Do you want to start a fruit related business but you want to go niche? If YES, here are 50 best fruit and vegetable business ideas & opportunities.
The growing awareness of the need to maintain healthy living is prompting more and more people to jettison their usual diet fueled by sugar and fats and embrace the natural alternative of fruits and vegetables. Because of this reason alone, the fruit and vegetable industry has experienced a significant boost in recent years.
Over the five years to 2018, industry revenue has grown at an annualized rate of 3.2% to $5.1 billion, with an expected increase of 0.9% in 2018 alone.
Because this industry is experiencing a boom, this is the right time for you to start a business here so you can get a foothold before the competition becomes fiercer. With modern advancement in all areas of business including the fruits and vegetables industry, you will note that buying and selling of fruits and vegetables is no longer the only business you can start in the industry.
There are tons of businesses that are relevant to this industry and which are guaranteed to get you earning in a short time. In this article, we are going to provide you with a lineup of some of the businesses that you can start in the fruits and vegetables industry.
Best Fruit and Vegetable Business ideas
Open a Roadside Farm Stand
Gardening is a hobby for most people or a way to enjoy the outdoors and provide fresh, flavorful food for your family’s table. As they gain experience with successfully growing vegetables, gardeners often expand the size of their garden as well as the varieties of vegetables they plant.
If your garden is brimming with tons of tomatoes, bushels of beets and heaps of herbs, consider putting your talents to work in a fresh produce business. If you are not able to farm your fruits and vegetables, you can purchase them in bulk from local farmers and make a profit selling at local markets and fairs. Even a small, backyard garden can get you started as a trader.
Start an Organic Produce Farm
One of the most popular ways you can get into the organic agriculture business is to grow organic produce. This is similar to regular produce farming, just without the chemical pesticides and fertilizers used by conventional farms.
It is a fact that more people are starting to embrace the concept of eating organic foods, so you would not have a problem selling your fruits and vegetables. The way to move forward fast in this business is to ensure that your produce is 100 percent organic, because if you are caught cheating, people would never trust you again.
3. Start a hydroponic vegetable farm
Hydroponics is a subset of hydro culture, which is a method of growing plants without soil by using mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent. Plants make their own vitamins, so vitamin levels tend to be similar whether a vegetable is grown hydroponically or in soil.
For this reason, you can set up a hydroponic farm where you can grow fresh vegetables for the market. Because you can manage the conditions on which you grow your vegetables, you are in the best position to get good yields. If you cannot market your vegetables on your own, you can arrange for people to come and buy them off your farm.
4. Start a Fruits and Vegetables Wholesale Company
Wholesale as we all know is selling things in bulk. Starting a fruits and vegetables wholesale business is your ticket to owning a good, stable business as long as you separate yourself from the competition. Long before you open a fruits and vegetables wholesale business within your community, it’s a good idea to determine what the competition looks like.
Another good way to ensure your success in the industry is to have a good distribution network so that you do not get stuck with rotten fruits and vegetables in your warehouse. In fact, you have to make sure that your good do not stay beyond a certain period of time.
5. Open a fruits and vegetables retail store
If you have a green thumb and are looking to start a small business, either around your current job or as a full-time venture, then why not sell your own fruits and vegetables? If you love gardening; growing, nurturing and selling your own fruits and vegetables, can be incredibly rewarding.
Plus, it’s easy to do, won’t cost too much to set up and can bring in a good income, especially, if you sell your produce at a good price. If you are aiming to stock your fruit and vegetable stall with all of your own produce, then you may need to increase your production. Perhaps you could invest in more land and make larger areas for growing produce.
An essential investment you will need to make is a HydroGrow LED light. These lights are fantastic for increasing the growth rate of your fruits and vegetables without having to use chemicals. Making them ideal if you are an organic fruit and vegetable grower.
6. Create a mobile app for fruit and vegetable listing
The mobile app industry has indeed grown, with businesses always on the lookout for apps that would help them enhance their business. If you are savvy with mobile app development, you can develop an app where people can order fresh fruits and vegetables exclusively in your area.
