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Best Startup Business Ideas of 2020: The Countdown Continues


Welcome back to our best startup business ideas of 2020 blog series. The countdown continues as we look at business options #9-#7. These are loosely connected around the theme of beverage and food consumption — the first for humans, the latter for their furry companions. Check out these startup suggestions and see which, if any, speak to you.

In case you missed it, be sure to review our first three startup business ideas in our most recent blog post, which kicked off our series: “Best Startup Business Ideas of 2020: Kicking off the Countdown.”

Without further delay, here is the number nine featured startup…

Channel Your Inner Captain

By captain, we mean Morgan or Jack Sparrow. The number nine spot on our list is rum — no pirate ship required. Granted, rum is hardly new but it is experiencing a renaissance of sorts, or rumolution, which means this year could be your golden opportunity to add “rum runner” to your resume. Historically, rum has long proven its worth:

“Created by slaves working on Caribbean plantations, it was once accepted as currency, played a central role in the American Revolution, prompted a coup in colonial Australia, and continued to be given as a ration to Royal Navy sailors until 1970.”

Given its storied history, what’s new to create or package when it comes to rum production?

“While there aren’t strict regulations dictating rum production, it’s always made from sugarcane molasses or sugarcane juice, which is then fermented and distilled, with the precise ingredients used and distilling process all impacting the flavour.”

Those keywords: precise ingredients and distilling process are invitations to create something new from an iconic beverage. Interestingly enough, for the past ten years, rum has factored among the most sluggish growing liquor categories, but is fast transforming into a “premiumizing category currently at the heart of the mixology trend and growing cocktail culture.”

As with all startup ventures, time is of the essence to capitalize on this growing trend.

On the flip side of this coin, allow us to suggest yet another growing startup sector…

Make Mine a Mocktail!

That’s right… if running your own rum distillery doesn’t sound tempting, perhaps a non-alcoholic venture will.

Spurred in part by the sober curious movement, which emphasizes non-alcoholic beverage options, as well as social opportunities and events, “All of a sudden not drinking — whether because of an addiction or simply for health reasons — has become sort of cool, sexy even.”

And the data supports this trend: “According to the World Health Organization, the number of drinkers in the world has been steadily decreasing — down at least 5 percent since 2000 — with young people mostly to thank for the decline.”

The alcohol industry hasn’t missed this market shift and is actually getting on board. In fact, the owner of Smirnoff and Crown Royal just backed a Chicago-based non-alcoholic spirit startup, Ritual Zero Proof.

But, you needn’t produce your own non-alcoholic beverage to launch a startup within this niche. Non-alcoholic entertainment and social opportunities are another compelling option, with the popularity of places like escape rooms evidencing the expression that you don’t have to drink to have fun.

Moving beyond the world of beverages — alcoholic or otherwise — we bring you the seventh spot in our best startups for 2020 list. This one features our four-legged friends and the food they eat…

Placing a Premium on Premium Pet Food

As the human health and wellness sector continues to trend upwards, perhaps it’s not surprising that similar sentiments have spread to the pet care industry. Consumers are increasingly mindful of where food comes from and how ingredients are sourced. Just as we’re all accustomed to understanding the ills of processed food, the same warnings have emerged for mass-produced pet food.

So, the time is right for animal lovers already looking to provide their pets with the very best.

Consider the following from Jonathan Regev, co-founder of The Farmer’s Dog, a direct-to-consumer dog food startup:

“This isn’t about making a luxurious treat or spoiling our pets. New customers consistently report seeing tangible health improvements. People are beginning to make much healthier choices on behalf of their dogs, and our mission is to make those choices as safe, affordable, and convenient as possible — for as many people as possible.”

The Farmer’s Dog has brought in millions of dollars in funding, thanks to its focus on proprietary technology that creates customized nutrition profiles for each of their canine customers, which is then packaged as ready-to-serve meals, delivered straight to the doors of pet owners.

October 2019 marked the first Pet Innovation Challenge, which, according to event sponsor New Hope Network, signals that “… there has been a shift in the pet care industry toward small, artisan brands with new takes on traditional pet food and treat products.”

New Hope Network Market Leader, Carlotta Mast, said:

The Pet Innovation Challenge demonstrated that innovation is thriving in the global pet products industry and that the same consumer-driven trends fueling opportunity in the broader CPG market — such as growing demand for personalization and sustainable protein sources — are driving pet products innovation as well.

This all amounts to serious startup potential for you pet lovers.

Still haven’t landed on the best startup business idea for you? Not to worry, in our next two blog posts, we will finish our countdown, introducing you to the remaining six options on our list, according to market trends and industry news.

Whatever your ultimate endeavor, make sure you have the marketing support for a strong launch. Contact our teamand rely on our expertise to help you get started.

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