Looking for the best food business ideas in India? If so, we are in the right place. Here in this article, we have researched in detail and have listed down top food businesses that can be started with low investment.
India is the second-largest producer of food in the world. Food products have unique opportunities in production for the domestic market as well as for export. The demand for various products in the food processing industry is on the rise. The increase in the per capita income of the Indians results in higher spending on value-added quality food products. If you are interested to start a business in the food industry find here a list of the best profitable business ideas worth considering to start.
Is Food Business Profitable in India?
The food industry has always been a leading contributor to the Indian economy. In addition, the country has a rich culinary heritage. In addition, all Indians appreciate good food. Some of the major reasons for the bright future of the food industry in India are listed below:
- A rising economy and changing demographics
- Diverse food culture and culinary heritage
- Growing demand for healthy and organic Food
- Rapid urbanization and convenience
- Advanced technological advancements and the rise of online food delivery platforms
- Growth in tourism and hospitality industry
- Government initiatives and support
As per the latest report, the total revenue of the food industry amounts to US$963.60bn in 2023. The report also predicts the market is expected to grow annually by 7.23% (CAGR 2023-2027). Taking into consideration the tremendous growth and investment opportunities, industry experts are expecting tremendous growth in the domestic processed food market.
List of 40 Small Food Business Ideas in India
#1. Fruit Juice Processing
Fruit juice has a very good domestic demand in India. The demand for packaged fruit juices is also growing. You can start a small-scale unit of fruit juice manufacturing or also a fruit juice retail shop.
The bakery business in India is the largest industry in the food processing sector. You can produce a wide number of products from the unit. The list may include biscuits, cookies, bread, cakes, etc.
#3. Banana Wafer Making
The banana wafer is a very healthy and tasty snack item. The shelf life of the product is higher when it comes to proper packing. The manufacturing process is simple and you need to purchase some simple machinery and equipment to manufacture banana wafers.
#4. Biryani Shop
Biryani or biriyani is an Urdu word. Basically, it is a food that is made with rice, spices, and meat (chicken, mutton, beef, prawn, or fish). Throughout the country, biryani has become a very popular main course meal among every age group of people. Also, you can find a lot of established biryani franchise brands in India. So, if you want to start a food retail business, a biryani shop is perfect for you.
#5. Biscuit Making
Biscuit-making business in India is a very lucrative business. One can start a biscuit manufacturing business on a small scale. So, there is always a market for various kinds of biscuits around the year, Hence, it is one of the most profitable inflation-free food business ideas in India.
#6. Food Blogging
If you want to start a business sitting at home, then starting a food blog is the best business for you. If you have a passion for food and love sharing your thoughts, blogging can be the right option to make money. You can initiate a blog by creating a website with a free CMS platform like WordPress.
#7. Cake Shop
It is without saying, a cake shop is a lucrative food retail business in India. The business is easy to start and manage. Additionally, the cake retailing business is perfect for women entrepreneurs too. Any individual can start this business by taking a minimum financial risk.
#8. Chocolate Making
If you enjoy cooking, then chocolate making is a very good business for you. Apart from children, adults and even seniors love chocolates. Chocolates have a wide market in the Indian demographic. You need to provide attractive packaging and good taste.
#9. Cookie Business
If you enjoy baking delicious cookies, you can start a cookie business from home. It s seen, health-conscious people always look for homemade cookies for regular eating. Additionally, designer cookies are very good gift items for both domestic and corporate gifting.
#10. Cupcake Business
It is another home-based baking business you can start right from your kitchen. Cupcake is healthy food for all age groups of people. You can promote the business locally and also online through online marketplaces or from your own online shop.
#11. Coffee Shop
In India, the coffee shop is an emerging business these days. A lot of brands are operating successfully. Some of the most popular are Cafe Coffee Day, Barista, etc. Yes, you can open a coffee shop as a franchise partner of an established brand. Otherwise, you can consider opening your own too.
In India, dal milling is a profitable business. Depending on the production output, you can start this business at any size. Generally, the large-scale operation ensures more profitability. However, a mini dal mill is also a financially feasible business.