You can list farmers and wholesalers on the app, so that consumers can easily order what they need by just getting in contact with them.
7. Create Online fruits and vegetables ordering-delivery platforms
Online fruits and vegetables ordering-delivery platforms are feeding people across the world, and making profits for themselves as well. With online grocery or organic produce ordering, you’re giving more customers more opportunity to order your products.
They don’t need to call. A lot of advantages come with ordering fruits and vegetables online. With orders being taken online, less people are needed to answer the phones and employees can concentrate on other important activities. Again, you get to make less mistakes on your end in taking down the order which results in getting the items that customers actually ordered.
Customers no longer have to wait in queue or hold on to the phone. They just visit your site, browse your menu, select their favorites and in few clicks the order gets placed. There is a potential for increase in revenue, more repeat business, more volume, more happy customers.
8. Produce fresh-dried raw organic plant food powders
Due to perishability, shipment weight, and the logistics of working with fruits and vegetables, entrepreneurs find the business to be quite tasking, and not to speak of the waste they incur on a regular basis. Fresh-dried raw whole organic plant food powders are now the answer for a business that wants to ship fruit products without incurring loss.
Since the water is removed from the fruits and vegetables before shipment, there is no perishability and the shipment weight is very low. Products can be drop shipped from anywhere. While fresh is always best, fresh-dried is second best and a viable option for creating an e-business involving fruits and vegetables.
9. Open a Roadside fruit stall
A roadside fruit stall is a fantastic seasonal part-time business to get rolling, as the startup costs are minimal, the profit potential is great and the demand for fresh, in-season fruits is high. If you have a strawberry farm, instead of eating all of it or giving them away, you can open a makeshift stall around your house and market your strawberries to neighbors and passersby.
The key to success in this type of food retailing is to secure a good location to operate the stall. Excellent locations include gas station parking lots, industrial parks and main highways in and out of busy tourist areas.
Furthermore, in addition to a highly visible roadside location, be sure to have large and colorful signs made to advertise the stand. Generally, the season for fresh fruits starts in early June and ends in early September. You can extend your season a month or more by selling cider, apples, chrysanthemums and pumpkins in the fall.
10. Start a packed cut vegetables business
“Consumer lifestyles continue to get busier and in turn, demand more convenient meal solutions,” according to consumer research firm Nielsen. Grocers have tapped into one of the detested activities among home cooks: chopping fruits and vegetables, and that is why you can see pre-chopped fruits and vegetables in grocery stores.
The pre-chopped fruit and veg business is booming. Sale of washed, chopped, or bagged fresh produce have been growing at a faster clip than old-school whole fruits and vegetables. You can key into this business by buying, chopping and packaging the fruits and vegetables for sale.
11. Sell vegetables door to door
If you have a farm where you can plant vegetables and some fruits, one of the ways you can market your produce, if you do not want the hassles of getting a stall is to take your vegetables from door to door. This is one way to get your neighbors interested in your business.
Selling your vegetables door to door would help you not to register the business as a formal one, and you can keep all your proceeds to yourself. When your business starts growing, you can then get it registered.
12. Start a produce delivery business
Fresh produce is a popular commodity for individuals, grocery stores and restaurants. To create a business to furnish and deliver produce, decide how to make a profit by getting fresh fruits and vegetables to a client base. Find a source of fresh produce within the local community.
Visit local farmers and agriculture associations to learn about growers willing to furnish your business with produce. Figure out pricing structures by visiting produce markets and fruit stands or by conducting online research. Don’t necessarily try to cut prices too low, since those willing to pay for produce may consider convenience as a primary factor.
Buy or lease a truck to make deliveries. Create brochures that explain how the business works. Share information about company personnel.
Engage clients through a friendly approach, which might include placing photos of workers on the brochure. Attach a weekly price list to the brochure because prices fluctuate. Place a contact telephone number prominently on the leaflet.
