The food and beverage industry is booming with an annual revenue of $7.285 million in 2019 in the United States alone. Additionally, revenue is projected to show an annual growth rate of 3.5%, resulting in a market volume of $8.366 million by 2023.
What this means is the food and beverage industry is hot and there is room for growth from new entrepreneurs. In other words, if you have a passion for creating fine foods and beverages, the time is now to get your food side hustle up and running.
This is especially true if you’re interested in some of the more recent trends in the food and beverage industry. For example, Millennials and Generation Z are showing an increased interest in healthier foods with a huge interest in swapping legacy brands out for brands offering healthier products.
But the interest in healthier food is not the only trend. Research shows an increased desire from consumers for more functional food options, food that incorporates the healthful properties of cannabis, and more food from brands that use sustainable business practices, among other trends.
The food and beverage industry is ripe for new ventures from people just like you. If you’ve been tossing the idea around of getting your food or beverage side hustle started, continue reading.
What Is a Food Side Hustle?
A food side hustle can include anything that involves turning a profit from the sales and distribution of food. Let’s look at a couple examples from two successful food and beverage side hustlers to give you an idea of how many side hustle options are available.
1. Afie Braimoh, owner of SACfruits
Afie Braimoh, winner of the 2019 HostGator Side Hustle Awards is one side hustler that got her start by presenting a solution to West African farmers in poverty as a result of too much food waste. Braimoh explains what she does to make extra money and how her side hustle helps fight poverty.
“I market and distribute dried fruit snacks from West Africa. I saw the poverty in the farmers because their fruits simply rot away because of bad access to roads to get their goods to the market so I started this side hustle. A year ago, I went through the process of getting FDA approval and now launched it on Amazon in January 2019.”
Braimoh’s food side hustle converts locally grown raw materials into healthy fruit snacks. SACfruits produces 100% natural dried fruits that come from West Africa, including mangoes, pineapples, coconuts, strawberries, and more.
Braimoh says, “This product is a global healthy product that is tasty and 100% natural. And, perfect for anyone anytime any day. I believe in the product. I believe in the brand and I believe in my hustle.”
Her dedication and belief in her side hustle shows in terms of her results. “I spend every evening combing through websites learning ways to distribute this product. I am slowly identifying traditional and unique ways. I launched at the Macy’s Market, a supermarket in Miami and also a coffee shop in NY. Given my full time job, this has been a leap within four months.”
2. Kiki Braverman, owner of pür•spirits
Passion for food isn’t the only type of successful side hustle. You can also create a successful side business if you have a penchant for fine beverages or spirits, just like side hustler, Kiki Braverman.
Kiki Braverman shares how she started her side hustle. She says, “I started making liqueurs as a hobby–natural liqueurs from wild harvested flowers, fresh organic fruit, and herbs that I grew in my garden: fair-trade spices, barks, roots, etc. Making something better than what you can find in stores became quite an obsession.”
She explains how her journey turned from an obsession into a business: “I connected with other liqueur makes and distillers, mostly in Europe, and became very knowledgeable over time. In 2007, I decided to scrape my savings together (it did not amount to very much) and produced the first official batch. My husband designed a label and a friend helped me with setting up a website. From humble beginnings, my brand pür•spirits has grown to be a bartender’s favorite across the US and beyond.”
It doesn’t matter what the drive is for your food or drink side hustle. There are so many options available in the food and beverage industry.
What matters is that you follow your passion, educate yourself, acquire the right tools and resources to be successful, and stick with it.
In fact, Braimoh advises those looking to start a food business to go for it. She says, “Stick with your side hustle. It is hard work, but if you are passionate about your product or service, you believe in yourself and you are running your race and nobody else’s. It is only a matter of time.”
Why Your Food Side Hustle Needs a Website
It doesn’t matter if your side hustle involves selling fancy cotton candy at local fairs or if you sell functional foods online, your food side hustle will benefit from having a website.
Why? Because websites are how consumers find you. Just as a quick example, when is the last time you went to a third-party directory or looked in the yellow pages to find someone to cater your event? Sources say probably the early 90s.
1.17 billion people currently use Google as a way to find information. What’s even more interesting is that 46% of all Google searches are looking for local information, and 72% of consumers that did a local search visited a store within five miles.
It goes without saying that if you sell your food products online, you must have a website. However, with 46% of all Google searches looking for local information online, you will benefit from a website even if your side hustle only operates in your small town.
Not only is having a website the best way for consumers to find you, but sometimes it’s the best way to get the most bang for your marketing buck. Kiki Braverman, the owner of pür•spirits, said she ran into trouble with funding, and that she had to rely on her online presence to operate effectively.
