Almost all of the food that we buy today from commercial businesses has its origins in the humble kitchen of an enterprising housewife which eventually graduated to the neighborhood ‘Mom-n-Pop’ deli or boulangerie.
Food was an intimate affair between the cuisinier and her customer, who knew the distinctive preferences of her patrons. All this changed with the advent of large food corporations with their industrial kitchens virtually taking over the entire food scene in America. With so many options of readily available ‘fast’ and ‘packaged’ food in the market, ‘home-cooked food’ began to lose its charm.
However, after decades of being subjected to uninspiring ‘assembly line’ offerings, our decisively fatigued taste buds are once again craving and seeking out individually curated and personalized food experiences rather than settling for ubiquitous humdrum.
Enter the ‘home-chef’ re-incarnated! Fresh made-to-order food is steadily gaining currency, aided no less by the increased awareness of preservatives and additives in packaged foods. The internet has also made it quite easy for home-cooks to market their food online.
If cooking delicious food is your passion, together with a stable internet connection and a little business know-how, you can easily set up an online food business.
Here are a few home-made food options to get you started:
1. Cakes and Pastries
Cake is synonymous with celebration – birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, baby-showers, promotions, house-warming parties, you name it! Who doesn’t love a scrumptious, heart warming cake, right? They agreeably satisfy our deepest cravings for a sweet dessert. There is an ever-growing demand for customised and Insta-worthy imaginative cakes courtesy the umpteen number of baking shows on TV. However, even simple classic cakes such as pound cake, pineapple upside down cake, bundt cake and carrot cake evoke special childhood memories for many patrons and are eagerly sought after. Jar cakes, Piñata cakes, chocolate domed melting cakes, photo cakes, truly, there has never been a better time to bake a cake than now!
2. Fresh from the Oven Bread
The heavenly aroma of a loaf of bread fresh out of the oven can melt the hardest of hearts! Store-bought doesn’t come even close. Not only is it tastier, homemade bread is more nutritious than the store-bought variety. You can choose the kind of flour, eggs, and dairy and also regulate the amount of sugar depending upon your client’s preference. Homemade bread is also lower in sodium and essentially preservative-free.
Besides cakes and bread, there are a host of other hugely popular baked goods that can be made and sold from home like muffins, cookies, doughnuts, croissants, etc. You can appeal to health conscious patrons by offering whole wheat, rye, barley, oats, low-fat, high fibre, sugar-free etc. variants. You can further niche by adding gluten-free and vegan alternatives to your repertoire.
3. Jams and Preserves
If you have read Enid Blyton as a kid, you would surely be enthralled by the sheer variety of jams conjured up by the household cook. Home-made preserves which once was a lost art is gaining popularity today, thanks again, you’re right – to the Internet! Move away sugar-loaded store-bought boringness! Bring on the fresh strawberry jam, deliciously tart raspberry and tipsy whiskey marmalade. Mix and match fruit and flavors as per your client’s preferences. Sweet or spicy, whatever captures your imagination.
4. Tasty and Nutritious Home Cooked Meals
Most people are so caught up with work and life that they find it hard to make time to prepare a good home cooked meal for them and their family. You can help your patrons get their daily dose of nutrition with home cooked takeaway meals laden with healthy goodness. Home cooked vegetables and salads, soups, sandwiches, meal-boxes, healthy bowls etc., these are a few of the many options that you could offer.
If you would like to appeal to an even wider range of customers with your home cooked takeaway meals, consider offering specialty meals like vegetarian, vegan, keto-friendly or gluten free for your customers with dietary restrictions.
Things To Keep In Mind
For selling your food online, you can take advantage of online marketplaces or even sell curated products through a supplier. Each of the options has their own pros and cons and you should select one based on your individual requirement and ease of use.
Last but not the least; get well acquainted with the food safety regulations of your state. Cottage food laws dictate what foods the sellers can offer, where they can sell those foods, and what the earnings threshold is that they must remain under to avoid triggering commercial food manufacturing laws. Rules and regulations governing cottage foods vary greatly from state to state. Many states also require operators take a short food-safety course. There are varying requirements with respect to the labeling on the food products. Some states require nothing more than the product’s name on a label; others demand a maker’s address, a list of ingredients and a statement that the product is homemade and not subject to state inspection. You may also have to contend with an inspection of your kitchen by the local food inspector.
The online food industry is booming like never before. People are increasingly seeking out and patronizing one-of-a-kind gastronomic delights. There is indeed no time like the present to start selling your home-made creations online.
Related: Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Enter The Food Industry| How To Start A Food Business from Home| How To Save Money While Running A Food Business| An Easy Guide To Branding Your Food Business