13. Start a vegetable subscription box
A vegetable box scheme is an operation that delivers fresh fruit and vegetables, often locally grown and organic, either directly to the customer or to a local collection point. Typically the produce is sold as an ongoing weekly subscription and the offering may vary week to week depending on what is in season.
This is a good business you can run in the fruit and vegetable industry. All you need to do is package fresh fruits and veggies in a basket or box and send off to your subscribers. This business would be easier for you if you have a farm, but without a farm, you can still have access to ultra fresh produce you can send to your subscribers.
14. Start a fruit and salad subscription box
This business is the same thing with the vegetable subscription box, but here, you get to package fruits, salads and salad dressings for your subscribers. You may also opt to shred the salad for those who would prefer that you do so, so that they can just pour in the dressing, toss the salad and eat.
15. Start a fruit and vegetable cart business
if you do not have a retail store or stall, there is no rule that says that you cannot sell your fruits and vegetables off a cart. In fact, selling your produce off a cart would allow you to take your business to places where you are sure of getting good customers.
On the other hand, you do not need to go through extensive processes to register this business, as it can be quite simple to do. All you need to do is keep all the laws that have been laid down for you.
16. Sell fruit and vegs off a truck
We know of the food, pizza and coffee trucks, but do you know that you can equally sell your fruits and vegetables off a truck. If you do not want to use your truck for delivery purposes, then you can convert it to a merchandise truck where you can sell your fruits and veggies.
17. Become and fruit and veg distributor
This where you get to use your truck to make deliveries instead of selling your produce off them. There are indeed huge fruits and vegetable farms that are always on the lookout for distributors for their products, you can apply for these jobs.
Know that you must have a functional truck before you can be a distributor, unless you want to become a middleman that connects truck owners with fruit and veggie farmers.
18. Become a fruits and vegetable broker
A Fruit and Vegetable Broker is an agent who purchases fresh fruits and vegetables directly from the producers and cooperatives and sells them afterwards to wholesalers and supermarkets. Fruit and vegetable brokers provide a valuable service for restaurants and groceries that meet the public’s demand for fresh produce.
To break into the industry, you’ll need to gain a foothold with either suppliers or buyers, and then expand your Business model to encompass the other side of the equation. Leading brokerage firms procure internationally grown produce and facilitate customs clearance procedures on behalf of buyers.
19. Become a grower
Yet another way to break into the fruit and vegetable industry is to become a fruit and veg grower. Here, you need to first of all find a suitable farm before you can proceed. Note that you must not have acres of land before you can answer a grower.
Just make sure that the land you have is properly taken care of, and you are able to maximize it. You can also start a hydroponic or greenhouse farm if you are having issues with the terrain.
20. Manufacture organic pesticides
Pests are big issues for fruit and vegetable farmers. This is because these plants are fragile and are easily destroyed. Again, the world has been frowning upon using chemical pesticides on farms as they are said to be carcinogenic. Again, they are said to reduce the nutrient quality of fruits and vegetables, this is why farmers are opting for organic pesticides.
You can start producing these pesticides that would not harm the plants but would control the spread of diseases and pests.
21. Produce packaging materials for fruits and vegetables
Packaging fresh fruits and vegetables is one of the more important steps in the long and complicated journey from grower to consumer. The produces reach to the consumers in different types and sizes of packaging like crates, bags, bulk bins, and the most frequently used pallets.
The packaging is not just a big carton to pack large quantities of fresh fruits, but it is a multi-purpose layer, providing protection, transportation, handling, and branding to the product. You can start a business where you produce these materials for fruit and vegetable packaging industries.
22. Sell fruit cups and bowls
A fruit cup, also known as a summer cup, is traditionally an English specialty drink designed to be made into a long drink with addition of a soft drink such as lemonade or ginger ale. Most commonly, these are gin-based, although there are some varieties based on other spirits such as vodka.
But these days, fruit cup and bowls are usually cups and bowls full of assorted prepared seasonal fruits such as cantaloupe and honeydew melon balls, blueberries, halved strawberries, cubed pineapple, diced mangoes, sliced kiwis, sliced nectarines, seedless grapes. You can put together fresh fruit cups and sell them as a business.
