Dropshipping Organic Food: How To Sell Groceries Online
There’s a reason why dropshipping organic food products is increasing in popularity. For starters, there’s a growing focus among consumers on health awareness and eating natural “clean” food. Consumers want food and beverages they trust and that they believe are good for them. Many are even willing to pay a premium for high quality natural and organic products.
Another reason is the growing power of ecommerce. More and more people prefer the convenience of shopping online versus having to go find something at the store. Especially when it comes to specialty items, like premium organic sauces, teas, or other gourmet food products. Insider Intelligence projects online grocery adoption will reach 55% of US consumers by the end of 2024. That’s big news!
As an online retailer and entrepreneur, you can easily capitalize on this trend by launching a food dropshipping business. Stick with us and we’ll show you how.
Why Dropshipping Organic Food Is A Smart Choice
You’ve decided that you want to start a new online business, and you’re thinking about dropshipping food products. That’s a smart strategy.
With dropshipping, you only need to purchase the food items you actually sell. Thereby eliminating pretty much all of your inventory risk.
How Dropshipping Works
Dropshipping is an order fulfillment method that allows retailers to sell products without actually stocking them. Maintaining inventory comes with a lot risks such as value loss, spoilage, excess inventory, or supply shortfall.
These risks can make the barrier to entry into the online grocery space too high for people who want to sell products online as a side job. It requires up-front investment, and can be extremely time-consuming. Dropshipping solves for this.
Think about it, where else are you going to find a online business model that enables you to start selling with:
- Little to no startup costs
- Never having to stock inventory
- No packaging or shipping out orders
With dropshipping, you won’t ever need to store or manage any inventory. Your supplier maintains all the products for you, then pulls, packs and ships out orders directly to your final customers. How easy is that?
Basically, you get to focus your time and energy on what you do best as an entrepreneur, marketing to attract the right niche customers to your online store. Your dropshipping supplier handles the rest.
Benefits Of Dropshipping Food
Another smart reason to sell food online is that the return rate is so low. Compared to other products like clothes or shoes, food doesn’t have to fit perfectly or be the right style. It only needs to be eaten. Which means the return rate for food is extremely low.
Online food shoppers buy products they know they enjoy or value. They look for name brands they trust, and rely on ingredient lists and certified labeling such as USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, and Vegan to know they’re getting exactly what they need.
One of the biggest challenges you face when dealing with online food sales is ensuring products are shipped in a timely manner, and are in excellent condition upon receipt. If you can achieve that, many shoppers will undoubtedly come back to buy more. Selling staple products like groceries is a great way to encourage repeat business!
Working with a reliable food dropshipping supplier is how you ensure your products are delivered fresh and on time.
Plus when dropshipping food items, you also have to factor in refrigeration needs. Many items have to be stored in a temperature controlled environment or even delivered frozen. And some products come in glass jars or bottles, which require special handling. An experienced dropshipper will manage all of these logistical issues for you.
Why Choose Organic Food
There are literally millions of grocery products to choose from. It makes sense to narrow your focus. One way to do this is to offer brands consumers perceive as being of higher-quality, such as certified organic foods.
The organic industry keeps growing year after year. And for the last ten years, it’s rate of growth outpaces that of the non-organic sector as shown in the chart below.
Consumers are becoming more knowledgeable about ingredients, as well as the processes used to produce their food. They’re looking for grocery products that are the healthiest for their bodies, and the greenest choice for the environment. Organic food products check all these boxes.
A Newcastle University meta-study found significantly higher levels of beneficial antioxidants, less pesticide residue and lower levels of cadmium in organic crops versus conventional crops. Organic products are also free from GMOs.
In addition, organic farming tends to be better for the environment. Organic farming practices can reduce pollution, conserve water, reduce soil erosion, increase soil fertility, and use less energy. Farming without synthetic pesticides is also better for nearby birds and animals as well as people who live close to farms.
