How to Start Selling Healthy Snacks in a Marketplace as a Side Hustle in the USA?

Raena Mazahernasab
Written by Raena Mazahernasab
Posted on April 18, 2023

With the growing demand for healthier food options in the United States, starting a healthy snack business can be a lucrative side hustle for those passionate about promoting healthy eating habits.

A marketplace can be an excellent platform to sell healthy snack products as it provides a ready-made customer base and a supportive community of like-minded sellers. However, starting a healthy snack business in the USA can be challenging, with various legal, marketing, and logistical considerations to consider.

In this blog, we'll guide you through the key steps to successfullyโ€ฆ

In this blog, we'll guide you through the key steps to successfully start selling healthy snacks in a marketplace as a side hustle in the USA.

What is the market condition for selling healthy snacks online?

The demand for healthy snacks has steadily increased as people become more health-conscious and seek convenient and nutritious options. This trend is expected to continue, with the global healthy snack market projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of around 5% between 2021 and 2026.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also accelerated the demand for online purchasing of groceries and snacks, as more people stay home and avoid crowded public places. This has created opportunities for online healthy snack retailers to reach a wider audience and increase their sales.

However, it is important to note that the competition in the healthy snack market is high, with many established players and new entrants vying for market share. To succeed in this market, online retailers must differentiate by offering unique and high-quality products, providing excellent customer service, and leveraging effective marketing strategies to reach their target audience.

What are examples of the best marketplaces for selling healthy snacks?

There are several online marketplaces where you can sell healthy snacks. Here are a few examples:

  1. Amazon: Amazon is one of the largest online marketplaces in the world, with a vast customer base and a dedicated section for grocery and gourmet food products. This platform allows you to sell your healthy snacks to a large audience and take advantage of Amazon's fulfillment services, which can help streamline your order fulfillment process.
  2. Thrive Market: Thrive Market is an online membership-based retailer specializing in selling natural and organic products, including healthy snacks. This platform focuses on providing its members high-quality, sustainably sourced products at affordable prices.
  3. Etsy: Etsy is an online marketplace that allows individuals and small businesses to sell handmade or vintage items, as well as unique factory-manufactured products. It is an ideal platform for selling healthy artisanal snacks made in small batches with a unique flavor profile.
  4. Walmart Marketplace: Walmart Marketplace is an online platform that allows third-party sellers to sell their products on Walmart's website. This platform gives you access to Walmart's large customer base and allows you to take advantage of Walmart's logistics and fulfillment capabilities.
  5. iHerb: iHerb is an online retailer that sells natural health products, including healthy snacks. This platform's loyal customer base is interested in natural and organic products, making it an ideal marketplace for selling healthy snacks.

It's important to note that each marketplace has its own set of rules and fees for selling products, so it's essential to research and compare each platform to find the one that's the best fit for your business.

What is the margin profit of a marketplace for healthy snacks?

The profit margin for selling healthy snacks on a marketplace can vary widely depending on various factors, including the cost of goods, the platform fees, and the level of competition in the market.

Generally, the profit margin for selling healthy snacks can range from 10% to 50%, with the average margin falling around 30%. However, this can vary significantly based on the specific product, pricing strategy, and platform fees.

For example, if the cost of producing a healthy snack is $1.50, and you sell it for $3.00 on the marketplace, your gross profit margin would be 50%. However, if the marketplace charges a 15% commission fee, your net profit margin would be 35%.

It's important to note that the profit margin for selling healthy snacks can also be affected by the market competition level. For example, if many other sellers offer similar products, you may need to price your snacks more competitively to maintain sales, impacting your profit margin.

Ultimately, the profit margin for selling healthy snacks on a marketplace can vary depending on several factors, and it's important to carefully consider all of these factors when pricing your products and selecting a marketplace to sell on.

What is the biggest challenge of creating a marketplace for healthy snacks?

One of the biggest challenges of creating a marketplace for healthy snacks is attracting and retaining customers. With the increasing popularity of healthy eating, there is also a growing number of businesses offering healthy snack options. This means that as a marketplace, you will need to differentiate yourself from competitors and provide a unique value proposition to attract customers. 

Additionally, customer retention can be challenging in the highly competitive healthy snack market, which requires a sustained effort to build brand loyalty and consistently deliver high-quality products. Another challenge can be managing logistics, such as sourcing ingredients, producing, and shipping products in a timely and cost-effective manner.

What are some free ways of advertising online for your healthy snack marketplace?

