Guide on Starting a Cooking Oil Wholesale Business

August 31, 2023
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Cooking oil stands out as an important wholesale restaurant supply in any restaurant business, bakery business, and food service business in the food and beverage industry. The demand for cooking oil is very high, as a result investing in the wholesale cooking oil business is a great opportunity for success. 

Key Takeaway: Starting a cooking oil wholesale business requires you to understand the basics and complexities as it isn’t a stroll in the park. From strategic sourcing of raw materials to eCommerce marketing and selling your products online, a lot goes into running a cooking oil wholesale business.

This guide will help you understand all you need to know about starting your own cooking oil wholesale business. Let’s get started!


8 Profitable Cooking Oil Business Ideas

  1. Olive Oil Business
  2. Avocado Oil Business
  3. Coconut Oil Business
  4. Nut Oil Business
  5. Infused Oil Business
  6. Specialty Oil
  7. Cooking Oil Subscription Business
  8. Cooking Oil Packaging Business

8 Types of Vegetable Oil to Sell Online

Here are some of the common types of vegetable oils:

  1. Soybean Oil
  2. Canola Oil
  3. Sunflower Oil
  4. Olive Oil 
  5. Peanut Oil
  6. Avocado Oil
  7. Coconut Oil
  8. Sesame Oil

What are Seed Oils?

Seed oils, also known as industrial seed oils or vegetable oils, are made from the seeds of different types of vegetable oil plants such as sunflower, corn, cottonseed, soy, canola, grapeseed, safflower, peanut, and rice bran. These oils are obtained through an intricate process that involves chemical solvents, high temperatures, and mechanical pressure. 

List of Seed Oils to Avoid

Here is a list of seed oils that are often recommended to be consumed in moderation or avoided:

  1. Soybean Oil
  2. Corn Oil
  3. Cottonseed Oil
  4. Grapeseed Oil
  5. Safflower Oil
  6. Sunflower Oil
  7. Sesame Oil
  8. Peanut Oil
  9. Rapeseed Oil (Non-Canola)

What are No Seed Oils?

No seed oils, often referred to as healthier alternatives to industrial seed oils or vegetable oils, are derived from sources other than seeds. These oils are typically cold-pressed, expeller-pressed, or extracted using methods that preserve the integrity of their fatty acids and maintain their natural flavors.

No Seed Oils List

  1. Olive Oil
  2. Avocado Oil
  3. Coconut Oil
  4. Walnut Oil
  5. Macadamia Nut Oil
  6. Ghee (Clarified Butter)
  7. Sesame Oil
  8. Flaxseed Oil
  9. Palm Oil (Sustainably Sourced)
  10. Hemp Oil
  11. Pumpkin Seed Oil

How to Start Cooking Oil Business

To make it easier, here are the steps you need to follow for you to successfully start your wholesale cooking oil business anywhere in the world.

  1. Market Research and Product Selection

Knowing your target market is the first step in any business endeavor. Your research about customer preferences, needs and their respective consumer behaviors in the cooking oil industry will help you create your unique selling proposition and stand out from the competition. 

  1. Business Plan and Registration

Outlining your business goals, preferred target market and other key elements determines your brand’s success. Your business plan is a practical and workable roadmap that helps you channel your efforts.

  1. Sourcing Suppliers and Quality Assurance

When selecting your supplier, make sure you carry out all necessary and important quality checks. This shouldn’t stop at the beginning of your business, you should check for quality at every instance the supplier is making any supply to your depot. Maintaining a top quality cooking oil stock will keep your business growing.

  1. Branding and Wholesale Food Packaging

Having a strong brand identity will go a long way to influence your B2B vs B2C sales. Develop a branding strategy that speaks well to your target market. You can use the customer data from your market research to create a strategy that will suit your brand and target audience.

  1. Marketing and B2B Sales Management

The next thing after packaging is marketing your brand to other businesses that will need your supply. There are several wholesale marketing strategies you can use to promote your wholesale cooking oil business


How to Find Wholesale Cooking Oil Distributors

Let's look at how you can locate your wholesale cooking oil supplier.

  1. Research

Researching cooking oil wholesale suppliers is the first step in finding one. It is important to check everywhere possible to find a dependable supplier of cooking oil. You can explore online wholesale directories, marketplaces online, multi-vendor platforms, social commerce places,  or eCommerce platforms to identify potential wholesale suppliers

  1. Evaluate Quality

Ensure that you carry out a thorough check on the quality of the cooking oil they supply you. Check out the taste, smell, viscosity, and general quality. If you are interested in selling healthy oils, then you must bring this up in the initial meeting. Performing these quality assessments will help you determine if the partnership will work out for you and the wholesale vendor. If not, then move on to a different vendor on your list.