With all these benefits, it’s no wonder the organic industry is experiencing record-breaking growth. It’s also no wonder you’re considering adding organic food and beverages to your online dropshipping store.
How To Dropship Food Items
Once you’ve settled on the what (dropshipping groceries) it’s time to talk about the how. That means building and promoting your online store, and choosing your organic food dropshipping supplier.
There are four (4) basic steps to get your ecommerce food business up and running. Let’s dive in and get started!
1. Pick A Niche For Your Online Business
In the natural and organic grocery space, you really have the opportunity to showcase your passion for healthy lifestyles and organic farming practices. By establishing yourself as a values-driven business that cares about helping customers and the environment, you can attract a loyal customer base.
But organic grocery is still an extremely broad category. To be successful, you’ll likely want to pick an even more specialized dropshipping niche than that. Specialization is what allows you to stand out from the crowd, find your ideal customer, communicate more effectively and compete on a smaller playing field.
Some entrepreneurs worry that narrowing their focus limits their potential customer base and will cost them sales. When in reality, the opposite is true.
Choosing a more targeted niche is an excellent business strategy for the following four (4) reasons:
Reason 1: Customers will consider you an expert if you specialize in specific food items. You can really drive this point home by having strong product descriptions for the food items in your online store.
Reason 2: An online store with a well-defined niche creates more loyal customers. Consumers learn to trust your expertise in your chosen category.
Reason 3: It’s easy to get overwhelmed with a giant retailer. Many consumers prefer online stores with a limited, but high-quality selection specifically curated for their unique needs.
Reason 4: Potential customers are willing to pay a premium for certain products, particularly if you choose natural and organic products in your niche market.
Some popular niches in the dropshipping organic food space include; keto products, vegetarian and vegan products, sports nutrition and protein powders, organic supplements, hemp products, and organic spices.
If you’re still unsure of which dropshipping food niche is right for you, try researching current food trends and see if anything jumps out. You might discover a food category you hadn’t even considered before.
2. Set Up Your Online Store
This is a relatively straightforward step. You’ll need to choose your web hosting service, and payment gateway, which is the service that will allow you to accept payment from your online customers. You’ll also need to design and build your actual website.
You can go about this a couple of ways, but two of the most popular options are to build a WordPress site with the WooCommerce plugin or to launch an online store on Shopify. Both of these platforms are optimized for ecommerce, which makes setting up your store pretty painless.
If you already have a WordPress site, or you really want to design and customize something from the ground up – WooCommerce might be the right choice for your business. This plugin instantly makes your WP site shoppable. Plus it’s scalable, and offers other features like web hosting, SEO, configurable shipping and more.
If you want something a little more plug-and-play that comes with pre-built design templates and easy set-up, Shopify might be your choice. Shopify connects easily to social media, online marketplaces and your own website, so you can sell anywhere. Plus the platform offers a ton of really useful apps that do everything from email marketing to lead generation and bookkeeping.
One thing to keep in mind when choosing an ecommerce platform is to be sure it will integrate with your chosen dropshipping food supplier(s).
For additional information on building your online store, check out the following resources:
- How to Dropship: 7 Steps To Build A Store
- How To Start An Online Store
- The Ultimate Guide To Shopify Website Design
3. Choose A Dropshipping Supplier
This is arguably the most important step in the process. You should treat your dropshipping food supplier as a partner in your business. In other words, you’ll be working together to retain customers and boost your profit margins.
Be sure you choose a reputable supplier with an extensive inventory of organic food items as well as the ability to quickly, efficiently, and safely ship those items.
Remember, your customers think the food items you sell come directly from you. Therefore, they’ll associate the service they receive from your dropshipping supplier with your brand. It’s all the same in their minds.
Which is why it’s essential to choose a quality supplier that does the job right, so you’ll get repeat business. We’ll give you some more tips for finding the right dropshipping supplier in the next section of this post.
4. Promote Your Online Food Store
Dropshipping is an attractive business model because it allows online retailers to focus on connecting with customers while suppliers handle all the logistics. However, in order for your online store to be profitable, you need to grab your customers’ attention. That’s why having a solid marketing plan in place is critical.
