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How to Start a Packaged Food Business

You may want to discover how to start a packaged food business from your own home to make a good profit. Food that is prepackaged is simply any consumable food that is packaged so that the product cannot be altered without opening the package. Prepackaged foods are cooked or raw and are ready for sale to the public.

Depending on where you live, each state will have its own licensing requirements if you want to start a local or online food business. These requirements are put in place to make sure the business owner is packaging food that is not spoiled and will not spoil — and is free from foodborne pathogens and other contaminants. Therefore, having an operation that promotes sanitary food prep, food cooking, and food packaging procedures is critical.

Some food business ideas from home and food business establishment examples include:

Start your packaged food business with a good idea, then start small by researching other food business establishment examples like a food kiosk, gourmet popcorn shops, or spicy homemade sauces. Many well-known barbecue and steak sauces were started as packaged food business ideas from home. Sriracha is one well-known sauce success created by an immigrant from Vietnam.

Check out this list of 101 Food Processing Startups in 2021 to view these companies' sample of food business description. Here you will find a mix of how their innovative ideas fueled their exceptional growth.

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How to Start a Small Food Business at Home

Here's how to start a small food business at home. First, research your state and your county's rules regarding permits, licenses, home inspections, and food safety guidelines. The rules on selling food from home are typically regulated by each state's public health department, along with each state's department of agriculture.

Here you will find cottage food laws for every state in America, so you will know how to start a packaged food business and your state rules on selling food from home.

Next, you want to know how to make money selling food from home. Sure, you may have a great recipe for a new healthy granola bar that is gluten-free, but planning every step of your marketing, advertising, preparing, packaging, delivery, and pricing should be written down in detail. This will be your business plan.

For example, if you decide to package your sugar-free, homemade brownie bars, then you'll need to layout how you want to distribute them once the sales start coming in. Maybe you want to test run your idea first! Then learn how to start a takeaway business from home where you are advertising right in your community and offering prepackage food for pickup.

Your best chance of really taking off is when you have unique food business ideas, such as selling packaged foods at high school athletic games in your community.

Starting a Food Business Checklist

After deciding on what type of packaged food business you desire to start and how you will likely distribute your goods, you're ready to nail down the business side of your new venture. Begin by starting a food business checklist that will guide you and keep you focused on actionable items that will bring you closer to launching your packaged food business.

How to start food business from home

Step 1. Write a food business plan

This step will outline the type of business (typically a LLC), the concept for your packaged food products, and your company's logo and name. Also, look at the market you hope to sell to - young people, health enthusiasts, gourmet food lovers, etc.
how to start a packaged food business

Step 2. List operational and inventory details

This includes making a list of all the kitchen equipment you will need, the foods for your recipes and the food suppliers, your menu and how the food will be packaged and distributed, along with how much you will charge for each packaged food.

Step 3. Determine how much help you will need

Decide on the staff you will need. You may decide to be the sole prep, cook, packager, cleaner, and delivery person. That's fine, but then you may need administrative help such as website design, bookkeeping, and other help.

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Explore our tools for free during a 14-day free trial. Start building your website, create your custom order forms, even start taking orders and payments... then decide if it’s for you.

Packaged Food Business Ideas

There are many cottage foods that can be sold from your home after wrapping, bagging, sealing, packaging, bottling, or canning. And, there are manufacturers who make packaging equipment for smaller scale food business owners. Consider the following pieces of equipment you may need to support your packaged food business ideas:

As you can see, the industry is already set for anyone to become a packager and seller of foods from a small warehouse or even your own home.

The foods that are permitted to be sold from your home are governed by your state's cottage laws. These are the guidelines for selling food outside a commercial establishment, such as a home-based kitchen, farmer's markets, roadside stands, and local events. Cottage foods include:

Take this list of cottage foods to develop innovative ideas for food business that will set you apart from the competition. Some food business ideas with low investment include these small food business ideas:

There are many other food business ideas 2021 that may take more of an investment, but can be worth it! Consider the following innovative ideas for food business:

Bundled Food Package and Class - This could be a meal package with a cooking class, a high-energy foods package with an exercise class, a dried foods package with a hike or city tour, or a take-home pre-bagged ingredients to create your own special sauce at home.

