Selling food can be tough but look on the bright side! Why? Because everyone needs to eat. 

Nonetheless, the journey from your kitchen to your consumer’s plate can be a rocky one. More so if you don’t know what your goals are from the get-go. 

You can either choose to sell popular food or food you know how to cook best. Don’t be disheartened. There’s no right or wrong in this. 

Here’s what you need to know about both to get you on track – in this case, the shelf!

Sell food people love Sell food you love to cook
Demand already exists Create your own demand
Huge competition Less competition
Low profit margin High profit margin
Fast selling Start with slow sales

Selling food for profit

Everyone is looking for a quick buck. Some people are just in business for the money – but there’s nothing wrong with that. But is selling food profitable?

You can either duplicate a recipe or sell packaged food from a manufacturer. Sounds simple enough but there are other things you should consider other than the profit margin on food products. 

The demand already exists

If you pass hawker stalls, there are bound to be lots of banners with the word ‘viral’ – sometimes for the same food! 

I still remember when Tealive released their signature Bang Bang line of drinks, boba was ALL the rage. Soon enough, almost every roadside was selling their own inspired boba milk drinks. 

profitable-selling-food-businessThe main takeaway from this is to be an opportunist. However, this type of business tends to not last long because the ‘trend’ is just a phase.

Huge Competition

Since you’re looking to sell popular food, one thing you should expect is competition. With so many people selling the same product, your marketing strategy sets you apart from the others.

Just like Yong Mama, the seller of prawn murukku, realized a lot of people were also selling murukku. So, they revamped their brand and packaging to stay above their competitors.

Low profit margin

It is inevitable that when you’re selling something so in-demand, there is a higher risk of a net loss or negative margin.

Less profit margin indicates the business makes less money per sale. This is due to lower sales price or higher cost, or even both. Hence, the total sales should raise to cover such loss, or else the total gross profits will fail.

If you’re afraid of this happening, find food products with the highest profit margin to kickstart your food business.

Fast selling

One of the main reasons people prefer selling popular food is because it sells fast. Since it’s fast selling, you won’t have to worry about wastage.

Especially if you’re smart with your marketing strategies. By setting a great deal with your food products, customers will swarm to buy from you rather than your competitors. Now all you need to do is decide what are the best snacks to sell for profit.

Selling food for passion

There are many out there who are passionate about cooking. Most start a business from it because of the support from family and friends.

Be that as it may, what you choose to sell must taste good if you even wish to make it in the food industry. No matter how passionate you are, without a marketing strategy, you could be out of business sooner than you thought.

Create your own demand

Let’s say you’re thinking about selling a special sambal inherited from your family, but you just don’t know if other people would buy it.

If you’re truly passionate about it, this wouldn’t faze you. With hard work, perseverance and the right strategy, you could successfully create your own demand.

Less competition

With such a small market, you’re looking at little to no competition at all! The competition will be the least of your worries and if what you’re selling tastes good, you’ll be the top seller without a doubt!

A recent example would be Khairul Aming’s Sambalnyet. There were little to no sellers making this type of sambal but that didn’t stop him. Coupled with the right marketing, his first launch of 10, 000 units were sold out in under an hour!


However, less competition isn’t all that great. Frankly speaking, lower competition means consumers aren’t searching for your product which leads to lower demands. Hence, what you need to do is find the best food marketing strategy that can profit your business.

Higher profit margin

If you’re selling food with lower demand, you can set the price significantly higher than the costs used in production.

This is because of the lower competition so you can set the market price of your product. If your sales are high, costs are low and your margins are good, your net profits will rise!

Slow sales

It takes the right marketing strategies for food products to really succeed in sales in the initial stage. Since the demand is low, there won’t be as many buyers.

Honestly speaking, it will take a long time before you’re really satisfied with the number of sales. That’s why you need a professional marketing team so all your food brand marketing efforts don’t go to waste.

Suggested read: 10 Effective Food Product Marketing Strategies for Local Business Owners in 2021

Get the right marketing team for your food business

We’ve listed down the pros and cons for selling food people love and selling food you love cooking for profit. Know you know which goal fits you the best.

After that, all you need is a food marketing agency (us!) to help your business grow to its full potential. 

We help food businesses. Are you next?



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