Here are seven (7) marketing tips to help you build a better ecommerce store:
Tip 1: Build trust by adding customer reviews and testimonials to your website. Potential customers will want to hear about other peoples’ experiences.
Tip 2: Run Facebook Ads and/or Instagram Ads to reach potential customers. Each of these platforms have pros and cons, depending on your needs and budget.
Tip 3: Engage on social media and create shareable content. Consumers will likely buy groceries from your store because they feel a personal connection to your brand, so be sure you have an approachable persona on social media.
Tip 4: Use retargeting techniques to increase conversion rates. About 92% of visitors have no intention of buying anything during their first visit, so be sure you launch an abandoned cart campaign or use Facebook or Google Ads to reconnect with customers and get them to come back.
Tip 5: Write a blog on your niche topic. This is the best way to implement search engine optimization (SEO) and drive organic traffic to your website. Be sure you consistently post new, quality content that is keyword-rich and matches user search intent.
Tip 6: Build a subscriber list and develop an email marketing strategy to build a stronger relationship with your customers.
Tip 7: Offer promotions and deals. Once you have your mailing list, send out targeted promotional emails that incentivize visits to your online store. Additionally, make sure you are cross-selling and up-selling by offering bundled or related items.
RELATED: Your Complete Marketing Guide For Dropshipping
Finding The Right Dropshipping Food Supplier
Before you can import organic products into your online store, you need to find the right dropshipping supplier(s) to partner with. As we mentioned above, this is critical to the success of your food dropshipping business.
Your goal is to work with a ‘best-in-class’ wholesale supplier that is clearly invested in natural and organic products and has knowledge of the industry. There are many methods you can use to find an organic food dropshipping supplier, but these two are the most common and a good place to start.
1. Search Your Ecommerce Platform
Try doing a Google search related to whichever ecommerce platform you use. For example, try searching “Shopify dropshipping food supplier” or “WooCommerce dropshipping grocery supplier” to find suppliers that will integrate with your online store.
Then check their online catalog to see if they offer a good selection of natural and organic food products that align with your dropshipping niche.
2. Check Supplier Directories
Consult an online supplier directory. These resources provide updated lists of prescreened suppliers and the type of products they offer. Some of the more popular directories include:
Key Traits To Look For In A Grocery Dropshipper
When evaluating different suppliers, what should you look for? What are some ‘best-in-class’ traits you’d expect to find in a quality dropshipping food supplier?
As you narrow your list of potential suspects, consider the following five (5) items:
No. 1: Offers a variety of high-quality products that are in-demand. Potential customers will want to buy name brand food items that are responsibly-sourced, well-made, and delicious. Consumers also look for assurance from labels such as; USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, Fair-Trade, Vegan, Animal Welfare Approved, Gluten Free, Kosher, and 100% Grass-Fed.
No. 2: Innovative tools to help you track sales and source products. The best dropshipping suppliers will integrate with your ecommerce platform and include detailed product descriptions, high-resolution images, searchable order histories, real-time inventory tracking, and customizable data feeds.
No. 3: Knowledgeable representatives that understand the organic food industry. Good suppliers want you to succeed, and will share the latest food trends and ecommerce tips with you via a dedicated blog, email newsletter, or social media. You want to partner with someone who keeps you informed.
No 4: The ability to ship products quickly and efficiently. For many consumers, this is one of the most important parts of online shopping. Your supplier shouldn’t take longer than 1 to 2 business days to pack and ship a given item. This is why for food products, a domestic ‘Made in USA’ dropshipping supplier is usually the best choice.
No 5: If you’re selling glass or perishable food items, make sure your dropshipping supplier can ship these without breakage or spoilage!
All of these are important traits when looking for dropshipping suppliers for food items. In addition, you might want to ask any potential suppliers the following eight (8) vetting questions.
