As a growing number of people turn toward a more wholesome lifestyle, there has never been a better time to make money by selling healthy snacks.
Whether you have your own catering business already or merely enjoy cooking healthy food in your own home, you could turn your veggie drawer into a gold mine!
We investigate this global turn toward healthier eating and take a look at the ways in which you can harness it for your own gain.
- What the health?
- Different kinds of diets to be aware of
- Where to sell my healthy snacks?
- How much can I make
- Rules and regulations
- Health food businesses to draw inspiration from
While this statement may be arguable, it truly does seem like we’re living in an era where if you don’t subscribe to some sort of diet plan, you’re doing life all wrong.
From low-carb-high-protein to organic and plant-based, there are ‘healthy’ eating plans a-plenty, each professing more benefits than the rest and some seeming down-right counter-intuitive.
The reasons for this turn to healthy eating are, of course, many. However, it’s a no-brainer that the internet has played a central role in getting previously unknown approaches to food out to a wider audience.
I mean, what is the first thing you do when you feel the need to shed a few pounds? Conduct a Google search and pick out a plan that suits your needs/life philosophy best.
While it’s easy to criticise the seeming fickleness of serial dieters, I’m sure we can all agree that the widespread awakening to healthy lifestyle alternatives is probably a good thing.
And perhaps the little mantra ‘to each his/her own’ should just prevail.
Plus, if you’re the entrepreneurial type, tapping into these trends can lead to a rather lucrative business. Especially if you actually subscribe to and believe in the benefits of any given eating plan/diet regime/lifestyle choice.
As mentioned above, healthy eating is no longer as simple as upping your veggie intake and cutting down on cake. Oh no, sirree!
Once you start dabbling in healthy food choices, you’ll soon uncover a world of confusing contradictions and complicated counter-arguments. The important this is to go with what feels right to you.
Here are a few of the most prominent healthy eating choices out there:
Probably the most popular weight-loss choice out there, cutting down on breads, pastas, cakes and other carbohydrate-rich confectionaries is said to help your body burn fat more easily.
In recent years, there seems to have been an increase in awareness around the human body’s inability to properly break down gluten – a protein found mostly in wheat products. While most people don’t experience any discomfort from this, some are extremely sensitive to gluten, while others are downright allergic to it.
In the UK, about 8.5 million people have gone gluten-free – either due to their own allergies, or to accommodate a close family member in the home. Thus, the influx of gluten-free options on supermarket shelves.
This diet is based on the types of foods presumed to have been eaten by early humans, consisting chiefly of meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit and excluding dairy or cereal products and processed food. The basic premise behind the diet is that if our ancient ancestors didn’t eat something, neither should we.
We’re all pretty familiar with the vegetarian diet – basically cutting out all meat products (red, poultry and fish), but still consuming dairy and eggs. People who choose to go vegetarian either do so for health or moral reasons.
A couple of steps up from being vegetarian, veganism cuts out all animal products – including dairy and eggs. Most people who go vegan, do it mainly for moral reasons, taking a stand against animal cruelty and environmental damage. While a few years back, it was seen as something only hippies and holy men pursued, it’s becoming a hugely popular lifestyle choice.
Closely related to veganism, is basically the practice of eating only uncooked and unprocessed foods. Many people follow a raw vegan diet which is particularly strict, but they generally say they feel healthier and happier for it.
No matter which of these – or the myriad other – eating plans you follow, you can maximise on your own passion by selling the healthy snacks you enjoy making.
There are several ways you can go about this:
Catering for events
Gone are the days of soggy sandwiches, meatballs and drumsticks! Enter platters laden with veggies, greens, lean, unprocessed meats and other healthy snacks. Since staying on top of trends is an important part of any event planners job, they will no doubt be looking for caterers with fresh new approaches.
- Decide on the type/s of healthy food you’d like to prepare – vegan, vegetarian and raw work well together, while paleo, low-carb and gluten-free are a good mix – and work out a menu of suitable catering snacks.
- Test it out on family and friends a few times and then send it out to event planners.
- Also, be sure to make this healthy approach clear on your website and all social media advertising your wares.
Don’t have a catering business of your own just yet? Read all about setting one up in our ‘Cash in on catering’ article.
Sell healthy snacks online
Maybe your talents don’t lie in the preparation of food so much as keeping your finger on the pulse of great restaurants.
- Use this to your advantage by setting up a website or app where people can order healthy catering options from a variety of service providers.
- This may take a lot of planning and negotiation, but once you’ve launched you may be surprised by the positive response.
Check out Caterwings for a great example of this kind of platform. Also, read our article on creating your own money-making app.
