Natural Food Business: Start Your Own with a Franchise

06/12/2018 08:00 | Food franchises

natural foods

The food industry has witnessed some significant changes in recent years. Many health-conscious Brits have now replaced highly processed, sugary foods with natural foods.

This trend is partly due to greater awareness of the benefits of healthier eating and more information becoming available regarding nutrition. Consumers are now demanding more from their food, and the industry has been quick to respond. In fact, in 2018, the global health food market is expected to reach $1 trillion and is still growing. Huge players in the food industry are working hard to stay ahead of the game, with 30% of all food companies now investing in healthy foods, according to Euromonitor International.

Supermarket sales of organic food and drink have also risen by 4% in the UK this year, as consumers are keen to reduce their exposure to pesticides and other harmful chemicals. Data released by the Social Association shows that this is the seventh year of consecutive growth for the organic food industry, which is now worth a record £2.2 billion.

Health food stores

James Henry Cook opened the very first UK health store in Birmingham in 1898. Originally called the Vegetarian Food Depot, the name soon changed to Pitmans Health Food Store as Cook realised that he was helping his customers to make healthier food choices.

Many more health stores followed in major town and cities across the UK, and the National Association of Health Stores was established in 1931. The purpose of the association was to promote the quality, purity and integrity of the natural foods that health stores sold alongside educating people about the importance of the food they eat. The message remains unchanged today.

The 1960s saw considerable growth in the popularity of natural foods, and the number of stores increased to more than 2,000. As well as the standalone stores, prestigious department stores including Harrods and Selfridges added health food departments.

Today, health stores continue to thrive, as more and more people understand the benefits that come from eating natural foods. Clean eating has become more than a diet fad but rather a way of life for millions of Brits. For people adopting a healthier lifestyle, specialist stores are preferred over regular supermarkets thanks to their expertise and range of natural foods.

Organic food store

With a rise in the popularity of organic and more natural foods, the organic food industry has thrived despite moving away from the more traditional big supermarket route to market. Brands such as Tesco and Asda are losing market share, while organic specialists such as Riverford are dominating.

So, if youre interested in investing in a franchise that puts a healthy twist on online food shopping, Riverford could be just the opportunity for you. Every week Riverford deliver over 47,000 boxes of fresh fruit, vegetables, and organic goods directly from their farms.

More than 70 franchisees sell an ever-growing range of organic produce, from meat, eggs, and milk (and even wine!) as well as the renowned recipe boxes. This is one of one of the most flexible healthy fast food business opportunities in the UK with a straightforward franchise model.

It works by orders from your customers being processed every day at your regional farm. These are then picked, packaged, and dispatched during the night. The orders are then delivered as fresh as when they were picked to refrigerated collection hubs in your area. As a franchisee, youll not only ensure that your customers receive their orders but also take responsibility for managing marketing activities and organising local events to promote the brand.

The minimum investment required to start your own Riverford franchise is £40,000. In return for this, youll get to learn about how the organic food and produce is farmed and treated so that it reaches your customers as fresh as possible by spending five days training at Riverfords Devon Farm.

Youll also receive training on how to acquire and retain customers as well as how to use the online ordering system and accounts procedures. Youll no doubt enjoy many privileges as a franchisee, including being able to manage your own time as well as being able to attend events to learn more about how to engage with your customers.

The future of health food stores

Research by global research firm IRI found that a whopping 72% of consumers in the UK are buying more natural foods with less fat, sugar, salt and calories. The study found one in three shoppers examine the list of ingredients and nutritional fact labels on packaging before they buy food items. This highlights the growing concern regarding food quality and how healthy they are.

As well as an increased awareness regarding the food we eat, with a quarter of the UK on a diet at any one time, the aim of losing weight plays a big part in the food we buy. With obesity now the number one killer of adults in the UK, there is a massive opportunity for food manufacturers and retailers to highlight the health benefits of products as well as introducing new, healthier versions.

Its safe to say that healthy eating is no longer a niche market. Consumers are demanding healthier, natural foods and more choice of products available. This will ensure that both supermarkets and independent health stores continue to innovate to deliver what customers want.

Its also an excellent opportunity for you to become part of a franchise that caters to the health food needs your community. Even if you have never worked in the food industry before, becoming a franchisee will mean that youll get all the training and support that you need. As an established business, the franchise will keep up to date with the most recent health food trends and developments, allowing you to focus on running your business successfully.

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