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5 Reasons To Start A Fruit Business in 2021: Is It Profitable? 

 February 2, 2021

By  Mark Njoroge

Before we get into the subject, I believe your fundamental question is:

Is a fruit business profitable? A profitable fruit business margin can be between 50% - 80% per fruit sale. However, its profitability depends on factors like the location, the flow of the customers it’s getting in a day, the competitiveness of the service delivery, the freshness of fruits, among other factors. As a result, to run a profitable fruit business, you must optimize your business towards these factors for an optimal return on investment.

Therefore, stick with me to the end of this article, as I share invaluable insights on why starting a fruit selling business is a lucrative business idea.

But before we dive in, here is my advice.

Evaluate these reasons as the weights on a weighing machine helping you to determine whether the fruit business is profitable enough to invest your money into it.

Don’t just go in blindly, do your homework upfront.

With that, be the judge.

Here Are The 5 Reasons Why Selling Fruits Is A Lucrative Business

1

FRUIT BUSINESS IS IN THE CATEGORY OF FOOD INDUSTRY

In this specific point, I want us to stick to the fundaments.

Here is why.

As we all know, all living creatures MUST eat to survive.

Right?

Well, you and I are part of that large ecosystem of living things.

And when it comes to fruits, it’s one of the foods we eat in the category of foodstuffs.

Of course, unlike food that is perceived as fundamental for survival (to eliminate hunger) mostly in the modern culture, we associate fruits with status.

However, in most cases, we eat fruits for specific reasons. For instance, like appetizers. Sometimes, it’s for our health concerns (we’ll have a detailed look into this later). In an unfortunate situation, you’re hungry, but in your pocket, all you have is Ksh. 10. With this money, a fruit is all you can afford – a banana, a piece of pineapple or watermelon, and an avocado equivalent to the coin, are usually the casualties here.

For a second, can you imagine what this simple fact means in terms of a business opportunity? Don’t overcomplicate it, though.

But here is the point am trying to pass, this simple revelation means there’s always a market opportunity.

The opportunity of the market means there’s a chance to make a sale and benefit with profits.

All you and I need to do, it’s to create perfect conditions to meet the demand.

It’s that simple.

However, like I stated earlier, someone can argue out it’s not that fundamental. Fruits are not among the basics. They’re unnecessary luxury. Probably, you don’t even remember the last time you bought one.

 But wait, what about we get into the next point and have a closer look at what it means to eat fruits.

2

Fruits are associated with good health: Good Doctor's recommends them

According to a section of the nutrition guide published on the Harvard University, School of Health under the nutrition topic (here), I have counted over a dozen reasons why everyone should eat fruits. Of course, including vegetables

Let me share with you a snippet of a few of my favorites below.

  • Did you know, for a breast cancer patient, a high intake of fruits like bananas, apples, grapes, and oranges can ‘drastically’ fight cancer? And here’s what’s mind-blowing about it, if you have a teenage girl child, you better make one of these fruits a regular diet, if not all of them. She’ll have a 25% less chance of getting breast cancer in the future.
  • For a diabetic patient, or if you want to reduce the chances of getting type II diabetes, you better start including fruits like grapes, apples, and blueberries in your diet.
  • Eating fruits increases overall health vision. But even better, for aged people, fruits will help combat cataract and macular degenerations.
  • To look younger and healthy, what about you eat a fruit a day (Berries and Apples do well here)? If you do this for over 24 years, you’ll check your weight levels and live a healthy lifestyle.
  • And the one that excites me most, fruits, helps in easing digestion. You see, this was my problem for a while. But when I started eating fruits rich in fiber, let’s say, after the first medicinal treatment, my doctor taught me a lesson, I will never forget. As a result, I don’t go a day without taking a banana. To the extension of that, check on apples, mangoes, oranges, and strawberries.

Besides, this is the reason when you visit someone sick in the hospital, one of the packages for consolation it’s usually a bag of fruits.

Because…

…a fruit a day keeps doctor away.

Even kids can say this saying without stuttering.

Can you imagine how many people believe in this adage?

That group, it’s your target market, I included.

With all these facts, I guess you can connect the dots.

But it’s not over, let’s head to the next point for more.

3

A Fruit Sale can make a Profit margin of 50% - 80% Plus a Bonus of minimal entry barrier

We’ll let me take you to a familiar scene.

In every street, especially here in Nairobi and in all major towns, regardless of your country of origin, you can’t walk more than a block without seeing a woman carrying a bucket of pearled fruits. Or rather, a fruit parlor in a busy street.

Here in Kenya, mostly they sell watermelons or pineapples.

The business model it’s damn simple.

  • Just buy a pinnacle, mostly between, Ksh. 50 – 150 (A watermelon is within the same pricing points).
  • Slice them into small bits between 6 - 10 pieces per pineapple, to sell at Ksh. 10 – 20 depending on the size.
  • Use a semi-translucent bucket, for silent advertisement, as ferrying equipment.
  • Don’t forget to carry your kitchen fork and knife. Ooh, and slice some of your old “Unga Ugali” packs as a napkin holder, if on budget.
  • Lastly, ship the product to the willing buyers.

As you can see, this is damn simple.

By giving it a closer look in terms of investments and the projected returns, I can confidently say there’s a low entry barrier.

The profit margins are enticing too.

On average, the margins are between 50% - 80% per fruit sold.

To further illustrate, here is a small case study.

I once got an opportunity to find out how much someone I know was earning a day.

I got my feedback from my favorite fruit vendor, who happens to be among those ladies doing door-to-door fruit vending.

Frankly, her fruits are always tasty, fresh, and clean – never had a stomach ache.

Let’s call her ‘Grace’ for the identification’s sake.

