Manufacturing
The demand for packaged drinking water has grown hugely in recent years. If you have reasonable money to invest, consider starting a packaged drinking water unit on a small scale.
#15. Papad Making
Papad is another item food item that is consumed by most households in the country. The brand Lizzat is known by most people in India. You can also start your own papad brand with low investment and make good money.
#16. Pasta Making
Pasta is a staple food in Italy. In India, pasta is gradually becoming a popular food item for food lovers. You can start a pasta producing company with a small investment.
#17. Pickles Making
Pickles are another item that is a daily necessity in every kitchen household in India. You can start a pickle manufacturing unit on a small scale with low investment.
#18. Potato Chip Making
Nowadays, different types of potato chips are available in the market. People from almost every age group loves to have chips. So, the product has a good domestic market in our country.
The potato chip manufacturing process is simple. Initially, you can start with a single flavor and taste. In this business, you must have an FSSAI license from the Government authority.
#19. Spice Powder Making
Readymade spice powder paste is now being used by most cooks in India. You can produce spice powder and sell them locally.
Even a home-based spice business is also profitable in India. Additionally, you can start with one or two varieties of spice. As your business grows, you can shift to a full-fledged spice processing company.
#20. Tomato Processing
If you live in a location where you can source raw tomato easily, then tomato processing is a great business to start.
Large scale tomato processing includes various operations like producing tomato juice, ketchup, puree, etc. Apart from that, you can start with a singular product as a home-based manufacturing unit.
Also Read: Profitable Tomato Processing Business Ideas
Fast Food Business Ideas
#21. Biryani Restaurant
Biryani is a highly popular food in our country. Some of the most popular types are chicken biryani, paneer biryani, vegetable biryani, mutton biryani, and Hyderabadi biryani.
Broadly, you can open a biryani restaurant in two ways. One is with a fine dine facility and another is take away only. The capital requirement depends on the specific business model and size.
#22. Fast Food Restaurant
The demand for fast food is increasing by the day. This is probably one of the most popular food business ideas in India. The popularity is primarily because customers get their food faster. You can start this business either by buying a franchise of a reputed fast-food brand or start of your own.
#23. Idli Dosa Stall
Though these are south Indian food, people throughout the nation like to have both as a main course or tiffin. Also, these come under the healthy food segment with less oil and spices. So, opening idli, bara, and dosa stall is a profitable business here.
You will need to have a retail space in a good location for initiating this business. If you have your own space, you can open the store even with Rupees 3 lakh capital investment.
#24. Momo Store
Nowadays, momo is gaining huge popularity in the Indian crowd. Both veg and non-veg momos have a wide market here. So opening a momo stall is a profitable business to start.
The business needs small capital investment initially. Apart from starting your own store, you can consider opening an established brand as a franchise owner.
#25. Pizza Store
Probably, pizza is the most popular food item for the young crowd these days. Also, there are a lot of pizza brands that are offering franchise opportunities too.
Opening a small pizza store doesn’t demand a lot of capital investment. Also, you can open a delivery-based store also. In that case, you will need to tie-up with app-based food delivery companies like Swiggy and Zomato.
Street Food Business Ideas
#26. Breakfast Joint
Street foods are highly popular in our country. Most of the people depend on street foods even for lunch. Generally, street food stalls offer a quick service facility to customers.
Opening a breakfast joint is a highly profitable food business with low investment in India. From the stall, you can offer a variety of foods like butter toast, paneer toast, omelet, boiled egg, Chilla, Bada Pao, etc.
#27. Pani Puri Stall
Throughout the country, Pani puri is one of the most popular street food items. Definitely, it is a low-cost street food business. And you can start the business even with Rupees 50k capital investment.
The location of the stall and the taste of the product are the most important aspects of this business. You must put the stall in a high traffic zone.
#28. Pav Bhaji Stall
Basically, Pav Bhaji consists of thick vegetable curry with a soft bread roll. Its origins are in the state of Maharashtra. Currently, the product is popular throughout the country.
Opening a pav bhaji stall is an easy business. Also, the business requires small capital investment. However, you need local permissions for operating a pav bhaji stall in your area.
#29. Popcorn Stall
Opening a popcorn stall is another profitable street food business here. Also, it needs a small startup investment. Apart from selling popcorn from the stall, you can avail of party orders too.
You will need to invest in procuring the stall, popcorn making machine, and raw materials. Also, you need to consider packaging items.
#30. Tea Stall
In India, a tea stall or ‘Chai ki Dookan’ makes a good profit after the end of the day. However, it depends on the sales volume too. Apart from different types of tea, you can sell other items like biscuits, bread from the stall.
