Dropshipping Food: Suppliers, Product Ideas, Tips & Alternatives

Martin

Aww, food. Is there anyone who doesn’t love it? Probably not. Everyone loves delicious food, and we do eat on a daily basis. And dropshipping food may sound like a great idea to make money online.

Though there are many advantages of selling food items through your dropshipping store, you also need to consider some challenges and disadvantages thereof.

But if you know the best-selling products, the most reputable dropshipping suppliers, and some dropshipping expert tips for entering and succeeding in the dropshipping food industry, your dropshipping business might be a success.

So, let’s get started.

Pros and cons of dropshipping food

Let’s see if the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

Pros

• Low return rate

One of the pros of dropshipping food is that the return rate is so low. We are not trying to say that you should become a food dropshipper just because the return rate for food is extremely low.

What we are trying to say is that it is important to understand those food items do not have to fit perfectly in comparison with other items such as shoes or clothing.

Long story short, customers do not often return food items bought online. Just take a look at the picture below.

shopping return rate

• Great possibility of repeat purchases

Another advantage of selling food through your dropshipping store is that if a customer likes your food item, they will surely come back to buy more.

And dropshipping food is a good way to encourage repeat purchases. (We eat every day, don’t we?) Sure, to achieve that, you need to offer quality products, deliver exceptional customer service, and build customer loyalty.

• No need to worry about shelf-life and spoilage

This does not mean that you, as a dropshipper, can sell food products past their expiration dates.

But this means that you do not have to worry about your products’ shelf-life and spoilage because your dropshipping supplier is responsible for that.

That’s why it is of utmost importance to find and partner with a good dropshipping food supplier.

Cons

• Food availability

Almost all groceries and food items can be bought at the supermarket or the grocery store. Also, food delivery is no longer limited to foods like pizza and burgers.

But many things simply can’t be found at the supermarket or the grocery store, right?

This is one of the reasons why many people choose to buy food online. Another reason is that some people do not have enough time to do their grocery shopping.

And the practice of online food shopping is neither new nor uncommon. For example, the US e-commerce food & beverage industry was worth nearly US$19 billion in 2020. And it is estimated to reach US$25.7 billion by 2025.

• Legal requirements for food sold online

To start dropshipping food, you must know and understand the laws pertaining to the food industry.

This may be one of the most challenging aspects of starting your business. But read on to learn how to overcome the challenge.   

• Hard to gain customer trust

Unfortunately, it is difficult to tell the quality of a product online, particularly when it comes to food. And online buyers know that.

Thus, it might be hard to establish a trusted brand name.

But, as we have already said, you can gain customer trust and confidence by offering quality food items; being honest, transparent, and reachable; and delivering impeccable customer service.

4 dropshipping food product ideas to take into consideration

Food is a huge industry. But not all types of food items sell well online.

So, instead of offering “food for anyone,” you should get more specific with your dropshipping niche.

Before starting your dropshipping business, do not miss our recommendations for the best food items.

1. Organic, healthy foods and beverages

Organic food purchases have skyrocketed as health-conscious customers opt for organic, healthy foods and beverages to feed and nourish themselves and their loved ones.

This is in large part due to improved awareness of the detrimental effects of certain chemicals found in non-organic foods.

And buying certified organic foods and drinks is one way health-conscious customers move closer to their healthy eating goals.

From nutrient-dense foods and protein bars to organic teas and botanicals, herbs & spices, you can add a variety of products to your dropshipping store.

There are many dropshipping suppliers to partner with within this niche.

You just need to decide on this product idea, start a dropshipping food business, and market your products so that your customers can buy a variety of healthy products without ever leaving their homes.

2. Vegan food items

In 2020, the plant-based food market contributed nearly $29.5 billion to the global economy.

This is a fast-growing industry. And plant-based sales, including vegan sales, could surpass $77 billion by 2025, hitting $160 billion by 2030.

This is a good indicator that more and more customers are buying plant-based foods nowadays – and that trend is not going to fade out anytime soon because of consumer demand.

But which types of products to sell within this niche? You can sell plenty of products, including vegan snacks, soy & nut-based dairy alternatives, vegan health supplements, etc.

3. Kitchenware

Yeah, we know that kitchenware does not belong to the dropshipping food niche. Still, this is a product category you may want to consider when selling foods online.

Namely, many people throughout the world love cooking and preparing tasty meals. And they are willing to spend money on kitchenware online.

So, here are a few irresistible kitchenware product recommendations: coffee & teacups; cute & funny kids’ plates; wooden plates; lunch boxes; etc.

4. Food-related products

Product ideas for dropshipping food need to be innovative sometimes. So, you may want to add some funny and interesting food-related products to your product catalog.

For instance, cloth napkins are great sellers for dropshipping food businesses.

Food-themed clothing (e.g., t-shirts and socks) is also a good way to be innovative with food-related product ideas.

7 TOP dropshipping food suppliers

Here is a list of 7 credible dropshipping suppliers of food items.

1. Bangalla

bangalla food dropshipping

One of the largest dropshipping food suppliers in North America, Bangalla offers a wide range of organic and natural products.