#13. Fast Food Restaurant
Fast foods are the most popular foods nowadays. These are relatively cheap and people buy them frequently. Additionally, the business doesn’t demand any specific skill or experience. However, starting a restaurant business demands startup capital investment for both fixed costs and working capital costs.
#14. Flour Milling
Flour milling is a traditional industry. You can produce a lot of value-added products including wheat flour, maida, semolina, gram flour, Sattu, etc from the unit. These are basic food items in the Indian subcontinent. Also, these products come under the FMCG segment.
#15. Fruit Bar Making
Actually, the fruit bar is a healthy snack item. Apart from direct consumption, fruit bars are the essential ingredients in the bakery, confectionery, and dessert industries. Hence, this product has very good demand in the market. Initiating a fruit bar-making business requires small capital investment.
#16. Food Delivery
If you are interested in starting a service-based business in the food industry, then you can consider food delivery. Digital operation is growing very fast in India. And app-based food delivery services like Swiggy and Zomato are becoming highly popular these days.
#17. Food Truck
This is another emerging business in the metro cities in India. Even, you can see a lot of Govt. initiatives in different states. The primary objective of a food truck is to provide good food at a reasonable price according to the taste of the local demographics.
#18. Ginger Garlic Paste Making
This is another great food business that you can start at a low cost. It requires some simple machinery and equipment. The major raw materials you need are ginger, garlic, preservative, and packaging consumables. As life becomes busy in tier I and tier II cities, people prefer to use this type of ready-to-cook product.
#19. Grocery Shop
Initiating a grocery shop is an easy business. However, you will need to craft a solid business plan to compete with other operators. Currently, grocery shops with other different product segments such as bakery, personal care, and home care becomes popular. People tend to buy their daily requirements from a single shop.
#20. Groundnut Oil Processing
Groundnut kernel contains 50-55% of the oil. Additionally, groundnut oil is an important edible oil throughout the world. The oil has good nutritional value. And it doesn’t create any cholesterol problems. Hence, it is a popular cooking medium.
#21. Honey Processing
Raw honey requires proper processing and packaging before human consumption. Hence, a honey processing unit with an apiary is a highly profitable business for women. The business is easy to start. Also, you can establish a localized brand of honey.
#22. Ice Cream Making
Ice cream is a very popular food item for people irrespective of age. Apart from that, it is an important dessert item in almost every celebration like the birthday party, wedding ceremonies, kitty parties, and office parties. Currently, the retail sale of ice cream is growing like anything. According to industry experts, ice cream is a recession-proof industry.
#23. Ice Cream Cone Making
Starting an ice cream cone manufacturing business is easy to start. The production involves simple processes and machinery. Also, it needs a small infrastructure. Apart from building a brand, you can sell the product in the local market too. Finally, you can start this project with a small capital investment.
#24. Ice Cream Parlor
If you are interested in a food retail business, then an ice cream parlor is one of the best businesses to start. Apart from initiating your own, you can consider starting a franchise also. A lot of ice cream parlor franchise opportunities are available currently.
#25. Iodized Salt Production
Actually, iodized salt or iodized salt is a grain of table salt with iodine. Consumption of iodized salt prevents iodine deficiency in the human body. Therefore, it helps in preventing thyroid gland problems, including endemic goiter. In many countries including India, iodine deficiency is a major public health problem. And we can easily address it with the regular consumption of iodine salt in small quantities.
#26. Jackfruit Processing
The primary economic product of jackfruits is the fruit. People consume it both when immature and when they mature. However, you can’t keep the sweet pulp of the fruit for a long time because of its highly perishable nature. Hence, every year there a huge post-harvest loss occurs during the peak time.
#27. Jam Jelly Making
Basically, jam and jellies are the delicious processed food that people consume globally. Additionally, the making process is easy. Even, you can produce jam jelly in your kitchen. If you don’t know how to prepare the jam and jelly, a 10 days training session is enough to know the process.