8 Important Questions To Ask Food Dropshipping Suppliers
- What is the membership fee? And are there any additional ‘costs’, like delivery or restocking fees?
- Are there any minimum order requirements?
- Do you specialize in a specific niche or type of food product?
- What is your return policy?
- How about the warranty policy on defective or stale-dated food items?
- What’s your average shipping time? Where will my products be shipped from?
- What are the quality assurance steps you take to ensure food products arrive undamaged and at the proper temperature?
- How can I contact you if I need help or have additional questions?
GreenDropShip is a reputable domestic food dropshipping supplier that meets all the above criteria. With over 20,000 natural and organic products, we have an extensive inventory of products to fit almost any niche.
GreenDropShip also offers competitive pricing, no minimum order requirements, customer service, easy integration with every major ecommerce platform, and quick shipping. Plus we have the tools you need to succeed; including detailed product information, images, marketing tips, and more. We even launched the GreenDropShip app for Shopify so you can add products to your Shopify store with just 1-click.
Check out our full online catalog to see the many natural and organic products we offer. Or to learn more about joining and integrating your online store, simply contact our support team and they can get you started.
Top 7 Organic Food Products To Dropship
Once you’ve narrowed in on a dropshipping food niche and located a supplier, it’s time to start thinking about what kind of products you want to offer.
What would appeal to your target audience? What organic food brands have great stories you can incorporate into your content marketing plan?
Here are seven (7) of the top organic food products you might want to consider adding to your online store. All of these products, and more, are available from GreenDropShip.
1. Organic Vegan and Vegetarian Food
By shifting from animal to plant-based meat and eggs, consumers can address four growing global issues: human health, climate change, constraints on natural resources, and animal welfare. Offering customers vegan alternatives gives them food choices they can feel good about.
Here are a few popular vegan food products available for dropshipping worth adding to your ecommerce store.
Annie’s Homegrown: Organic Vegan Mac Cheddar Flavor
Something vegan and organic that kids will actually like? Yup, that’s Annie’s Homegrown Vegan Mac Cheddar.
- No Artificial Flavors
- No Synthetic Colors or Preservatives
- Plant-Based Recipe
- USDA Certified Organic
- Over 900 Amazon reviews with an average rating of 4.7 stars
Stonyfield: Organic Made from Soy Yogurt
Think you can’t be vegan and enjoy yogurt? Think again! Stonyfield makes it possible with their organic soy versions that are both healthy and taste great.
Customers can eat as a snack or light lunch, but they’ll feel good knowing they’re putting the best ingredients in their body.
- Gluten Free
- Kosher Certified
- Non GMO
- USDA Organic
2. Organic Dairy and Eggs
Organic dairy is growing faster than the conventional market. This growth trend is fueled by an increasing number of health-conscious consumers that want to avoid the chemical pesticides and GMOs that make their way into the diets of conventionally raised factory-farm animals.
By offering your customers an organic alternative, you’re helping them find the kind of quality products they feel good about putting in their bodies.
When thinking about organic dairy and eggs, you definitely want to consider Organic Valley. A recent consumer survey ranked Organic Valley as the #1 most trusted organic brand. And for good reason! This is definitely a brand with an inspiring story that your customers will feel good about buying.
All of their products are 100% grass-fed dairy, organic and non-GMO. In fact, Organic Valley was one of the original pioneers of the organic movement and helped set the USDA’s strict organic standards.
When importing items into your online store, be sure to check out their full lineup of Made in USA organic products; Eggs, protein powder, meats, and especially their dairy items (milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, etc.).
This is a brand that will appeal to different buyer personas. Organic Valley’s commitment to locally sourced ingredients is attractive to people that want to stimulate the economy. While their organic farming practices appeal to both health-conscious and eco-conscious consumers alike.
3. Organic Keto Products
The keto diet can be difficult to maintain. Which is why consumers look for packaged food products to make adhering to the plan more convenient.
To find the best quality keto-friendly foods, it’s essential to check the nutrient label to verify the product has a low total or net carb count. Also be on the lookout for products made with quality ingredients that are free of artificial sweeteners.