There are several free ways to advertise your healthy snack marketplace online. Here are a few options:

  1. Social media marketing: Use social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to promote your marketplace and healthy snack products. You can create engaging content, post mouth-watering images of your snacks, and engage with your followers to increase brand awareness and attract customers.
  2. Content marketing: Create blog posts, articles, or videos that provide value to your target audience. For example, you can create recipes using healthy snacks or share tips on healthy snacking habits. Share this content on your website, social media platforms, and relevant online forums to attract visitors to your marketplace.
  3. Email marketing: Build an email list by offering subscribers incentives such as discounts or exclusive content. Send out regular newsletters that promote your healthy snack products, share information about new arrivals, or provide updates on upcoming sales or events.
  4. Online directories: List your marketplace on online directories such as Yelp, Google My Business, and Yellow Pages to increase visibility and attract potential customers.
  5. Influencer marketing: Reach out to social media influencers or bloggers in the health and wellness niche and offer to send them samples of your healthy snacks in exchange for a review or shout-out on their platforms. This can help increase your brand awareness and attract new customers.

How to find vendors of healthy snacks and what to look for in them?

Finding vendors of healthy snacks for your marketplace can be a challenging task. Here are a few steps you can take to find the right vendors and evaluate their products:

  1. Research online: Use online directories, search engines, and social media platforms to find potential vendors of healthy snacks. Look for businesses that specialize in healthy snacks and have a good reputation in the market.
  2. Attend trade shows and conferences: Attend trade shows and conferences related to the health and wellness industry to connect with potential vendors and learn about new product trends.
  3. Network with industry professionals: Join industry-related groups and forums to connect with professionals and potential vendors.
  4. Evaluate their products: Once you have identified potential vendors, evaluate their products based on factors such as quality, taste, nutritional value, packaging, and price. You can request samples of their products to test before making a final decision.
  5. Consider their production and delivery capabilities: It is essential to work with vendors that have the production and delivery capabilities to meet your marketplace's demands. Ensure that they can produce and deliver the required quantity of products in a timely and cost-effective manner.
  6. Look for vendors with unique offerings: To differentiate your marketplace from competitors, look for vendors with unique product offerings that align with your target audience's preferences and needs.
  7. Check for compliance with regulations: It's important to work with vendors who comply with local and national regulations and certifications for food safety and quality.

What are the biggest risks of selling healthy snacks through your online marketplace?

Like any business, selling healthy snacks through your online marketplace comes with several risks. Here are some of the biggest risks to consider:

  1. Legal and regulatory risks: Food safety and labeling regulations can vary between states and countries, and failure to comply with these regulations can result in fines, legal action, and reputational damage. Ensuring that all products sold on your marketplace comply with relevant regulations and certifications is important.
  2. Quality control risks: As a marketplace owner, you may not have control over the quality of the products vendors sell. It's important to establish clear quality standards and vet vendors carefully to minimize the risk of selling subpar or unsafe products.
  3. Logistics and fulfillment risks: Fulfilling orders and managing logistics such as shipping and handling can be challenging, especially if you're working with multiple vendors. Late or incorrect deliveries, lost packages, and other issues can damage your reputation and lead to dissatisfied customers.
  4. Competition risks: The healthy snack market is becoming increasingly crowded, which means that you'll need to differentiate your marketplace from competitors and continuously innovate to remain relevant and attract customers.
  5. Financial risks: Starting and running an online marketplace requires significant investment in technology, marketing, and other operational costs. You'll need to carefully manage your finances and cash flow to ensure that you can sustain the business in the long term.
  6. Cybersecurity risks: As an online marketplace, you may be a target for cyber attacks such as data breaches, fraud, and other forms of online security threats. It's important to implement robust cybersecurity measures to protect your customers' data and your business's reputation.

What defines great customer support for your healthy snacks marketplace? 

Great customer support is essential for any marketplace, including one that sells healthy snacks. Here are some key factors that define great customer support for a healthy snack marketplace:

Responsive and friendly customer service

Customers should be able to easily reach out to the customer service team and receive prompt and helpful responses to their questions or concerns. The customer service representatives should be knowledgeable about the products being sold and be able to provide helpful guidance and support to customers.

Transparent and fair return policies

Customers should feel confident that they can return products that do not meet their expectations, and that they will receive fair and transparent treatment in the return process. A clear and easy-to-understand return policy can help build trust with customers.

High-quality product information and descriptions

Customers should be able to find comprehensive and accurate information about the healthy snacks being sold on the marketplace, including ingredients, nutritional information, and allergen warnings. This information can help customers make informed purchasing decisions and avoid any negative health consequences.

Efficient and reliable order fulfillment

Customers should receive their orders in a timely and reliable manner, with clear tracking information and communication about any delays or issues that may arise. A seamless order fulfillment process can help build trust and loyalty with customers.

Personalization and engagement

Customers should feel valued and engaged with the marketplace, with personalized recommendations and offers that are relevant to their interests and preferences. Engaging with customers through social media or email marketing campaigns can help build long-term relationships and repeat business.

By prioritizing these factors and providing exceptional customer support, a healthy snack marketplace can build a strong reputation for quality and reliability and stand out in a crowded and competitive market.

What do you need to know about the sales regulation of selling healthy snacks online in the USA?

