We all know that 2020 (the pandemic year) changed a lot of things for people. For example, the pandemic forced some people to learn how to cook at home, whether at first when they were too scared to order, or later when they were too bored and needed a distraction to fill their times. Since then, it appears that home cooking became a part of many people’s daily life. The focus on “healthy eating”, “cook it yourself”, “know what is in your food” has become what the food and eating philosophy for many. All evident through the rise of cooking communities and their popularity and the amount of food startups and small businesses established and are revolving around such concepts ever since.
Why are “cook at home” apps and blogs trending so much? Why is “start a food business” everyone’s choice?
When we asked, we found that most people agree on the following factors: Of course there is the approachability factor; where people want to watch videos of people like them and be able to recreate what they’re doing. From shopping to DIY to food it’s the personal world of everyone. Home cooking also rides the macro emphasis on health and being prudent financially, it offers the option of revenue derived from “doing something you enjoy and have passion for”, the fact that everyone eats and so there is always a market and a need, and not to mention that there’s a pretty low barrier to entry for anyone to get started. It’s the perfect recipe for a rise in popularity (we all know food bloggers become celebrities faster than most other options)… all the reasons that we all know too well about FOOD.
Now here is the insight you all came to this post for:
Will it remain trending?
The fact is food will never go out of fashion. Everyone eats and will continue to eat. Now that life is back to normal (post pandemic), people will eat out, will order food, and will continue to seek healthy eating options. Now that most families are back to office hours and working not necessarily from home, ordering home-cooked quality meals will continue to be in demand. That said, the economic reality today is different from pre-pandemic prosperity. Inflation, along with general global economic challenges have pushed people back into considering cost and expenses on a deeper level than pre-COVID, when the focus was more on buying time with money (where you would trade money for your time). Currently, people prefer to save money at the expense of a little bit of their time (where personal lifestyle choices are involved, and opposite where professional life is involved), and this explains the continuous serge in the graph above. It is a fact that an increasing amount of people are looking for the most affordable ways to eat and that in itself is an opportunity for those willing to look into this and provide solutions. However, the real opportunity is not in creating another cheap, low quality food service; as pandemic showed people the downside of this and the public no longer chooses this option. The real opportunity is in fairly priced, good quality, food product and service that is accessible and popular to maximize sales for revenue.
Here is the thing, in business, you want to base your projections not on the ultimate best case scenario, nor on the lowest case. You will have to base on an upper middle if you are being optimistic and on a lower middle if you are being careful. As such, when it comes to choosing your food business concept and details, it is advisable that you base your choice on sustainable business potential. In this case, here are the considerations that will lead you to the golden formula:
The facts: Everyone eats and everyone wants to spend less money on their daily. Most people choose to splurge only on occasion. 5% at best will live a continuous lavish lifestyle.
Your choices are as follows:
- Do you want to establish a business that derives profit from a. volumes b. high ticket orders c. occasional indulgences?
- Is there a way to combine more than one option? What will be the strategy to attract both? What will be the cost on the business a. operations cost b. growth cost?
All of these are questions you have to find answers for before you start. What usually happens is most founders will pick up on trends, however don’t dive deep into the factors and sustainability of the trends. What ends up happening is the business will do really well for a very short period of time, but then it hits the fan! That’s not what you want, so make sure to do a deep dive first, then announce the business.
What other opportunities are out there (derived from this)?
Cooking and offering ready meals is not the only startup or small business choice for foodies. There are many other options that allow you to have a profitable business in the food industry, where you continue to blog about food, and grow in popularity and demand. Here are just a few examples:
- Cookware companies (from pots & pans, to plates, cups and artsy food plating options)
- Real good, smart and reliable delivery services (anyone who worked in food, knows we need this service).
- Central kitchens (affordable). And no not cloud kitchens in their current formula! I am talking about central kitchens are certified, high safety & hygiene quality, basic operational kitchens, for rent, in central locations to help food businesses expand to bigger radiuses without the unbearable expense of aggregators and cloud kitchens. Yes there is a lot of strategizing and imagination required, but if that problem can be solved for food businesses, the demand is out of this world!
- Small business distributors. Yes, we all know distributors focus mainly on big businesses, they are after the big profits. Understandable, however, a huge need is there for ones that will focus on small, home-grown businesses. Distribution is essential for small businesses to make it, and a reason why many don’t! This here will make you a favorite and you will make big bucks in the volumes! Plus you will become the chefs best friend, because the proper chefs are always on the look out for amazing, artisanal, out of the box ingredients and materials.
- Affordable, stylish, custom designed, small quantity packaging solutions.
My Take on all the above:
There has never been a time more inclined towards small businesses, home-grown concepts, supporting local brands and businesses. This trend is staying for a while. While the past 15 years was all about the tech. the unicorns and the money printing… the coming 15 years will be about the small businesses, the cashflow businesses, the small profitable cooperations & the money savers. This is how I see it, and there is evidence to this in the global markets. Just take a look at the major tech. layoffs, and the many business busts and the over all economic look and feel globally! There is a general dislike for all things “big corporate” and “big business” and a general inclination towards “small and trustworthy” and “a brand synchronized to customers’ values”. As such, small businesses will be mushrooming, and therefore needing services that can accommodate them and their challenges. You are ripe if you decide to become the support system to this segment. Because this segment will thrive through the support of your potential service and your service as such will be in great demand. If you’re building in this space (or in consumer in general) I’d recommend focusing on “Affordable & Quality”. Combine both, create services geared towards small businesses and position your product or service so that it makes it clear it will save customers money (rather than time). This is the real current trend, make sure to maximize! I know I have!