#28. Juice Bar
Like the coffee shop, the juice bar is getting huge popularity these days. However, you can consider this business only in the metro cities. Also, you consider starting a franchise business too. You can find a lot of national and international juice bar brands in the market.
#29. Mustard Oil Production
Across the country, mustard oil is one of the most popular edible cooking oil. Apart from cooking, it is an important ingredient in pickles making. Also, mustard is an important crop in India. UP is the largest producer of mustard.
#30. Noodle Manufacturing
Noodles are a value-added staple food. Also, it is a very popular fast food in India. Nowadays, the noodle market has reached even small towns and villages in the country. The manufacturing process is simple. Also, you can produce a lot of other value-added products from the same unit.
#31. Papad Making
Basically, papad is an appetizer. The product is popular in Asian countries including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, etc. People consume papad as a taste enrichment with the main course and as a snack item. Though there is stiff competition, the papad business in India still has a big unexplored market.
#32. Pickle Making
Pickles are a popular food item in the Indian subcontinent. You need locally available vegetables and fruits for preparing a variety of pickles. The business requires simple machinery and equipment. Start the business on a micro or small scale. After getting a good response, scale up the business.
#33. Pizza Delivery
In the metro cities and suburbs, pizza is a very popular food item, especially for the young demographics. Every established brand has a pizza delivery system at the customer’s doorstep. And consumers can order a pizza through the app or by phone calls.
#34. Potato Chips Making
Potato chips are popular processed food items resulting in substantial value-addition. Chips are crispy, salty, or spicy and consumers prefer fresh quality. Apart from snacks, potato chips are an important food item at parties and get-togethers. So, it has great potential in the domestic market. Women entrepreneurs who have some sort of distribution knowledge can start this business at a low cost.
#35. Open a Restaurant
Fine dining or quick-service restaurants are hugely popular these days. As the tourism industry is growing, the demand for restaurants is also increasing. Nowadays, people prefer to have food in theme-based restaurants. Simply, the restaurants serve a specific type of food in a specific manner. Though the commercial success of a restaurant depends on several factors, it is a financially profitable business opportunity for women entrepreneurs.
#36. Scented Supari Making
Supari is the dehydrated betel nut sliced for direct consumption. Basically, people use it as a mouth freshener. Scented supari has a huge demand in the market. And most people from all age groups consume this regularly. However, scented supari making is a labor-intensive business. And you need a customized project report in hand before initiating the business.
#37. Spice Processing
Both whole and powdered spices have good demand in the domestic market. Currently, the spices for the specific preparation like chicken masala, biryani masala, and curry masala have a better response in the city areas. Spice processing and packaging is a traditional business. And you can make a good profit from this business.
#38. Sunflower Oil Production
Karnataka is the largest producer of sunflowers in India. Other major sunflowers-producing states are Bihar, Haryana, Tamilnadu, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh. If you live in a sunflower-producing state, you can definitely consider this business. However, the business requires moderate capital investment and strategic planning.
#39. Tamarind Paste Making
Tamarind paste has many culinary uses including a flavoring for chutneys, curries, and the traditional sharbat syrup drink. The tamarind sweet chutney is popular in India and Pakistan as a dressing for many snacks. Basically, tamarind pulp contains 20% moisture, 6% fiber, and 67 % carbohydrates.
#40. Tomato Sauce Making
Basically, tomato sauce is a value-based item. Apart from the sauce, you can produce a lot of other items including puree, ketchup, juice, etc from the same unit. It’s an easy business to start with a small investment. Also, this business requires a small infrastructure.
The Indian food industry accounts for 32% of the country’s total food market. And it is one of the largest industries in India and is ranked fifth in terms of production, consumption, export, and expected growth.
According to an estimate of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the sector may generate employment of 9 million people-days and may attract US $ 33 billion investment in the next ten years. The future of the Indian food industry looks bright in the coming days. We hope the above-mentioned list of food business ideas will inspire you to start a successful business venture.
Rupak is the founder of MUVSI. He is a small business consultant by profession. His mission is to make people know how to make money and understand personal finance for a better living.