Sell your homemade snacks online

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How to Sell Homemade Snacks Online

The global food industry is worth an estimated $12.5 trillion per year. If you're like many people, you would very much like to get in on the action. Well, you're in luck because today it is easier than ever to start a lucrative online business selling homemade food online. Your first step will be to understand the cottage food laws in the state and province from which you will be selling baked goods online. Some states make it very easy, and some like to look over your shoulder quite a bit.

Know Your Local Food Cottage Laws

The first thing to know is that the laws governing cottage food law are different depending on where you live. The rules are different from country to country, and in the United States, they are different from state to state. Some states make it so easy that you'll hardly even notice. Some lean quite heavily on cottage food sellers. Check with your state and local government websites to learn about the cottage food laws you'll be expected to follow.

To be legal in most areas, you will need some of the following:

Find Your Specialty

To be successful in this industry, it's a good idea to pick a limited category of food and stick to it. In this article, we're focusing on how to sell snacks online. Take the time to think about what kinds of foods or snacks you like the most. What sorts of foods do you cook most often? Choosing a snack niche you love will help ensure you have the motivation to turn your food passion into a food business.

Partner With Suppliers

We've found that many online descriptions of how to start an online food business from home leave this part out. But it is terribly important that you have a good working relationship with the companies that provide the materials you use to make your products. You need to leverage the advantages of buying in bulk and buying at cost. Short of that, and you might as well try making a profit selling things that you bought at retail prices.

Branding, Packaging, & Labeling

Branding is terribly important for anyone who wants to learn how to sell homemade food online and be successful. You want your buyers to think of your business as having a personality. Think about the personas portrayed on popular products like Land O Lakes butter, Orville Redenbacher popcorn, or the Jolly Green Giant. Images like these create a feeling that people get when they think of or enjoy products. Branding is about colors, images, character, and so on. Your packaging and labeling should be in line with your brand image. Sometimes the way you handle the listing of ingredients of part of your branding. The most important thing is to be consistent.


Anyone who expects to successfully learn how to make money selling food from home needs to have a firm grasp of competitive pricing. Needless to say, this is where having good relationships with your suppliers becomes terribly important. You need to be able to get those business discounts so that you can keep your prices competitive. You want your prices to be about on par with those of your closest competitors. However, if your prices are too low, people will assume your products are of poor quality. So put some thought into it and be ready to change your pricing scheme as needed.

Build Your Online Shop

Building a business website is easier than ever before. Castiron, Wix, Weebly, and others make it possible to build your own website in just a few hours. In time, you might want to access a professional web developer, but in the early stages, any of the free website services will do fine.


We've talked about branding, which is just part of your marketing strategy. Marketing is the way in which you reach out to your potential buyers to let them know about your business. Social media is going to be central to your efforts. In time, buying ads and ad partnerships will help you grow. As a start, open a Facebook or Instagram page dedicated to the business you're building.

Best Food Products to Sell Online

The best food products to sell online are going to be the ones you like most, the ones that you eat and make the most, and the ones that are inherently amenable to being packaged, sold, and sent through the mail. Foods that are naturally resistant to mold, bugs, and bacteria are a good place to start. Dry foods, foods that take well to being stored in cans, plastic wrappers, and so on are going to be among the best snacks to sell for profit.

The nice thing about snacks is they are something people seek out for pleasure. That's why the best food ideas to sell online are often in the form of snack bars, cookies, and the like.

The Best Homemade Snacks to Sell

Of course, the best food business ideas for 2021 are the ones that are always popular. Pizza, tacos, and the like and are always good fast food ideas to sell. Trending foods, like meat marinades, açaí, and plant-based dishes are also great ways to keep your business fresh and garner interest.

A lot of people hear the word “pickled,” think of pigs' feet and cringe. But you'd be surprised how popular some foods are with certain audiences. In fact, sometimes, the best homemade food to sell ideas are the strangest ones. Why? Because that small group of people who love those foods can't find them anywhere else! In this business, if you can get a dedicated, fringe customer base, you are golden. These fringe, niche markets can be hard to find, but that's what social media is for isn't it?

Use your social media presence to discover the homemade food products you want to sell and that there is a demand for. That's a good way to make money by finding the people who want the unique food products to sell that you know best and that are both easy to ship, easy to make, and have a long shelf life.

Permit to Sell Food From Home

As mentioned, to get a permit to sell food from home you will need to know and abide by the laws in your state. For example, there are certain food operations that do not need permits in California. But those same types of operations might need a license to sell food in Texas.

Come to think of it, Texas is one of the most permissive states when it comes to cottage food laws. If you're wondering, “Do I need a license to sell homemade food in Texas ?” the answer may be “no.” One thing to keep in mind, however, is the fact that even if the state you're operating in doesn't require you to have a license to sell food online, your customers might. Your licensing and other certifications and qualifications are going to be an important part of your marketing. They are evidence that you take cleanliness and quality ingredients seriously. Your customers can't see how well cleaned your kitchen is, but your licensing (or lack of it) will have the same effect.

Cottage food law Texas

The state of Texas makes it relatively easy to get started selling food online. However, at the same time, the penalty for selling food without a license in Texas is pretty steep, possibly as high as $500,000. Fortunately, Texas food laws make getting your license fairly simple and easy. So it's well worth your while to follow the local regulations if you are interested in selling food online in Texas. Certain Texas cottage food laws effects shipping, the delivery time, and the manner in which you ship. You will need to pay special attention to these regulations.

How to sell food online in California

California food laws enable people to make and sell homemade food of a certain kind. Only foods that have been determined to not support the rapid growth of mold and bacteria when kept outside of refrigeration can be sold. You must contact your state authorities to learn what permits are needed for selling food from home in California in 2021 and to learn what foods are and are not permitted. This list changes often, so sellers will need to monitor it. If you intend to apply for your cottage food license in California, you should be ready to jump through some hoops. Get started early so that you don't run afoul of deadlines.

Selling food online Florida

Florida is among the easiest states to obtain a selling food online license. Many types of food for sale require no licensing at all, and those which do are fairly simple and inexpensive to obtain licensing for. There are certain food types that are prohibited and you may be required to submit your materials to an acidity test. Known allergens contained in food sold online must be listed on the labeling.

Uncover which kinds of snacks are most popular, how to start an online store for your snack business, and how to make sure your business is legal here.

Heather Brookshire

The Cake Whisperer


My business would not be the same without my Castiron website! It is an easy setup with lots of customization and tons of support! I am so glad I set up my shop last year before the holidays — it really helped increase my sales!

Amanda McMonigle

The Whimsical Cookie


Castiron provides me a professional site to my customers increasing my credibility and value while giving me the tools to effectively market and manage my business in an easy, user-friendly manner.

Kim Sims

Wesley's Treats Hallie's Sweets


Castiron has made my cottage bakery shine, and my business easy to manage. As a platform they care about my business as much as I do.

Katie Maschoff

Mill City Cooking Company


Before Castiron, I was taking orders really manually, through emails or texts or Facebook. Now I can send customers straight to my website, and I don’t have to worry about missing any details.

Daniella Smith

Oso Good Clean Eats


I couldn't run my business without the Castiron platform. It made it so easy to get my shop up and running — it truly removed a massive barrier to me getting started!

Ali Serpe

Kultured Kombucha


I realized that the barrier of having to DM or text me to order was holding a lot of potential customers back.

Now that I have a professional website and a simple ecommerce checkout, I'm seeing a huge increase in new customers and they appreciate how easy Castiron makes ordering.

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