23. Produce fruit and vegetables packaging equipment
The delicate nature of most fruits and vegetables requires gentle processing equipment in order to maintain their important nutritional properties and great taste. If you are technically savvy, you can start producing and selling these fruit and vegetable processing and packaging machines.
Generally, vegetables processing equipment sorts, grades, washes, cooks, blanches, mixes, weighs and packs all types of fruits and vegetables, and your equipment must ensure high quality fish products.
24. Start a fruit arrangement company
Fruit arrangement offers a unique, healthy and delicious alternative to floral arrangements, center pieces, gifts, appetizers and desserts. Beautiful edible products that are made of fresh strawberries, apples, pineapple, honeydew, cantaloupe, oranges, grapes, cheese and chocolate generally entice guests more than the usual center pieces.
This is a good business to start especially if you are very creative and savvy with your hands. Your arrangements can come in a variety of designs and sizes and can be accompanied by freshly made whipped cream, fudge sauce and balloons.
25. Install fruit dispensers in strategic areas
Just like we have candy and sweet dispensers, we also have fruit dispenser can be placed in strategic locations, that can dispense fresh fruit when a coin is inserted. This dispenser would be good to be located in places like libraries, hospitals, bus stops, malls etc where you can get a lot of foot traffic.
Trust me, people would more likely want to take a fruit than a bar of chocolate from the next dispenser. your only duty is to ensure that all your fruits are fresh and the dispenser is refilled on a daily basis.
26. Make fruit art and carvings
Fruit carving is the art of carving fruit, a very common technique in Europe and Asian countries, and particularly popular in Thailand, China and Japan. There are many fruits that can be used in this process; the most popular one that artists use are watermelons, apples, strawberries, pineapples, and cantaloupes.
You can these arts and display them, through you know that your art pieces cannot be bought, but they can open other doors for you, such as you being called to create beautiful fruit art for people organizing ceremonies.
27. Make and sell candied fruits
Candied fruit, also referred to as crystallized fruit, is fruit that has been cooked in sugar syrup and then allowed to set in the syrup for a long period of time. During the soaking period, which can be from several days to a couple of weeks, the water content of the fruit is replaced by sugar.
This results in a firm, sweet-flavored fruit. The replacement of sugar provides the fruit with properties that allow the fruit to be stored for long periods.
Firm fruits work best for being candied because the softer fruits will not hold up to the extended soaking period. Fruits, such as pineapple, apples, apricots, cherries and dates, work well to be candied. Also, the lemon and orange peels do well candied and make a nice citrusy candied fruit.
28. Write fruit and vegetable based cookbook
Meals are made out of almost anything, and these days, creative chefs have started creating meals out of just fruits and vegetable for people who are vegetarians. If you have delicious and unique recipes that are made out of fruits and vegetables, you can put them down in a cookbook and start selling them both as soft and hard copies if you can handle the publication.
29. Start an online fruit and vegetable business
Some fruits and vegetables are only found at certain periods of the year because they are seasonal. This dictates which fruits you can offer your clients at certain periods. Luckily there are a large verity of fruits and vegetables to choose from if you want to start an online fruit and vegetable business.
You will find lots of food delivery services online that can help you make deliveries. The major challenges are logistics and location. Despite the huge interest in this sector many entrepreneurs are hesitant due largely to several factors.
However, the business model is simple, you only need to build a website, add images of fruits and vegetables and take orders.
Once a customer places an order through your payment channel you deliver the fresh fruits at their doorstep. Selling perishable goods is very difficult because it requires heavy transportation costs and logistics. The most critical factor in online fruit and vegetable delivery service are manpower costs and logistics.
30. Fruits and Vegetables Export Business
Exporting fruits and vegetables is another way to have a good stake in the industry. Fruits vegetables export business demands an adequate knowledge about foreign markets. If you are living in an area where fruits and vegetable production is good enough, you can consider initiating a fruits vegetables export business starting just from your local growers.