The company carries hundreds of brands across 120+ product categories.

From vegan and gluten-free products to healthy snacks, this company can be your first source of organic and healthy products for your dropshipping store.

At Bangalla, they do not charge dropshipping and handling fees. They also do not ask you to order a minimum amount of food products.

But they do have three pricing plans. Check them out to see if one is suitable for you.

2. eSutras Organics

dropshipping food suppliers

This company is a manufacturer, wholesale distributor, and dropshipping supplier based in the United States.

By joining its dropshipping program, you can have shipped everything from 100% USDA-certified organic herbs and spices to superfoods and teas directly to your customers.

eSutras Organics is willing to ship single orders directly to your customers.

To start dropshipping food with eSutras Organics, you need to create an account and pay for your dropshipping membership.

3. YouBar

youbar food manufacturing

Founded 15 years ago, YouBar is a family-owned business. Since then, the company has been manufacturing and supplying its customers with protein bars.

YouBar offers multiple services, including recipe/formula development, packaging & design, private labeling, Amazon fulfillment, and more.

Though YouBar is not a typical dropshipping food supplier, it is actually a dropship fulfillment consultancy that provides consulting and advisory services.

This way, the company can help you pick the best dropshipping fulfillment partner for your online business.

4. Teas and Thes

teas and teas organic

Located in China, Teas and Thes has been in business since 2005. In addition, the company sells everything one needs to make and enjoy a refreshing cup or pot of tea.

However, the company’s signature is its organic teas, like Organic Green Tea Powder, Organic Bai Hao tea, Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder, etc.

If you choose Teas and Thes as your dropshipping food supplier, the company can send its products directly to your customers through its dropshipping service.

5. UNFI

unfi organic food company

As a large US-based natural and organic food company, UNFI boasts 50+ distribution centers. Thus, the company provides fast delivery.

Want to build your dropshipping business in the natural food market and start dropshipping food? UNFI may be your best bet. Why?

Because it offers dropshipping for more than 35,000 non-perishable food items. Plus, it has no MOQ or any order frequency requirements.

Learn more: What is MOQ and how to handle it for your dropshipping store?

6. Deja Vegan

deja vegan

Deja Vegan carries 100+ nutritious, healthy, and mouth-watering snacks for vegans and those who want to have healthier lifestyles and care about animals.

Moreover, Deja Vegan is a PETA Business Partner. So it comes as no surprise that it donates a significant portion of its profits to help improve the lives of animals around the world.

If you want to dropship vegan snacks and products such as vegan gummies, chips, puffs, crackers, energy bars, and more, consider partnering with this supplier.

7. AliExpress

As you probably know, AliExpress is a huge Chinese marketplace, where you can find literally anything you can think of.

And it is not a typical dropshipping food supplier. But on the site, you can find a wide array of kitchenware and food-related items.

Check out our previous articles to learn how to source from AliExpress as well as how to reduce AliExpress shipping times.

4 tips for new dropshippers in the food industry

Haven’t you found your personal dropshipping business advisor yet? We hope that the following tips for new dropshipping store owners can help get you started.

1. Become familiar with the legal requirements  

Different countries and regions have different food laws and licensing requirements, and certain food sectors might be subject to additional rules. For instance, you might need to obtain a reseller’s permit.

So, it is recommended that you consult a lawyer and visit the official website of your local government to find info specific to your region and dropshipping business.

2. Ensure the safety and quality of your food items

It is perfectly understandable that the food industry is closely regulated and monitored by national and regional government organizations for ensuring public safety.

As mentioned above, when entering the food industry, you have to view food safety as a top priority. But as you are a dropshipping store owner (you do not manufacture the food you sell online), it is your dropshipping supplier’s responsibility to take care of it.

Thus, you must look for and partner with reputable dropshipping suppliers to ensure that you sell safe and quality food items online.

3. Set the ideal prices for your products

If you are new to dropshipping food, pricing your dropshipping products may be a tricky process.

Let’s face it, your profit margins will suffer, provided that you set very low prices for your products. What’s more, in the food industry, low prices might be a sign of low quality.

On the other hand, setting high prices for your food items may alienate your audience. Therefore, it is crucial to get the balance right.

For example, research your industry and the prices set by your competition. This method appears to be a good starting point for finding the ideal prices for your products.

However, if you offer unique food items or items with top-notch, organic ingredients, you can take advantage of the value-based pricing methodology and set higher prices for your products.

Just do your best to show your products’ value to your customers.

4. Add a blog to your website

Blogging is an awesome type of content marketing for dropshipping. Blog posts are a great way to inform potential customers about what you are doing, increase engagement, and boost sales.

So, it is advisable to create a blog on your dropshipping website that will function as a high-quality resource of information for current food trends, recipes, diets, healthy foods, and more.

Is it wise to start dropshipping food?

There are some challenges involved in dropshipping food items or any other type of edible goods. But you can overcome them if you take into consideration the advice provided above.

Selling food through your dropshipping store is definitely not “easy money.” However, therein lies the potential for gain.