There are many motivations for people to be on special diets. Religion or belief systems are an example with groups like vegetarians and vegans requiring certain foods. Health reasons come to play for people living with Gluten intolerance, lactose intolerance, diabetes, high blood pressure and many other health conditions have people prefer certain foods over others. Others still will follow dietary systems such as low carb high fat (LCHF), Banting and others. The difficulty comes in identifying and finding some of the foods. A business opportunity exists in supplying people with these foods with convenience.
There will be a need to understand the diets you are dealing with. There are many different diets and many to choose from. Understanding the diets is important not just to your product offering but also to your marketing. If you’re supplying people on a banting diet it helps to let them know that you fully understand what their diet requires and why your option is the way to go for them. If you are going to offer full meal kits you may be better off working with a nutritionist to get the nutritional profile of those meals correct. If you are supplying ingredients you may have a little more leeway.
The backbone of this business idea is the convenience you offer. You are performing 3 functions in one and leveraging the convenience you offer to extract a price. You will need to excel in all 3 to have a good shot at success. You are identifying, sourcing and delivering food that complies with specific diets.
For someone who is familiar with the belief systems or living with the circumstances that encourage people to go on certain diets, this part may be easier. The reality is expecting an ordinary person to know many diets is a bit much. You will need help with compiling lists of the foods that people on certain diets look for. Fortunately for you social media allows us to listen to people more than ever and we can use this to gain intelligence on what people are looking for to support them in their diets. It may be a good idea to work with nutritionists for certain diets as you will need to not only cater to the diet but make sure that people are getting all the nutrients they need.
A lot will depend on the diet you are catering for but the basic idea is to take advantage of supply chain relationships and bulk buying to be able to sell at a profit. If you’re looking at vegans and vegans you will be likely sourcing fresh vegetables but also consider processed vegetables such as chickpea patties and other processed foods that are vegan friendly. You should not limit your sourcing to local providers only. Processed foods keep well enough to be imported. Lactose-free milk products are becoming very popular and even come in long-life versions.
Offering delivery is not essential to the business but it is certainly an added advantage to offer delivery with the way business is done nowadays. The nature of the offer means you may be offering speciality ingredients and these have the advantage of generally being bulk buys. The exception is fresh food as you may have to do with some diets which makes bulk buying difficult for the customer. You will however in many cases if not all be able to handle deliveries smoothly. An external partner may help with this.
The value comes in putting the entire system together. The business idea is better suited to businesses that are already operating and looking for additional business with higher marginal revenue. This is a niche business that will likely serve small communities though the margins may be higher than other food business lines. Starting this business as a standalone may prove difficult. The businesses that can benefit best from adding this are food delivery businesses, greengrocers, farmers, food processors and other speciality food businesses.