The export-import sector is hugely organized and you can get sufficient data to work with. The most beneficial part of this business is that you can start this venture from your home location.
In starting fruits vegetables export business, do an extensive research about the products that are available for export and the foreign market that is ready to buy that particular product. Finding the right market for the specific product is important in getting success. Also, you will need to have a fair amount of ideas about different currencies before you start.
31. Open a fruit and vegetable misfits business
Over 50% of produce harvested in the U.S. is thrown away. Fruits and vegetables are discarded at the farm, often due to overly stringent cosmetic standards. Did you know that an apple that tastes amazing but isn’t a perfect sphere or is a little larger than usual is likely to get thrown away?
If two strawberries are fused into 1 fruit, they too get tossed. Misshapen carrots, funny-looking potatoes, and slightly overripe bananas are all casualties of this war against ugly. You can help to reduce food waste, help combat poverty, and drastically improve the state of the environment by starting a business where you sell misshapen fruit and vegetables at reduced prices.
32. Sell exotic fruits
Apple, banana, orange are familiar fruits, the ones you can spot in any Grocery Store anywhere in the world. But what about lychee, pomelo, persimmon and durian? They are exotic fruits, most of them found in Southeast Asia but also often at Asian food stores here in the States.
Some are furry, some are fuchsia, some have bright white flesh. Nowadays, exotic fruit and vegetable products are in demand in local markets as well as for export purposes. You can start a fruit business where you sell only exotic fruits that have been imported from neighborhood countries. This would prove to be a good market segment for you.
33. Start a vegetable shredding business
We know cutting vegetables is such a hard part of food preparation in the restaurant industry. It takes time and labor cost. Also there is so much loss from vegetable during processing.
You can set up a business where you cut these vegetables and ship them to restaurants and other eateries. You can make an arrangement with them where you come and take their vegetables and then return then properly and nicely diced.
34. Start a Canned Fruits Business
Canned fruits are another fruit and vegetable related business that has taken a good stand in the market. Apart from the domestic market, canned fruits have very good export potential also. However, the manufacturing operation is capital intensive.
On of the commercially most successful item is fruit salad. Some of the most popular canned fruits are apple, tomato, pineapple, berry, and banana.
35. Make and sell Fruit Butters and Cheese
Fruit butters and cheeses are made from a stiff fruit purée. It is a traditional British paste of sweetened fruit purée, set to a firm jelly. This is a good way of preserving fruit which has a lot of pips or stones. Jellies use a larger proportion of sugar to purée than fruit butters.
Generally the fruits used for jellies are also the best ones for butter and cheeses and they can even be made from the pulp left in the jelly bag after the juice has dripped. The fruit butter and cheese is a popular item in processed fruit segment, and you can start the manufacturing as small scale basis. However, the business demands a moderate investment in equipment and raw materials.
36. Make and sell Fruit and Vegetable Chips
People are so used to potato chips that they forget that you can make some healthy chips out of fruits and vegetable. Fruit and vegetable chip are said to not just be a healthy alternative, but they offer less salt and oil. If you are a savvy cook, you can start preparing and packaging fruit and vegetables chips for sale.
Banana wafers, coconut chips, jackfruit chips are the popular item in this segment. With a small capital investment, you can start this business. Even you can start the manufacturing from home.
37. Fruit Pulp Production business
The pulp of a fruit is the stringy content of the fruit’s endocarp. The pulp contains the juice of the fruit. The pulp is usually removed from fruit juice by filtering it out. The shelf life of fruit pulp is longer than fresh fruit. Frozen or chilled fruit pulp retains all the vitamins, minerals, and proteins obtained after processing the pulp.
A longer storage life without much alteration to the natural content and flavor is a main factor boosting global market demand for fruit pulp.
A longer shelf life also means reduced transportation and storage costs, and this factor encourages manufacturers to increase production of fruit pulp. Most of these fruit pulp are used in baby food as the taste and consistency of fruit pulp is suitable as food for infants. You can start a business that produces and sells fruit pulp.
