February 1, 2018

Despite increasing recognition of Americans’ right to sell foods they make at home, hard data about the cottage food industry have been hard to come by—until now. In December, IJ’s strategic research team published a first-of-its-kind study of cottage food producers and their businesses.

Flour Power: How Cottage Food Entrepreneurs Are Using Their Home Kitchens to Become Their Own Bosses presents the results of an original survey of 775 registered cottage food producers in 22 states. Key findings include:

  • Cottage foods provide an attractive avenue to entrepreneurship for women, particularly for those of modest means living in rural areas.
  • Cottage food businesses provide their owners with flexibility, financial support and the opportunity to be creative while being their own bosses.
  • Restrictive cottage food laws can hinder entrepreneurship. When the government limits the types of cottage foods that can be sold, producers are less likely to plan to expand their businesses.

Running a business out of one’s home is a basic American right, and Flour Power illustrates how cottage food businesses provide myriad benefits to producers and consumers alike. We will use these findings in our continued fight to ensure that all Americans who want to can bake their cakes and sell them, too.

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