As a seller of healthy snacks online in the USA, there are several sales regulations that you should be aware of to ensure compliance with the law. Here are a few key points to keep in mind:

Sales Tax

In the United States, sales tax is imposed at the state and local level, and the specific tax rates can vary depending on the location of the customer. As a seller, you may be required to collect and remit sales tax on the products sold in states where you have a physical presence (such as an office or warehouse) or where you have economic nexus, which is typically defined as exceeding a certain sales threshold or number of transactions in the state.

Nutritional Labeling

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that all packaged foods, including healthy snacks, be labeled with certain nutritional information, such as the serving size, calories, and nutrient content. As a seller of healthy snacks, you should ensure that your products comply with these labeling requirements and provide accurate and complete information to customers.

Food Safety

The FDA also regulates the safety and quality of food products sold in the United States, and there are specific guidelines and regulations for the production, processing, and packaging of food products. As a seller, you should ensure that your healthy snacks meet these standards and are produced in a safe and sanitary manner.

Allergen Labeling

The FDA requires that packaged foods containing major food allergens, such as peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat, be labeled with specific allergen information. As a seller of healthy snacks, you should ensure that your products comply with these allergen labeling requirements to help protect customers with food allergies.

Advertising and Marketing

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulates advertising and marketing practices in the United States, including claims about food products' health benefits or nutritional content. As a seller of healthy snacks, you should ensure that any advertising or marketing claims are truthful, substantiated, and not misleading to customers.

It's important to note that these regulations can be complex, and additional state or local regulations may apply to your specific business. Therefore, to ensure compliance, you may consult with a legal or tax professional familiar with the regulations applicable to online sales of healthy snacks in the United States.

What is the return policy of marketplaces for healthy snacks in the USA?

The return policy for marketplaces selling healthy snacks in the USA can vary depending on the specific marketplace and its vendors. Typically, marketplaces will have their own return policy that outlines the terms and conditions for returning products purchased through the platform. In general, most marketplaces will allow customers to return products if they are defective, damaged, or not as described. Some marketplaces may also allow returns for other reasons such as a change of mind, but this will depend on the individual marketplace's policy.

It's important to note that the return policy for products sold by individual vendors may differ from the marketplace's policy, and customers should review the specific terms and conditions before making a purchase. Additionally, some vendors may have their own return policy that customers will need to adhere to if they want to return a product. In general, customers should expect to provide proof of purchase and may need to pay for return shipping and handling fees.

How does Selldone make it easy to build a marketplace for healthy snacks?

Selldone is an e-commerce platform that makes it easy for businesses to build and launch an online marketplace for healthy snacks. Here are some of the ways Selldone can help:

  • Multi-Vendor marketplace: It allows marketplace owners to add unlimited vendors with their own panel.
  • White label: Vendors can log in to the panel on the marketplace domain, e.g., with the marketplace branding.
  • Supports all types of products: Marketplace can add any kind of products, including Physical, Services, Virtual, and File. It empowers the marketplace to attract a broader range of customers compared to a single-type marketplace.
  • Specific brand pages for vendors: Marketplace owners can use our Selldone drag-and-drop theme designer to create specific brand pages for vendors, which can be assigned to them based on their products and branding.
  • Intuitive dashboard for vendors: Vendors' panel has a clean and easy-to-use UI/UX in order to enable them to manage their orders and fulfill them efficiently.
  • Payment and commission management: The platform has a robust payment system that allows vendors to receive payments directly while allowing the marketplace owner to charge a commission on every transaction for different categories.
  • Auto-payment with Stripe Connect integration: Stripe Connect enables marketplaces to collect payments from customers and automatically pay out a portion to the sellers or vendors.

Selldone offers a comprehensive platform for businesses to build and launch an online marketplace for healthy snacks with ease, taking care of the technical details and allowing business owners to focus on growing their marketplace and reaching new customers.

What do our customers say about us?

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What are some popular healthy snack products to sell online?

Some popular healthy snack products to sell online include granola bars, nuts and seeds, protein bars and powders, dried fruits, and vegetable chips.

What are the benefits of selling healthy snacks through an online marketplace?

Selling healthy snacks through an online marketplace can offer several benefits, including the ability to reach a wider audience, reduced overhead costs, and the convenience of selling online.

How do I ensure the quality of my healthy snack products?

To ensure the quality of your healthy snack products, you should source high-quality ingredients from reputable suppliers and follow food safety guidelines and regulations.

How do I manage shipping and fulfillment for my healthy snack products?

Selldone has paved the way for online sellers to fulfill orders. Selldone integrates with popular shipping carriers and makes it easy for you to handle shipping and fulfillment for your healthy snacks.

Raena Mazahernasab
Written by Raena Mazahernasab
Published at: April 18, 2023 April 18, 2023

More insight about How to Start Selling Healthy Snacks in a Marketplace as a Side Hustle in the USA?

More insight about How to Start Selling Healthy Snacks in a Marketplace as a Side Hustle in the USA?