Apart from starting off your own, you can consider opening a franchise outlet too. You can find a lot of branded companies that are offering franchisees pan India.
Food Retail Business Ideas
#31. Cake Shop
A cake shop with other ready items is a very profitable business both in the small towns and metro cities. The location plays a very important role in this business. With different types of cakes, you can also sell biscuits, pastries, patties, cold drinks, and ice creams from there.
If you are starting the food retail business for the first time, you can also consider starting a franchisee of a reputed cake shop brand.
#32. Coffee Shop
If you are living in a metro city or town, you can start this business. If you have a retail space in a commercial location, a coffee shop is a highly profitable business in India at present.
#33. Dairy Shop
You can start a dairy shop with little space with limited investment. You can sell your own homemade dairy products like Ghee, homemade butter, and much more.
You can also consider buying a franchise of reputed dairy brands like Amul, Metro Dairy, etc, and sell their products from your dairy retail shop.
#34. Fine Dine Restaurant
Generally, fine dining restaurants come with specific dedicated meal courses. Location, inside area, decoration, interior, service, and food quality are the major important aspects of this business.
You can open your own brand. Or you can start as a franchise partner of a reputed brand. Definitely, the business demands medium capital investment and proper planning.
#35. Food Truck
The food truck is a cost-effective way of selling food items. Here, you will need a vehicle like a truck or a car to sell your food items. However, you will need to procure proper licenses and permits to start a mobile food truck business.
#36. Grocery Store
A grocery store is a traditional business in our country. Generally, the grocery store sells food staples, bakery items, edible oils, spices, and other household items.
The overall profitability of a grocery store demands volume. So, the location of the store plays an important role in getting overall success in this business.
#37. Ice Cream Parlor
Generally, ice cream parlors offer scoop ice cream of different flavors. People can sit and have ice cream there with family and friends.
In our country, this is a trending food retail business these days. However, you need a good retail location for starting the business.
#38. Microbrewery or Brew Pub Business
The brewpub or microbrewery concept is gaining popularity these days. And several state Governments are allowing permissions for starting microbreweries.
These microbreweries are essentially resto-bars where one can consume fresh-off-the-tap beer that has been brewed in-house. The concept is new and now trending in our country. With substantial capital investment and strategic planning, one can start and operate this business successfully.
#39. Pickles Shop
Pickle shops sell a wide range of pickles according to the preference of the local demographics. The business needs small startup capital initially.
You can sell your own homemade pickles or you can source for the large producers also. The profit margin is inspiring. However, you need a specific license and permission from the local Government.
#40. Super Market
Generally, supermarkets sell grocery items with beverages, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, and other household consumable items. in urban areas, the supermarket is a highly profitable business these days.
However, the business demands proper planning, skilled employees, and medium capital investment.
Food Service Business Ideas
#41. Food Blogger
If you are one who is passionate about food and would like to share recipes, reviews starting a food blog is a safe way of making money online from the comfort of your home.
Catering is one of the most profitable businesses nowadays. However, this business demands moderate startup capital investment. Additionally, you must have the skill of arranging every detail related to this business.
Not only for big functions, but people also look for good quality catering services even for small family gatherings.
#43. Cloud Kitchen
Cloud kitchen is slowly getting popular in this part of the world with the rise of retail space rental charges. The concept is simple. You will have a base kitchen and will serve food from online ordering platforms. You can create your own online food ordering website or through platforms like Swiggy, Zomato, Uber Eats, etc.
#44. Start a YouTube Channel
YouTube is a video uploading platform wherein you can upload food-related videos for free. There are thousands of food tubers who are making good money. If you have a knack for making recipes, you must try to start a YouTube channel of your own.
#45. Cooking Classes
If you are a cooking expert, providing training classes on recipe making is a profitable business. You can start from home making a suitable arrangement. You can earn more money from online cooking classes.
How to Start a Food Business in India
The first thing after choosing what food business to start is to register the business under which the company will run. The popular business structures provided by R.O.C in India are L.L.P and Private limited companies. If you are starting with a low budget, sole proprietorship, or a one-person company.
GST registration is a must at present to run a business in India. In addition, you need to have a PAN, FSSAI License, shop and establishment license, professional tax, and no-objection certificate(NOC) from close neighbors.
Other licenses you might require depending upon the nature of your food business are liquor license, eating license, health trade license, licenses for playing music and videos, etc.
We hope the above-mentioned list of food business ideas will inspire you in starting your own venture in the food industry.
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Editorial Staff at NextWhatBusiness is a team of Business Consultants having years of experience in small and medium scale businesses.