We’ve remarked time and again that the food business is good. It has all the hallmarks of what we want in a business; demand is automatically renewed, if people enjoy it they want more and your potential to find new customers is unlimited. The trouble is, the food business has a lot of people going for it for these very reasons. So those looking from the outside in may feel the markets are saturated. What we have today are underserved food business ideas. Areas in food where there are operators but there is still room for someone to come in and make a name for themselves in the market.


We will start with burgers because they are a quintessential example of an underserved food business in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe has many burgers. Zimbabwe has many good and great burgers. Zimbabwe does not have a dominant burger. For most other types of fast food, you can name a dominant force in the area but with burgers, it’s just not the case. That means opportunity.

Special diets

Besides the few products that have popped up that are labelled diabetic Zimbabwe has a dire lack of products that cater to special diets. To be exact the products aren’t the problem, there is a wide variety of food in Zimbabwe to cater for all diets. The problem is not connecting the customers to the food. Vegan, gluten-free, and organic are examples of diets that need this sort of assistance.

Ice cream

There is lots of ice cream in Zimbabwe. The opportunity here is in doing more with ice cream and other cold desserts. Cold rock ice cream mixing is one idea that comes to mind. There are a lot of opportunities to be explored here. A lot could also be done to experiment with flavour. Ice cream is a wonderful wide world and we are only getting the tip of the iceberg when it comes to flavours. This goes for all cold desserts.


Zimbabwe is a tea country, which I firmly accept. However coffee still has a large fan base in the country. The coffee culture is growing though the pace is slow. That still represents an opportunity for those who are of a mind. Cold winters certainly help in increasing adoption. This is not only an opportunity for fancy coffee but the lack of a better term. The idea is to serve people the type of coffee they need with convenience.

Meal kits

To say this idea is untouched in Zimbabwe would be unfair. I remember during tougher times vendors sold a Miri (meal) which contained ingredients that would make a basic meal for one person. I like to think of that as proof of concept. The idea can work very well with economic pressures and the idea to avoid waste. There are no limits to what you can put together here save for whatever limitations the customer puts. Meal kits can work well with speciality ingredients, things people wouldn’t normally have in their houses but would need for a specific recipe. Why not just provide me with the ingredients necessary to make that dish one time?


We’ve seen a lot of movement in the snack space in Zimbabwe. Ideas like Zeengaz banana chips and Glytime foods will give you a good idea of the terrain. The reason snacks are on this list is that there is so much more we can do in this area. Snacks also have the advantage of being perpetually in demand and moving large volumes once they take root. The market is huge and just waiting for the next good idea to break through.


Beverages of course go along with food very well. While we have dominant names operating in beverages in Zimbabwe there is still room for more. No matter how much you like a beverage there is always room for variety. So there are opportunities in the beverages space to build businesses worth building. If you look at the major beverage makers they are continuously introducing new flavours and varieties to their lines, that’s all the proof you need.

These are some good examples of underserved food business ideas. You have probably managed to think of a few more just from reading this.