Braverman says, “It’s next to impossible for a woman entrepreneur to get funding in the US. The most recent statistics show that only 2% of total funding goes to women business owners. I have to scrimp and save and operate on a shoestring budget. My online presence has to be strong because I can not afford traditional ways of marketing.”
For Braverman, having an excellent website and strong online presence is the way she reaches her customers as opposed to more expensive, traditional marketing methods.
It’s also interesting to learn that less than two-thirds of small businesses have a website. If you’re looking to start your food hustle, you can automatically edge out a handful of the competition just by starting a website.
Some reasons small businesses don’t have a website may include the following:
- Fear that owning and operating a website is expensive
- Concern that it will be difficult to put up a website
- Worry that you don’t know how to design a website
The good news is all of these worries are unfounded. Websites are cheaper than ever to build and host and even someone with zero design or coding experience can get a website up in less than a day. Let’s take a closer look at how you can get your side hustle website up for your new food business in no time.
How to Start Your Food Side Hustle Website
Your food side hustle needs a website, and the good news is that it’s easy to get started. With the help of HostGator’s Gator Website Builder, you can quickly pay for hosting, select a theme, and customize your website with ease.
To give you extra assurance and guidance, here are six simple steps to follow to get your website started.
Step 1: Pick a hosting plan for your food website.
The Gator Website Builder has three hosting plans available to all customers. You can pick your plan depending on your needs. The starter plan includes a free domain, 200+ templates, a drag-and-drop editor, cloud hosting, and website analytics, and is the perfect pick for someone looking to start a food website.
If you are nervous about building your own food website and want priority support, you’ll want to select the Premium plan. This plan provides everything in the Starter plan plus priority support. This is especially helpful if you’re worried you will run into problems and want an expert at your beck and call.
Many food side hustlers pick the eCommerce plan, because this plan provides full eCommerce functionality. In other words, you can sell food products on your website.
Once you’ve picked a plan, click “buy now” and you can set up your account.
Step 2: Pick a domain name for your food website.
Every Gator Website Builder package includes a free domain. To pick your domain, all you have to do is type something in the “get domain” box. If your top choice isn’t available, select another.
Picking a domain name for your food side hustle is the fun part. Most food side hustlers will use the name of their product as their domain. This helps with direct organic search and helps you solidify your branding. If you need extra help, here is an article on how to choose the perfect domain name for your business.
If you already have a domain name, that’s perfect. You can connect it to your HostGator account easily by clicking “connect it here.”
Step 3: Create your account.
Once you have a domain name, you can connect your HostGator account. All you need is an email address or Facebook account to connect. Then, enter your payment information, and you’re ready to go.
Step 4: Pick a template for your food website.
This is the best news and where your fears will dissipate. You do not have to be a web designer, know code, or possess any technical skills to get your food website up and running. Gator Website Builder comes with pre-designed templates, and all you have to do is pick one that matches your business goals.
Once you create your account, you’ll be directed to the “choose a template” page. You can scroll through over 200 professionally-designed templates, and select the template that matches the look and feel of what you are going for with your business. You can also customize any of the templates to your liking.
Step 5: Add content to your food website.
Once you have selected the perfect template, click “start editing.” This will send you to your dashboard where you can add, edit, and delete pages.
Gator Website Builder includes a drag and drop builder to make it easy to customize your website. If you do have any questions throughout the process, Gator Website Builder also includes a free and easy step-by-step guide for reference that you can access at any time.
You can access this information by clicking the “menu” icon next to the Gator by HostGator logo and select the “getting started tour.”
Step 6: Review your content and launch your food website.
The last step is to review your website and launch your website. You don’t have to do this right away. You have the flexibility to preview your website and publish it whenever you are ready. By clicking “preview,” you can see your food website in full to make sure everything looks perfect.
When you are satisfied, click the “finish preview” button at the top and then “publish website” at the top of your dashboard. Gator Website Builder will present a series of quick steps to help you go live, and your website will be live on the internet.
Starting a food hustle is a great way to make extra money and pursue a passion. The food industry is always growing and there is room for artisan products, new catering businesses, sustainable functional foods, and more.
If you’re ready to take the plunge, check out HostGator’s easy website builder today.
Ashley R. Cummings is a professional freelance writer specializing in SaaS, tech, and advertising/marketing. In a previous life, she was a Russian teacher at Brigham Young University, a corporate trainer, and a grad student—all at the same time. When she’s not writing, you can find her traveling the world with her 2 kids and husband, reading poetry or taking a deep dive into the fabulous world of comedy. Connect with her on Twitter at @ashleyrcummings.