  1. Discuss Terms

Talk about the delivery timeline, mode of communication, minimum order quantity, eCommerce packaging, the type of cooking oil brand you want, and other custom details. Clear communication is important in any wholesale partnership. You can implement vendor management best practices and use vendor management systems to manage all vendor communications and track each wholesale supplier.

Where to Buy Wholesale Cooking Oil

  1. Local Wholesale Food Suppliers
  2. Online Wholesale Marketplaces
  3. Food Distributors 
  4. Trade Shows and Exhibitions
  5. Farmers’ Cooperative Society
  6. Cooking Oil Manufacturers

Cooking Oil Business Equipment List

Here's a comprehensive list of essential cooking oil equipment for your cooking oil business to ensure smooth operations and high-quality products:

  1. Oilseed Cleaning Equipment
  2. Oilseed Crushing Machines
  3. Oil Filtration Equipment
  4. Oil Refining Equipment
  5. Oil Storage Tanks
  6. Bottling and Cooking Oil Packaging Machinery
  7. Quality Control Tools
  8. Heating and Cooling Systems
  9. Pumps and Piping
  10. Safety Equipment
  11. Waste Management Equipment
  12. eCommerce Sales and Cooking Oil Marketing Tools
  13. Inventory and Supply Chain Management Software
  14. Maintenance Tools

What are the Methods of Making Cooking Oil?

Here are some common methods:

  • Cold Pressing
  • Expeller Pressing
  • Solvent Extraction
  • Refining
  • Hydrogenation
  • Enzyme-Assisted Extraction

Cooking Oil Packaging Design

Packaging for cooking oil is carefully chosen to preserve the quality of the product and ensure it reaches consumers in the best possible condition. 

Common types of packaging used for cooking oil include:

  • Bottles
  • Tin Containers
  • Pouches
  • Bag-in-Box (BIB)
  • PET Bottles
  • HDPE Bottles
  • Glass Containers
  • Plastic Jugs
  • Sachets

How to Start a Cooking Oil Subscription Box Business

Here’s how to start a cooking oil subscription box:

  1. Market Research

Before launching your cooking oil subscription box, it is important to conduct market research. The best place to begin your market research is understanding your current customer base and potential subscribers. 

  1. Product Selection

Your product selection should offer a symphony of flavors and culinary possibilities. Include oils with distinct flavor profiles, ranging from the robust and earthy notes of extra virgin olive oil to the delicate, nutty nuances of almond oil. Think about the versatility of the oils – are they suitable for frying, sautéing, drizzling, or dressing?

  1. Cooking Oil Packaging and Presentation

Now, it’s time to choose your wholesale food packaging. First and foremost, your eCommerce packaging should safeguard the oils during transit to ensure they reach subscribers in pristine condition. You can use specially designed dividers or foam inserts to cradle each bottle securely.

  1. Subscription Models

Your subscription models are the building blocks of your cooking oil subscription box business. They determine the rhythm of your customers' engagement, the variety they receive, and the level of eCommerce personalization they enjoy.

  1. Pricing Strategy

Pricing your subscription box the right way is important. First you need to understand the calculation of the total expenses involved in curating, packaging, and delivering your cooking oil subscription boxes. This includes the cost of the oils themselves, packaging materials, shipping and handling, and any additional inclusions like recipe cards or educational materials.

  1. eCommerce Integration

If you don't already have an online store, selecting the right eCommerce platform is your foundational step. Consider platforms like BlueCart, Shopify, WooCommerce (for WordPress users), BigCommerce, or specialized subscription billing solutions like Cratejoy. 

Your chosen eCommerce platform should offer robust subscription management features. It should be able to create and customize different subscription types and plans, manage subscription billing cycles, and track subscriber preferences, the subscription management software must simplify your subscription management processes.

Cooking Oil Business Marketing Plan: Cooking Oil Marketing

Market segmentation and eCommerce personalization plays a big role in promoting your cooking oil business. You also need to remember that B2B marketing differs greatly from B2C or D2C business marketing. 

Here are some eCommerce marketing strategies for your cooking oil business:

  1. Start With Market Segmentation and Personalization
  2. Invest in eCommerce Marketing and Personalization Tools
  3. Differentiate B2B and B2C Audience
  4. Implement Digital Marketing Strategies
  5. Try Customer Retention Programs
  6. Optimize Your Campaign - Rinse and Repeat

How BlueCart Can Help Your Cooking Oil Wholesale Business

BlueCart offers wholesale businesses and food distributors an all-in-one eCommerce and wholesale software solution that makes it easy to implement efficient business systems. You can streamline your wholesale business, vendor payments, vendor billing, online ordering, warehouse management, and wholesale inventory management processes.

Running your cooking oil wholesale business does not have to be a daunting or stressful process. BlueCart sales rep app and digital selling tools can automate your sales management process and help you maximize profit.

Streamline order management, grow your bottom line, and get back hours of your time with BlueCart. Schedule a demo now:
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