How to Start a Fruit Vegetable Business in UK USA (Business Plan)

fruit and vegetable shop/business

Do you have these questions in your mind?

  • What is the fruit and vegetable shop/business?
  • How to start a fruit and vegetable shop/business?
  • How much does it cost to start a fruit and vegetable shop/business?
  • How to find the best location to open a fruit and vegetable shop/business?

In this article, you will find answers to all your questions. So please grab a cup of coffee, and let’s get started.

Table of Contents

What is the fruit and vegetable shop/business?

The fruit and vegetable business is a significant industry in the USA and the UK, with many players operating in the market. Both countries have a highly developed agricultural sector, which allows for producing various fruits and vegetables.

In the USA, the fruit and vegetable industry is valued at around $90 billion, with California being the country’s largest producer of fruits and vegetables. The industry is highly competitive, with large retailers like Walmart and Kroger dominating the market. However, smaller players such as local farmers, cooperatives, and independent retailers also operate in the industry.

The UK’s fruit and vegetable industry is valued at around £6 billion. The market is dominated by supermarkets such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s, and Asda, which have a significant market share. However, many independent retailers and farmers’ markets also cater to consumers who prefer locally-grown produce.

The USA and UK have strict regulations and standards for producing and selling fruits and vegetables to ensure quality and safety for consumers.


According to a report by IMARC Group published in 2021, the global fruit and vegetable market size was valued at approximately US $500 billion in 2020. The market is expected to continue to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 4% during 2021-2026.

Fruit and vegetable shop/business

Fruit and vegetable shop/business Model

There are several types of business models that can be applied to a fruit and vegetable shop/business:


Some common business models include:

  • Retail model:
    In this model, the shop/business buys fruits and vegetables from wholesale markets or local farmers and sells them to customers at a higher price.

  • Subscription model:
    In this model, customers sign up for a weekly or monthly subscription to receive a box of fresh fruits and vegetables.

  • Online model:
    In this model, customers can place orders for fruits and vegetables online and have them delivered to their doorstep.

  • Farm-to-table model:
    This model involves growing and selling produce directly to consumers or restaurants, bypassing wholesalers or retailers. It emphasizes locally sourced, fresh produce and provides consumers with transparency and traceability in the supply chain.

  • Community-supported agriculture model:
    In this model, customers invest in a local farm and receive a share of the farm’s harvest, which is delivered to them by the shop/business.

  • Co-operative model:
    In this model, the shop/business is owned and operated by a group of individuals or farmers who work together to sell their produce to customers.

  • Wholesale:
    This model involves purchasing produce from farmers or growers at a wholesale price and selling it to retailers or other businesses at a markup. It requires significant investment in storage and transportation facilities to keep the produce fresh.

  • Subscription Box:
    This model involves offering a regular delivery service of fresh produce to consumers, either through a subscription-based model or a one-time purchase. It provides convenience and accessibility for consumers and can be combined with other products such as meal kits.

  • Value-Added Products:
    This model involves adding value to the produce by processing it into value-added products such as juices, sauces, or frozen products. It requires investment in processing equipment and packaging and can provide higher margins than selling raw produce.

  • Community Supported Agriculture (CSA):
    This model involves selling shares of a farm’s harvest to consumers, who receive regular deliveries of produce throughout the growing season. It provides consumers with locally sourced, fresh produce while providing farmers with a stable income. Overall, there are many different business models that can be used in the fruit and vegetable industry, depending on the target market, resources, and goals of the business.

Each of these business models has its own advantages and challenges, and it's important to choose the one that best suits your goals and resources.

Fruit and vegetable shop/business

Pros and Cons of a Fruit and vegetable shop/business

Pros of a Fruit and vegetable shop/business:

  • High demand for fresh produce
  • Can be operated as a standalone business or as a part of a larger grocery store
  • Can provide a sense of community by offering locally grown produce
  • Ability to source products from multiple suppliers


Cons of a Fruit and vegetable shop/business:

  • Requires a significant investment in inventory and equipment
  • Seasonal fluctuations in demand and supply can impact profitability
  • Competition from supermarkets and online grocery stores
  • Labor-intensive work, including long hours and physical demands such as lifting and stocking shelves.

How much investment is required for your Fruit and vegetable shop/business?

The investment required and one-time setup cost for a fruit and vegetable business can vary widely depending on the business model, location, and scale of the operation. 


Here are some cost factors to consider:


  • Land:
    If you plan to grow your own produce, you’ll need to purchase or lease land. The cost of land can vary widely depending on location, soil quality, and availability of water and other resources.


  • Equipment:
    Depending on the business model, you may need to purchase equipment such as tractors, irrigation systems, storage facilities, or processing equipment. The cost of equipment can vary widely depending on the type and quality.


  • Transportation:
    If you plan to sell produce off-site, you’ll need to invest in transportation vehicles such as trucks or vans. The cost of transportation equipment can vary widely depending on the size and quality.


