2022 is a great time to be in the herbs selling business. Everyone wants to lead a healthier life and go the natural route. Whether it is dressing their dishes with natural flavors, finding natural remedies for health concerns, or even finding skincare regimes from kitchen ingredients, people today are enchanted with the magic properties of herbs. An increase in spending habits and therefore, the rise of gourmet food has increased the demand specifically for culinary herbs. As per estimates, the culinary herbs market is growing at a rate of roughly 20-25% per year.
The growth in the use of herbs for producing herbal products is also quite high, increasing at a 15% annual rate. At present, the herbal products market has been estimated at Rs 50,000 crore, allowing herb growers to ride the wave and create a lucrative business. It is also interesting that the agricultural area under herbs and aromatic plants is quite small at present – 6.34 lakh hectares out of a total of 1058.10 lakh hectares but rising at 10% per year, as per government data, providing ample opportunity for those who get into the business now.
The herb-selling business can become highly profitable even through online channels where you can avoid the hassle of making huge investments. While many fiddles with the idea, most struggle with finding the right approach. If you are tempted by the idea of starting your online herbs business in India or want to take your existing herbs business online, this article will be a perfect guide in the process.
Where to sell your herbs online?
As online shopping becomes more convenient for consumers, businesses across categories are switching to online mediums. And so should you in the herbs selling business.
- Be present on social media- This one is a no-brainer. Social media today allows consumers to discover, engage, and communicate with businesses. Hence it’s important for you to be present across popular platforms like Instagram and Facebook and constantly post informative and entertaining content. This is a completely free tool for businesses to reach their customers. Be sure to include visually appealing pictures of your herbs, share recipes, benefits of herbs, tips and tricks for gardening enthusiasts, videos around your production methods, and the story of your farm. Maintain a consistent posting cycle to remain visible to your customers. You can also try Facebook groups which are a great source of discussions and passing useful information. In case you are willing to make small spends, Facebook and Instagram ads also bring high returns on investments by getting you reach, engagement and conversions.
- Build a website for your business- It’s 2022 and you can definitely not ignore building a website for your business. As businesses today exist in the digital realm, it becomes difficult for consumers to trust their credibility unless they have a verified website. With unlimited options available for consumers, it is important that you display the vision, services, products, and USP of your business upfront so that your business can stand apart. Adding e-commerce capabilities to your website where customers can place and track their orders will be a great sales channel.
- Sell on Farmsnation- If you do not wish to spend money or time building your website or social media, there is always an easier solution. List yourself on an online marketplace like Farmsnation and enjoy selling your herbs hassle-free. Farmsnation is an app that serves as a transparent and efficient online platform for growers to list their produce, add prices and pictures, and sell to customers. As a herb grower, you can multiply your earnings by selling on the app.
How to sell your herbs online?
There are many ways you can package your herbs and start selling online in order to increase your profits.
- Fresh culinary herbs- Any dish can taste better when you add fresh culinary herbs to it. Hence, selling fresh culinary herbs like basil, mint, coriander, curry leaves, cilantro, etc can bring you heavy profits. Just ensure proper storage requirements for these culinary herbs as cold temperatures can spoil the freshness of the herbs.
- Dried herbs- Because of the perishability of the herbs, many growers prefer to process and sell dried herbs. Some of the popular dried herbs include parsley, basil, rosemary, thyme, and sage. You will require a drying facility to process dried herbs, which you can easily build at the location. These can be stored till the market is ready, packaged, and sold under your brand name.
- Seasoning mixes/ Salad dressings/ teas/ Herbal drinks- You can also process value-added products and start selling them online under a brand name. There is a high demand for seasoning mixes like oregano or selling bottled salad dressings like mint dressings or sauces like pesto, made from fresh herbs. You could also diversify into drinks like herbal teas or herbal immunity drinks.
- As potted plants- If you have an excess of herbal plants and don’t want to get into processing, you can simply start selling herbs as potted plants which people can add to their kitchen gardens. Focus on the herbs that are more common and used in everyday
Before you get into the business, be sure of your business plan- where and how you want to sell your herbs. There are varied avenues and it will help if you build your niche early on.