Business Opportunities in Food for Aspiring Entrepreneurs This 2023

Want to start a food business this year? Here are some opportunities you might want to explore based on 2022 trends in the food service and food delivery industry.

With the market expected to grow by 7.89% annually over the period of 2022 to 2027, the food industry is definitely booming!

In fact, as of 2021, accommodation and food service activities account for 14.10% of the total number of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the country. What’s more, it’s the second largest industry sector when it comes to MSMEs—as it accounted for 99.58% of the 1,080,810 business enterprises operating in the country in 2021 alone!

Given these numbers, aspiring entrepreneurs, franchisers, and business owners such as yourself may want to consider possible business opportunities in food. But it all starts with knowing what will sell.

To help you out, we put together some ideas for business opportunities in food based on trends—not just in the food service industry, but in the food delivery industry, too!

You Can’t Go Wrong with Fried Chicken and Korean Food

According to the study of the local food and grocery trends done by Grab, fried chicken ranks number one on the list of top orders on GrabFood for 2022. Moreover, it comes in second on the 2021 list, which goes to show that fried chicken has remained popular among customers. Definitely a popular product that food business owners should consider!

As for the other food that join fried chicken in the top five list, they are (in order) burgers, pasta, ice cream, and coffee. Meanwhile, burger steak, fries, pies, nuggets, and the iconic local dessert halo-halo also make it to the list.

While certain food items are popular only at a given period of time—seasonal dishes, so to speak—you can consider evergreen choices that sell well any time of the day, like burgers, fried chicken, and pasta.

As for which cuisine is the most popular according to the study, it is none other than Korean food. Cuisines from Japan, China, Thailand, and India have likewise made it to the top five list. 

Customers Have Been Stocking Up on Bread and Carbonated Drinks 

If you feel like a business in food service is not up your alley, but still want to stay within the food industry, you can opt to focus on grocery items instead. The pandemic and its multiple lockdowns have taught people to stock up on essentials and these are the products that have been popular per the Grab study:

  • Bread
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Chips
  • Bottled water
  • Instant noodles
  • Cultured milk
  • Vegetables
  • Canned foods
  • Evaporated milk and cream
  • Milk

Family Sets and Large Platters for Sharing

Go big or go home, as they say, and when it comes to holidays and group meals and reunions, customers like to go for family sets and large platters that can be shared with family and friends. 

Given the numerous holidays and countless get-togethers that Filipino families and barkadas like to have, business opportunities that focus on this particular market are worth exploring. The Grab study notes that pizzas, shareable grilled meat, fried food, and holiday-themed sets are possible options to consider. 

Making the Healthier Switch

If there is another thing that the pandemic has taught people, it’s to value their health. With that, it’s no surprise that many people have chosen to make the healthy switch, as far as their lifestyles and diets are concerned. 

According to Unilever Food Solutions, one of the top food trends in the Philippines for 2022 is none other than plant-based food. “Expect guests to look for fresh and organic produce and vegan meat alternatives,” Unilever Food Solutions says.

In fact, it is believed that the preference for plant-based dishes will continue—not just for vegetarians and vegans, but also for people who want to lessen their meat intake. This makes plant-based food an enticing business venture, with some businesses offering plant-based alternatives to their popular dishes.

Food and Waste Sustainability

In line with the healthier lifestyle that many people have adopted since the pandemic began, many customers have the tendency to go for brands that are sustainable—with production, the food itself, and how they deal with waste. If preparing and serving food is not your strong suit, you may want to consider being a supplier to food businesses, while focusing on sustainability. 

For example, you may want to cater to food businesses that are looking for organic ingredients, or even reusable and biodegradable packaging. 

“Diners are now concerned with every food item they consume, the ingredients that go in them, and whether those ingredients meet their standards,” Unilever Food Solutions explains in their report. “This emphasis on food sustainability has pushed food businesses to source raw materials from local farmers and producers to minimize transportation carbon footprints.”

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