  • Marketing and branding:
    To attract customers, you’ll need to invest in marketing and branding. This can include creating a website, designing logos and packaging, and advertising through various channels.


  • Labor:
    Depending on the scale of the operation, you may need to hire employees to help with tasks such as planting, harvesting, processing, or sales. The cost of labor can vary widely depending on location and the skills required.


  • Permits and licenses:
    Depending on your location, you may need to obtain permits and licenses to operate your business. The cost of permits and licenses can vary widely depending on the type and location.

Recurring cost for a Fruit and vegetable shop/business

The recurring costs for a fruit and vegetable shop or business can vary based on several factors such as the size and location of the business, the type of produce sold, and the marketing and advertising strategies used.

However, some common recurring costs for a fruit and vegetable shop or business may include:


  • Rent or lease payments for the store or market stall


  • Utilities such as electricity, water, and gas


  • Salaries or wages for employees


  • Purchase of fresh produce inventory from suppliers


  • Cost of transportation to and from the supplier’s location


  • Insurance for the store and employees


  • Marketing and advertising expenses such as flyers, social media promotions, and advertisements in local newspapers or radio stations


  • Equipment maintenance and repair costs, including refrigeration units and display cases
Fruit and vegetable shop/business

Which fruits or vegetables you should trade or sell ?

On various factors such as current demand, location, size, target market, and competition. It is difficult to provide a specific produce. Based on recent market data, the top 10 fresh fruits that people buy in the USA and UK combined are:.

Top 10 fresh fruits people buy in the US & UK 

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Oranges
  • Grapes
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Lemons
  • Avocados
  • Pineapples
  • Mangoes

Top 10 fresh vegetables people buy in the US & UK 

  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Lettuce
  • Cucumbers
  • Bell peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Spinach

Additionally, profitability in the fruit and vegetable industry can be affected by factors such as seasonality and fluctuating market prices for fresh produce.

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Fruit and vegetable shop/business

Farm to Fork Business Model in the US & UK

The farm-to-fork business model has become increasingly popular in the USA for selling fruits and vegetables. This model emphasizes the importance of locally sourced, fresh, and seasonal produce in the food supply chain, with the aim of reducing the environmental impact of food production and transportation, while supporting local farmers and communities.


Under this business model, farmers can sell their produce directly to consumers through a variety of channels, including farmers’ markets, community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs, and online platforms. By cutting out intermediaries such as wholesalers and retailers, farmers can earn higher profits, while consumers can access fresh, high-quality produce at reasonable prices.


In addition to direct-to-consumer sales, some farmers may also supply restaurants, schools, and other institutions through farm-to-table programs. These programs aim to provide fresh, locally sourced produce to consumers in these settings, while also supporting local farmers.


The farm-to-fork model has become a popular choice for small-scale and family-run farms in the USA, as it allows them to compete with larger commercial farms and build a loyal customer base. In recent years, there has also been an increase in the number of larger-scale commercial farms that are adopting this model and selling their produce through direct-to-consumer channels.

Overall, the farm-to-fork business model has proven to be a successful way for farmers in the USA to sell their fruits and vegetables. By emphasizing the importance of locally sourced and fresh produce, this model benefits both farmers and consumers, while also promoting sustainability and supporting local communities.

A typical day in a Fruit and vegetable business includes:

1. A typical day in a fruit and vegetable shop/business involves setting up the shop early in the morning before opening time, which may be as early as 6:00 am.

2. The first task is to check and organize the inventory, which may involve unloading and unpacking fresh produce from delivery trucks or suppliers.

3. Once the produce is organized, the shop needs to be cleaned, and the displays arranged attractively to entice customers.

4. Throughout the day, customers will come in and purchase their preferred fruits and vegetables. The staff will need to be knowledgeable about the produce and assist customers with their choices.

5. The shop may need to restock throughout the day to ensure there is a good supply of fresh produce for customers.

6. At the end of the day, the shop will need to be cleaned, and any unsold produce either disposed of or stored appropriately. The inventory will need to be checked and orders placed for the next day's deliveries

Fruit and vegetable shop/business

USP (Unique Selling Proposition) you can make


  • High-quality and fresh produce
  • Wide variety of fruits and vegetables
  • Organic and locally sourced options
  • Competitive prices
  • Convenient location and store layout
  • Exceptional customer service
  • Special deals and promotions
  • Online ordering and delivery options
  • Sustainable and eco-friendly practices
  • Personalized recommendations and recipe ideas
Fruit and vegetable shop/business

Trends & Challenges in a Fruit and vegetable shop/business

Trends in a Fruit and vegetable shop/business

1. Increasing demand for organic and locally sourced produce

2. Growing interest in plant-based diets and vegetarian/vegan lifestyles

3. Popularity of online grocery shopping and home delivery services

4. Use of technology to enhance customer experience, such as digital signage and mobile apps

5. Growing interest in specialty produce, such as exotic fruits and heirloom vegetables

Challenges in a Fruit and vegetable shop/business

1. Intense competition from supermarkets and online retailers

2. Fluctuations in produce prices and availability due to weather and seasonal factors

3. High overhead costs, such as rent, utilities, and labor

4. Concerns around food safety and quality control

5. Difficulty in attracting and retaining loyal customers in a crowded market.

Fruit and vegetable shop/business

Licence needed for a Fruits & Vegetable Business 


There are certain licenses and permits required for starting and operating a fruit and vegetable business in both the USA and the UK.