Grace is a mother of two, and selling fruits it’s her job status. It’s her business. It’s all she knows at the age of 34. Besides, this business supplements her husband’s income. Well, with this economy, everyone has to contribute.

Her business includes only two fruits; pineapples and watermelons.

One day after my purchase and a sweet chat, I wanted to know how much she makes from the business in a day.

Here is her response.

To my surprise, she gave me a figure of a minimum of Ksh. 300 a day. But on a good day, she’ll make up to Ksh. 800 (Pure profits minus expenses).

That is mind-blowing.

How many people make such an amount of money a day just selling fruits?

Well, as you can tell, this is a simplistic overview of the business.

There is so much when it comes to the fruit selling business.

However, I didn’t want to overcomplicate things for you.

But, what about we view this argument from a different angle?

Let’s get into that rant in the next point.

4

There’s A guarantee of Supply of fruits in the market

You see, there is this rule of demand and supply.

In its simplistic overview, where there is demand, a steady supply will stabilize the market. That will translate, both the seller and the buyer will go home happy.

I have a hunch that might be a head-aching concept. But if you want to get geeky with it, here is the link for your exploration (The Law of Supply and Demand).

That aside.

Let’s focus on the must-knows - the basics - how a steady supply may lead to a profitable fruit business.

So, here is one concept on supply you must know.

In every busy town, there is always a steady and competitive supply of all kinds of goods. With the sheer number of populations in millions, the city is ever hungry for more. It means every farmer or supplier, regardless of the lair they come from, all they want is to make the city happy and fill its belly.

If you always wonder why all good roads lead to the city, this must be the reason. Activities have to move in and out fast without causing delays and commotion.

Well, here is the thing.

Even fruits, gets a share of this pie.

That alone is good news for you.

Let me explain.

You see, with a steady supply, it means you’ll never run out of stock.

Sure, there will be fluctuations in prices here and there because of the seasonality.

However, despite the seasonality, the fruit market will always have something to sell to you.

That news is what I believe a small trader like you should be excited about because you’ll always replenish your supply regardless.

And still, you can always switch to a profitable fruit trending in that particular season.

5

There are no Upfront processing costs

For a small trader selling fruits, there are low upfront costs when setting this business. 

Let me elaborate on this one further.

You see…

For an easy start, like a door-to-door vendor, all you'll require is a bucket, napkins, a fork, and a kitchen knife.

For someone with a fairer capital and adopting a smaller model of door-to-door marketing, all you'll need extra, is a pull cart or pushcart.

For those looking to start the business in a permanent establishment, it’s all about the recurring rent cost, the initial cost of installing shelves, business permits, even on a limited budget, you won’t need a refrigerator - freezer.

In all three options, the input is just A FRUIT, right as it is direct from the farmer. There is nothing special beyond that.

As noted earlier, these facts make this business have a low entry barrier. Still, it leaves what we mostly care about, on the table – better profit margins.

is fruit business profitable - featured image

So, Is Fruit Business A Good Business For You?

The fact that the fruit business is part of the food industry, it’s healthy to eat, it leaves a 50-80% profit margin, the supply of the product is available, and there is no huge upfront cost of the investment - makes it one of the lucrative businesses to consider. Especially when you have a small capital as low as Ksh. 200 ($2).

Furthermore, I believe, with the in-depth analysis of each point, you’ve gained a clear picture of what you’ll be investing in.

If you had doubts, I believe you’ve gained clarity.

If you needed reassurance, now you have concrete reasoning.

And if you were seeking an idea, I believe this article has clearly pointed the WHYs.

Of course, there're more into this topic including the downsides. However, let’s leave that topic for a broader discussion.

With that, let’s get into the next step, where I will take you through a step-by-step process of setting a fruit business – your fruit parlor palace.

FAQ Section

Am a Student (University or college), Can I start a fruit business in my campus?

Of course, this business has a low entry barrier.  Furthermore, there’s a high concentration of people in one place. That means a jackpot. However, before starting, do your market analysis first.

Between choosing a door-to-door model and a permanent location, which of these business models are profitable for a fruit business?

The adoption of either model depends entirely on-demand in the market. First, can you get enough traffic to your business? If yes, set up a permanent location to cultivate loyal customers. But on the aspects of, am I comfortable to do door-to-door model, it entirely depends on you. In my honest opinion, the door-to-door model can be more profitable than a permanent fruit parlor business, because of creating the convenience. But it needs a lot of dedication and your time. However, for a permanent setup, figure out a way to do home deliveries, your business will become a hybrid. You will reap both benefits.

How much capital do I need to start a fruit business?

To a minimum, in Kenya, you can start a fruit business with as low as Ksh. 200 (See the example I shared in point no.3). What's important is raw input, the rest of the equipments you can pick from a your kitchen. But for a more specialized business, the capital depends on the size of your pocket. A factor like your market analysis can play along here, too. For example, a favorable result, with enough setup capital at your disposal, means invest big-time, the vice versa holds.

 

What other related businesses Can I Setup Besides a Fruit Business to max my profit margins?

You can set up fruit salad besides your fruits. Alongside, you can make fresh fruit juice. Many people prefer natural fruit juice to processed. This one has a huge potential when you carefully craft your business model. However, in both cases, you'll have to invest in extra equipment like juicers, blenders, and freezers. For a bonus, do market research on which vegetables can go well with fruits.

Mark Njoroge


Meet Mark. He is one of the co-founders of Biasharatalk. He's on an adventure to make business ecosystem survivable because he believes the world is ruthless for another choppy startup. That's why he has sworn to make your business life painless, fun, and hopeful. Join him at Biasharatalk as he passionately chats about latest proven business strategies.

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