Mediterranean, KETO, Paleo (or other diet plan) Bundle - Take any of the new and reputable diets and create packaged foods that make staying on the path of good nutrition much easier.

Ready-made Host Meals - This could be food packaged for hosts that support community functions, school athletics, field trips, after-school activities and other events to make it easier to feed guests during special occasions.

How to Start Online Food Business From Home

A packaged food business is the perfect way to launch your business of selling homemade food online. E-commerce is made much easier when you partner with a platform like Castiron that supplies the website to market, showcase, sell, and get paid for your online food business ideas. They make it easy to build an online, home-based food business with easy-to-use software that removes the administrative hassles of selling food online - directly from your home.

So, what should you look for in an online food selling website? Start with knowing the best food products to sell online. These are typically foods that do not spoil, are packaged and labeled, and can be easily delivered by a mail service. Next, you want to research all the legal and licensing requirements of your state that apply to how to start a food product business and food selling websites.

Selling homemade food online using food selling websites like Castiron will help you not only build your business, but to also grow it to serve consumers all across America. They supply one centralized location to handle all the administrative tasks like taking orders, arranging deliveries, and taking payments so that you can focus on your core business - making and packaging foods for sale.

The best food products to sell online are often those that serve a niche group of consumers. This could be vegetarians, those with food allergies, reduced sodium/fat/sugar products, plant-based products, and organically-grown foods. You can find many online food business ideas just by browsing Shopify, Whole Foods Market online shopping, or Google some interesting ideas like specialty diet foods, online chef menus, or easy international recipes.

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Explore our tools for free during a 14-day free trial. Start building your website, create your custom order forms, even start taking orders and payments... then decide if it’s for you.

How to Start a Food Delivery Business From Home

Discover how to start a food delivery business from home, instead of a pickup-based one like a farmer's market. A food delivery business plan pdf would have plenty of information on how you will market and sell your food products on a website. Therefore, website development is crucial, just as important as location is to a brick-and-mortar restaurant.

First contact your state's Department of Agriculture or Health Department to know the right license required for food delivery business. You might also want to protect your novel idea by registering with the federal government for trademark protection or tax exempt status.

Next, make a detailed food delivery business plan. There are free food delivery business plan pdf templates to get you started. This business plan should have specifics about your products and services, your vision for the company, and any job roles you will need to fill.

The best way to start a food delivery business is to start with an app like Castiron, which is designed specifically for home-based chefs and food artisans. They'll handle everything but the deliveries!

Here's how to start a small, home-based food business with pre-packaged food items. Bring your food business idea to life with Castiron today.

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.

Join Castiron 100% risk-free

Explore our tools for free during a 14-day free trial. Start building your website, create your custom order forms, even start taking orders and payments... then decide if it’s for you.

Let's grow together.

Easy to start, created specifically for local, handmade food: Castiron’s website builder was created to help you grow. Create a website in minutes with our templates, sell where and how your customers want to buy, and look professional without being technical. Keep customers coming back with email marketing tools, customer records, and more.

The Best Fit for Your Food Business

Food entrepreneurs, this is your moment. Your community is more and more conscious about what they buy and where it is from. They want food made with love. With ingredients they can pronounce. And they want to support their community while doing it.

Castiron is the best fit for your food business because we're not a one-size-fits-all tool. Selling local food is different from pre-packaged warehouse products. Whether you sell cooking classes, need local pick up, utilize pre-sales to plan inventory, or need a fully custom order form — we got you.

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Build a Custom Website

No code required. Add pages, sell your products, build order forms, and show off your beautiful work. We'll handle the tech so you can focus on growing your food business.

Make Buying Painless

Never track down a payment or oversell products again. Real-time inventory tracking and secure payment processing make life easier for you and your customers, and our order form builder makes managing custom requests a breeze.

Promote Without the Effort

With our marketing tools, your email marketing can go on autopilot. We make it easy to promote your latest products, announce custom order availability, and stay connected with customers.

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