Apart from the household demand, fruit pulp has the good industrial demand also. Many large-scale fruit processing companies prefer to procure fruit pulp rather than fresh fruits because it saves a large amount of transportation cost.
38. Make and sell fruit Jam
Jam is popular as a healthy bread spread, and the mixed fruit jam occupies a large market share. However, mango jam, strawberry jam, peach jam, apple jams are also popular items. You can also start jam manufacturing with small startup capital. Start with one product, and as your business grows, add different products.
39. Make and sell fruit jelly and preserves
Fruit jellies are semisolid, preserved mixtures of fruit juice and sugar. Jelly making is a good way to preserve fruit flavors for enjoyment throughout the year. Fruit jelly is a fairly easy-to-prepare product for the beginning canner and may be made at home without much special equipment.
But instead of making them for your use, you can start a business with it. Crystal clear jelly has good market also. Generally, you can start jelly making with jams. The difference between jelly and jam is that jelly is made strictly from the juice of fruit while jam is made from crushed fruit.
40. Package fresh fruit and vegetable juice for sale
The preference for freshly squeezed juice or juice bottled without added colouring, flavours and preservatives is growing. This makes it a great business opportunity entrepreneurs can explore. Opening a fruit juice business seems easy.
You just have to make the juice and sell it. But beyond preparing your juices, you need to think about so many other things like health regulations, juice shelf life, packaging, delivery, and so much more. Different types of vegetable juices have good market potential. You just have to look at where the market is tending towards.
41. Start a Marmalade business
Marmalade is a jelly made from sugar and fruit juice, as opposed to fruit puree that has pieces of fruit suspended it it. It is typically made with the juice, flesh and rind of oranges.
Seville oranges, or bitter oranges, are the standard citrus used in marmalade (particularly in English marmalades) because their relatively high pectin content allows the preserve to set firmly and their distinctive bitter note is a pleasant contrast to the otherwise sweet orange juice. Generally, you can start marmalade production with jams, jelly or other products. It is considered as a health food.
42. Make and sell Pickles
Pickling is a process of preservation by fermentation. The fruits and vegetables are immersed in 5–10% salt solution (brine) leading to lactic acid fermentation. Salt prevents the growth of undesirable organisms and allows lactic acid bacteria to grow.
However, you must produce different pickles according to the local demand so you dont have excess produce on your hand.
43. Sauce and Ketchup
Sauce and ketchup are the essential items for the fried snacks items. Generally, you can produce both the products from a small unit and they serve different purposes when serving food. You can start making each of them as a small scale business.
44. Make and sell Fruit Squash
Squashes are the sweetened juice of fruits containing minimum prescribed quantity of pulp. However, different countries specify a different percentage of the fruit juice content. And you must comply with that. Orange squash, mango squash, pineapple squash and lemon squash are the most popular items in the industry.
An organic juice bar makes hand-crafted, cold-pressed, raw organic juices that uses only local organic farms for the freshest most nutrient-rich vegetables and fruits.
These days, people are tending more towards organic produce, and as such they are more likely to prefer an organic juice bar to just a normal one. Herein lies your market. You must indeed try to ensure that your fruits and vegetables are indeed sourced from organic farms.
Another business you can start with fruits and vegetables is to open a smoothie bar. Smoothie bars sell blended fruit drinks, health food bowls, and juices to patrons. They’re typically found in busy shopping centers or fitness clubs as a way to introduce fresh options to a fast-food laden culture.
A lot of considerations have to come in if you want to run a successful smoothie making business, so you need to do a lot of research before you start.
47. Organic Canning business
If you grow fruits or vegetables organically, you could create jams, salsas or other products that you can package in cans or jars to sell online or in stores. People are sure to be drawn to your organic products.
48. Organic fruit and vegetables Farmers Market
If you have the connections and if you are savvy enough, you could actually organize your very own farmers market and just work with organic farmers.