In the USA, the requirements vary depending on the state and local regulations. However, some of the common licenses and permits include a business license, seller’s permit, food service establishment permit, and health department permits. Additionally, if the business involves importing fruits and vegetables from other countries, then the business owner would also need to obtain a USDA-issued import permit.


In the UK, the requirements are governed by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and vary depending on the type of business and the activities involved. Some of the common licenses and permits required for a fruit and vegetable business include a food business registration, a hygiene rating certificate, and a street trading license if selling on the street.


It’s important to research and obtain all the necessary licenses and permits before starting the business to avoid any legal issues later on.

Some tips to help your business grow:

1. Offer a diverse range of produce

2. Focus on freshness
3. Build relationships with suppliers
4. Create an inviting atmosphere
5. Offer convenience
6. Utilize social media
7. Participate in community events
8. Provide excellent customer service

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Fruit and vegetable shop/business

Find a good location for your Fruit and Vegetable Business

  • Look for a high-traffic area with good visibility.
  • Consider areas with a high concentration of foot traffic, such as malls or busy shopping streets.
  • Check out the competition in the area and make sure there is a demand for your product.
  • Choose a location that is easily accessible for customers, with ample parking or public transportation options.
  • Make sure the space meets your specific needs, with enough room for production, storage, and retail sales.

A good location will determine whether your business will succeed in the future. A perfect place with your tasty Candy will always bring profits to your business in the future. 

Fruit and vegetable shop/business

List of main Products / Service List to offer

Here is a list of some main products and services that a fruit and vegetable shop/business can offer:


Here are some popular options:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables, including locally grown and seasonal produce
  • Pre-cut and pre-packaged fruits and vegetables for convenience
  • Organic and specialty produce, such as heirloom tomatoes or exotic fruits
  • Freshly squeezed juices and smoothies made from fruits and vegetables
  • Dried fruits, nuts, and seeds for snacking or baking
  • Fresh herbs and spices for cooking
  • Ready-made salads and sides made from fresh produce
  • Delivery services for customers who are unable to visit the store
  • Catering services for events or parties
  • Educational resources such as cooking classes, recipe books, or nutritional guidance.
Fruit and vegetable shop/business

Shall I go for a Fruit and Vegetable business franchise?

Whether or not to go for a franchise in the fruit and vegetable shop or business depends on your personal circumstances and goals. 

Here are some factors to consider when deciding if a franchise is the right choice for you:

  • Cost
  • Support
  • Brand recognition
  • Flexibility
  • Competition
Here are five farm-fresh raw fruit and vegetable business franchise brands:
  • The Produce Box
    This franchise delivers fresh, locally-sourced produce to customers’ doorsteps. 

  • Farmbox Direct
    This franchise delivers organic and non-GMO produce to customers’ homes. 

  • Farmigo
    This franchise connects customers with local farms and delivers fresh produce to their homes. 

  • Riverford Organic Farmers
    This franchise delivers fresh, organic produce to customers in the UK.

  • Abel & Cole
    This franchise delivers organic fruits and vegetables, as well as other food items, to customers in the UK.

Note: These franchises may not offer traditional retail storefronts, as they may operate via delivery or subscription services.


The fruit and vegetable business in the USA and UK is a thriving market with significant growth potential, particularly in the organic sector. The top-selling fruits in both countries are similar, with bananas, apples, grapes, and strawberries being among the most popular.

To start a fruit and vegetable business, one would need to secure funding to cover the one-time setup costs and the ongoing expenses such as rent or lease, utilities, insurance, payroll, inventory, and marketing. 

Various business models can be adopted, such as brick-and-mortar stores, online stores, or a combination of both. It is important to obtain the necessary licenses and permissions to operate legally in the respective countries.


Overall, the fruit and vegetable business can be a lucrative venture with the potential for growth and innovation in value-added products.


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A. Yes, you may need to obtain a business license, as well as any necessary permits for food handling and storage. Contact your local government or health department for more information.

A. The cost can vary depending on factors such as location, equipment, and inventory. Generally, it may cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars to start a small fruit and vegetable shop.

A. Yes, sourcing locally grown produce can be a great way to provide fresh and seasonal products to your customers, while also supporting local farmers.

A. This can vary depending on factors such as your business’s location, customer demand, and inventory turnover rate. Generally, it’s recommended to restock at least once a week to ensure that you have a fresh and varied selection of products available for customers.

 A. You can market your shop through various channels such as social media, email campaigns, local advertisements, and word-of-mouth. Offering promotions and discounts can also help attract new customers.

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