Offering consumers premium keto options (and explaining what makes them special) is one great way to help your online store standout from the crowd! Here are a couple of keto food products available for dropshipping.
Drews: Hot Thick & Chunky Salsa
Drews makes a tasty organic salsa for topping and dipping your favorite foods. This thick & chunky salsa is hot, but not too hot, making it perfect for those who want a little bit of heat without burning their tongues.
- Gluten Free
- Paleo & Keto Compliant
- Free from Big-8 Allergens
Sunwarrior: Warrior Blend Protein Powder
Keto adherents need a lot of protein. One great source is protein powder, which can be added to smoothies and other drinks. Trouble is, not all protein powders are created equal.
This one from Sunwarrior is plant-based, and provides a full amino acid profile. Warrior Blend is easy to digest, so your customers’ bodies can quickly assimilate and use the protein.
- Organic Plant-Based Protein
- Keto and Paleo Friendly
- BCAAs – A full amino acid profile to build lean muscle
- Soy-Free, Gluten-Free, and no added sugars
- Over 1,880 Amazon reviews with an average rating of 4.6 Stars
4. Organic Beverages
Organic food isn’t only what you can chew, the organic beverage market is also seeing growth year-over-year. Health conscious consumers look for organic coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks and juice.
Meet consumer demand by adding some organic beverages to your online store! Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Organic Coffee Co.
All coffee beans from the Organic Coffee Co. have been certified “USDA Organic” by CCOF. This means they’re grown without chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides. This brand features only coffee whose farms have specifically become organic certified.
They also offer a wide range of flavor profiles, from french roast, to french vanilla, breakfast blend, guatemalan, zen blend, and more. Available in ground or whole bean, regular or decaffeinated.
Bigelow: Organic Green Tea with Ginger
This soothing blend combines organic green tea with probiotics and a zesty hint of organic ginger and sweet organic spices. In fact, Bigelow Tea was the first to overcome the challenge of finding a strain of probiotics hearty enough to survive the high heat of boiling water and deliver beneficial probiotics to the digestive tract.
This tea is a powerhouse of healthy ingredients consumers will love.
- All Natural
- Gluten Free
- Kosher Parve
- Non-GMO Project Verified
- USDA Organic
Santa Cruz Organic Raspberry Lemonade
Want to give the kids a drink that’s both delicious and organic to boot? High quality organic juices like this raspberry lemonade might be just what your customers need!
- Gluten Free
- Non-GMO Project Verified
- No Artificial Ingredients
- No refined Sugar
5. Organic Sauces, Condiments, and Spices
Although one of the smaller organic food categories, the products in the organic condiment category saw some of the biggest growth. Sales of organic ethnic sauces; curry, chipotle, sriracha, Korean BBQ – reached $77 million for the strongest growth rate ever of more than 23%!
Organic ketchup sales also spiked in 2019 to $57 million, up almost 16%, thanks to healthier versions of this classic condiment, including sugar-free and low sugar offerings. Organic spices recorded $345 million in sales with more than 15 percent growth.
All of these products make great additions to your dropshipping food store. Here are a few of our favorites.
Primal Kitchen: Unsweetened Organic Ketchup
Ketchup is a condiment that’s usually loaded with sugar. However, Primal Kitchen’s ketchup is unsweetened (no dates, syrup, or honey even) and contains just 2 grams net carbs per tablespoon. Making it both healthier and keto-friendly.
- USDA Certified Organic
- Whole30 Approved, Keto and Paleo-Friendly
- Over 3,000 Amazon reviews with an average rating of 4.4 stars
Red Duck Hot Honey Chipotle Organic BBQ Sauce
This memphis style sauce from Red Duck is made with 100% organic ingredients with a spicy kick from smoked chipotle peppers balanced by a hint of honey. This isn’t your everyday BBQ sauce, and its unique flavor is a winner with consumers.
