Food has no Value. How to make money with food.

Looking at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs Food, Water, Shelter are the very first needs. You would think that food would have value and be the most valuable commodity. Farmers and water treatment workers would be the richest people in the world. But we do not live in this world. We live in a world where bankers are paid more than farmers. It’s a shame too because I studied horticulture in university, not finance. Why is this? Why do bankers make more money than most farmers?

From a previous post about value, there are three areas that value can be offered: money, time, or emotion. As a consumer food by itself can not give you value. Ok, I may have been over dramatic with the title of this post. Food has some value. Certain foods have more value than others. When does food have value? When food is incorporated with money, time, or emotion. Let’s look at a few examples.


Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway owns a significant stake in Kraft Heinz (The companies merged when he bought most of Kraft foods). Why does he like this food company? It’s because the offer cheap food. The company can help save people money. The more money people save, the more valuable the food is.


Fast food, it says it all in the name. We eat at fast food restaurants because it saves us time and money. They time we save to do other useful things is the value in fast food.


When you are hungry you’ll be willing to pay more than if you weren’t hungry on food. This is to change your emotion or pain of hunger. Why do vending machines exist? Becuase when we’re hungry we’ll pay almost anything to eat.


Make Value and Money from Food

Food by itself is not valuable. Food that is associated with money, time or emotion is more valuable. How can you apply this to your business? Focus on one of these that is lacking in your market. If you are in a small town and all the restaurants focus on being the cheapest focus on serving food the fastest. If you are a farmer, look at what you are growing and ask: “what does it provide?”. Instead of just growing corn, offer a pick you own with a farm tour or make a corn maze from your field for the emotional value. Pick one that is lacking in your area and focus on it.


Wallet on a dinner table. Money is showing from the wallet. What is the value of food?