With food trucks being all the rage again, why not set up a mobile health snack shop of your own?
- Since most fast food joints seem to specialise in junk, busy city-dwellers might appreciate being able to pick up a quick healthy meal from your stall between meetings.
- Or, conscious music festival-goers would love to nibble on something cruelty-free and energising, sharing their mindful choice with friends on social media.
- The possibilities are really endless!
Check out our article on how to make money from a food truck for more ideas.
If you’re specialising in raw and organic products, you might benefit most from setting up a stall at your local farmer’s market.
- Once you know what it is you want to sell – maybe plant-based sweet treats or perhaps lean home-made salami sticks – spend a few weekends perusing the markets in your area to suss out the competition.
- When you have a clearer idea of which would welcome your product, start getting your products market-ready.
Our article on making hampers to sell offers some great tips.
This depends entirely on the type of business you choose to run.
- A fully-fledged catering business would, for instance, have a lot more overheads than setting up a food truck. So, it might take longer to make a noticeable profit.
- The most important thing to keep in mind is to make sure that you sell your products for a price that covers the basic costs of making it and adds a little extra for labour.
- Don’t make it too reasonable, as you may shoot yourself in the foot, but also not so expensive that people don’t end up buying from you.
No matter what type of healthy snacks you decide to sell and where, you need to make sure that you comply with the various rules and regulations set out for food businesses in the UK.
Here are a few initial things to keep in mind:
Registering your business
First and foremost, you need to register your exciting new venture with the environmental health service at your local authority at least 28 days before opening. Apart from this, you may also need to register as self-employed and/or for VAT.
Chances are pretty good that you’re going to have to apply for a license to offer any of the following services legally:
- Sell or supply alcohol
- Sell hot food and drinks between 11pm and 5am
- Provide entertainment (including some live music, cinema and theatre)
- Sell food from a stall or van on the street
Health and safety
Apart from licenses and registration, there are also strict health and safety rules that you should always comply to.
- These include hygiene training for any staff members that come into contact with the food,
- as well as having a documented food hygiene management system based on the principles of hazard analysis & critical control points (HACCP).
- To ensure that you’re always within bounds, you should conduct health and safety risk assessments at regular intervals.
If you’re confused or concerned about any requirements there may be for you to make money with a food truck, the Food Standards Agency has a comprehensive start-up document to help you out.
There‘s plenty of good hygiene advice too on the NHS Choices web site.
Also see our article on how to make money selling your own cakes and sweets as that has information on how to get the right certificates for your home business.
One of the best ways to build on your own unique ideas, is to draw inspiration from existing success stories.
Here are a few great local businesses specialising in healthy snacks:
Big V London
Established in 2006 as The Veggie Table at Borough Market, this popular food stall rebranded to Big V London, early in 2016. They offer 100% vegan meals, made from scratch from locally-sourced produce, and are famous for their delicious plant-based burgers.
Check out Big V London’s website for more details.
NAMA is a Raw Vegan Food Restaurant in London, based in Notting Hill, offering — beyond dining – raw food courses, raw food catering, detox with raw food, packages, and all manner of information on the raw vegan food lifestyle.
According to owner, Irene Arango, the restaurant started as a pop-up in December 2013 and then moved to its permanent premises in Notting Hill in 2014. The idea for Nama stemmed from her own passion for eating raw food and has its roots in a cold press juice company she ran on the side, while working in telecommunications.
“It was more of a hobby, but then became too much to handle while working” she explains, which then eventually led to running Nama full-time.
Irene says that running a business where you are your own supplier is quite labour intensive, which tends to push up prices. So keep this in mind when working out what you will charge per item for catering/ per meal in a restaurant set-up.
Nama normally charges companies between £15 and £17 per head, which includes 5 canapes per person.
Check out the Nama website for more details.
Paleo Chef can be seen as one of the most interesting reinventions of the microwave meal. Perfect for the super busy professional/parent who would like to follow the paleo diet, but simply doesn’t have time, they prepare weekly or monthly meals to order. They also offer three different options on their site – meals that help you lose weight, meals that help boost your performance and meals that assist in building muscle.
Check out the Paleo Chef website for more details.
N’eat energy bars
Founded in 2015 by two keen sportsmen N’eat is a range of wholefood energy bars that do not contain any sugar or preservatives, but still taste delicious. Furthermore, the company is committed to Orangutan conservation and choose not to use any palm oil in their products.
Check out the N’eat website for more details.
- Join the Nationwide Caterers Association as soon as you can for additional support and advice
- Find out everything you need to know about rules and regulations at the Food Standards Agency