- Certified Organic
- No added artificial preservatives or high fructose corn syrup
- Made with arm fresh tomatoes, never from concentrate
Spice Hunter: 100% Organic Basil
Every kitchen needs basil. Basil goes especially well with Asian or Italian flavors, customers can toss it into a stir fry, use it to flavor meat and eggs, sprinkle it on pizza, or add to a classic marinara sauce. The options are endless!
- 100% Certified Organic
- Kosher approved
- This product is not available on Amazon, so you can stand out by offering it!
6. Organic Snack Foods
Worldwide sales for organic snacks are expected to increase 13.3%, compounded annually, by 2027, according to Grand View Research, Inc. The market is projected to be valued at $19.9 billion, meaning there’s a lot of consumer demand out here for healthier snack foods!
Here’s some popular organic snack food available for dropshipping.
Garden Of Eatin’
Take your customers’s snack game to the next level with Garden of Eatin’ natural and organic tortilla chips. They’ve got you covered when it comes to anything you could possibly want to dip in salsa or guacamole – white corn, blue corn, even grain-free chips and taco shells.
Even better, Garden of Eatin’ employs sustainable ingredient sourcing and uses only organic corn. They’re all natural and have no preservatives, synthetic fertilizers, harmful pesticides, hydrogenated oils or trans-fat!
With over 20 different varieties of chips, your customers will be sure to find the perfect flavor for any craving. Another winner to add to your online inventory.
Ocho Candy: Organic Peanut Butter Candy
A yummy peanut butter center covered in creamy organic milk chocolate. OCHO makes small-batch peanut butter fillings from fresh organic peanuts, cane sugar and sea salt. It’s a snack treat kids love, and moms can feel good about.
- USDA Certified Organic
- Fair trade, gluten free and non-GMO
- Average rating of 4.4 Stars on Amazon
7. Organic Pantry Staples
Finally, don’t forget about organic pantry staples! These are the workhorses in any cook’s kitchen. Things like baking ingredients, beans, rice, canned soup and broth… the ingredients you need on hand to make recipes work.
The best part of pantry staples? Customers need to continually restock these items to ensure they have enough on hand for cooking. That can mean repeat business for your online store!
Here are some staple food products to consider for dropshipping.
Bob’s Red Mill
Almost all of Bob’s Red Mill products are made in the USA. Bob’s is also committed to sourcing raw materials that are both organic and not genetically modified. A point of pride for the company is that over 240 of their products are Non-GMO Project Verified.
What really makes this brand special is it’s extensive line of flours, meals, grains, seed, and baking ingredients. Their product line includes literally hundreds of items; from gluten-free flour alternatives, to oatmeal, bars, dried beans, grains of all kinds, every baking ingredient imaginable, and more.
These are quality pantry staples consumers will buy, again and again. Just the kind of products you want to add to your online store to encourage repeat sales.
Lundberg Family Farms Rice
There’s more to food than just flavor. Lundberg Farms focuses on organic, non-GMO and diverse grains to help create a food system that doesn’t drain the earth’s resources and that puts meals on your customer’s table of the highest quality.
For over four generations, the Lundberg family has produced high-quality organic rice products. Their mission is to honor the family farming legacy by nourishing, conserving, and innovating for a healthier world.
These are some of the only certified organic Made in USA rice products on the market, and definitely a smart addition to your online store.
Start Dropshipping Organic Food Today!
Now that you’re aware of some great organic food products, the next step is partnering with the right dropshipping supplier and adding items to your online store. You want to be sure your supplier is reputable, reliable, and will deliver exactly what you advertised to your customer.
GreenDropShip is the smart choice if you’re looking for wholesale organic food and beverages for dropshipping. We carry over 20,000 natural and organic items in a variety of niches, including pantry staples, dairy, snacks, condiments, keto products, vegan foods, and more.
Let us handle all of the logistics. Then you can focus your time and energy where it matters most, marketing to drive more traffic to your ecommerce store.
Join GreenDropShip today and start making sales!