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How do I start a cotton candy business? [Low investment, high earning – here is how]

How do I start a cotton candy business? 

Have you ever wanted to start your own cotton candy business?

You might think that starting a cotton candy business is difficult, but it’s actually quite simple!

In this post we will go over how can you start a profitable cotton candy business.  After all, Cotton candy is all the rage at fairs, carnivals and festivals-but it’s also a popular treat on its own for kids of all ages.

It is also a great snack to sell at school.

We’ll cover the following topics in this article –

  • how much money do I need to get started?
  • what are my startup costs?
  • where should I set up shop? and more!

So let’s get started with our first topic on cotton candy business.

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How do I start a cotton candy business? 

Let’s talk about how to start a cotton candy business and we know what you’re thinking.

How much do I need to start a cotton candy business?

How much money do I need to get started?

This question is probably on everyone’s mind when they’re thinking about starting their own small business.

The answer is not as straightforward as you might think because there are many factors involved, such as whether or not you have any existing equipment or if you need to buy new equipment for your venture.

Let’s take a look at some of these factors so that we can better understand how much money we’ll need for our new venture.

First off, if you already have a cotton candy machine then all of the sudden your startup costs just got lower since now all you really need is sugar and flavoring (cotton candy mix).

If however, like most people who want to start their own cotton candy businesses, then buying an cotton candy machine could be one of your biggest expenses along with other necessary supplies such as bags and cones which cost around $1 each depending on where you purchase them from.

We will discuss the cotton candy machine a little later in the blog post.

But, in short you will need approx. $1000 to set up this cotton candy business.

After purchasing everything, you will need to set it up, market to your target customer and start making money.

What You Need to Start A Cotton Candy Business –

a kiddo eating cotton candy

The startup costs are averages and can vary depending on where you purchase your supplies from.

Let’s look at all the necessary supplies you need:

Cotton Candy Machine

A cotton candy machine is a device that will help you make floss-like sugar strands i.e. cotton candy. It can be gas or electric powered, or hand powered.

The cost of the cotton candy machine depends on the power source, how much it will make at once (sugar strands), and the size of the machine.

The average price for a hand-powered machine is around $2,000 and can go upto $4000 and more depending on quality.

If you’re not sure about cotton candy business, I recommend you rent it out or buy a second hand cotton candy machine.

Remember, your machine needs to work properly and should give quality output.


Don’t forget to go for food grade sugar since it is safe to eat.

The cost of sugar can vary based on the vendor, the type of sugar you buy (cane, beet) and how much you need to purchase.

If you don’t want to buy it in your city, then you can always try online stores like Amazon or Alibaba.

That said, i would still recommend you buy it from the local wholesale stores.

Food color

Food colors are essential to get the right shade of color for your cotton candy.

The cost of food colors varies depending on where you purchase them from, how much you need and what quality you buy.

Again, I wouldn’t recommend buying it in bulk since this is something that should not be stored for long periods of time.


Flavours like vanilla, lemon, orange, grapes etc. are essential to give taste to your cotton candy product.

The more variety you sell, the more children you will attract.

The prices of this will vary depending on the quality, how much you need and where you buy them from.

When it comes to flavours, I recommend sticking with popular flavors initially before you experiment with anything.

Jars for storage

While cotton candy is mostly sold at fairs, carnivals and festivals; it is also a very popular treat at birthday parties.

It’s essential to keep your product safe for storage by placing it in airtight containers like jars with lids.

You can find these types of jars pretty easily at local grocery stores or online shops like Amazon or Alibaba.

Cones for Cotton Candy

Cones are super important to serve cotton candy at carnivals, fairs and festivals.

You can find plenty of paper cone suppliers at local grocery stores or on Amazon and Alibaba.

As an alternative, you can use wood sticks for serving  cotton candy, but it is a little more difficult to wrap the sugar onto the sticks.

So if you are planning to serve your cotton candy at carnivals, fairs or festivals then I recommend using cones.

Bags for storage

While many people use jars with lids for storage; bags are an equally popular choice too. You can invest in either one of them.

You can find these in local grocery stores or on Amazon and Alibaba.

They are very cheap, so I recommend buying them in bulk to save costs.

Cart or Wagon

Cotton candy is a popular product at carnivals, fairs or festivals.

If you want to make sales on the go, then it’s essential for you to carry your cotton candy machine in a cart/wagon of some sort.

You can easily find these carts/wagons near grocery stores or on Amazon and Alibaba.

Either way, just ensure your cart is big enough to hold the cotton candy machine, a cashbox, and still have space to display cotton candies and other products you might be selling.

Cashbox and other basic supplies

It’s essential to carry a cashbox and other essentials like paper towels, wet wipes and plastic gloves.

Protective Eyewear

Cotton candy machines should not be operated without safety glasses. Any pair of glasses will suffice!

Getting Started With Your Cotton Candy Business

Step 1 – Do market research .

While a wrapped cotton candy cone looks simple and easy, there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye.

Do thorough research on all aspects of cotton candy making from what type of sugar you should use to the type of flavors you should offer.

Besides the ingredients and process, you also want to research on the demand in your area. For example, if you don’t really lots of fairs, carnivals or children in your vicinity, it will be difficult to own a profitable cotton candy business.

You will also need to research on all legal permits required to start a cotton candy business.

Step 2 – Get a business plan

A business plan will help you understand the financial aspect of starting your own cotton candy business.

The list of things to consider is exhaustive – from inventory costs, labour costs, transportation costs, equipment costs and legal costs; you’ll need to cover it all in your plan.

You should also research on how to minimise risk by getting insurance for your business.

Step 4 – Check permit and license rules

It’s best to get this done right away so you can go ahead with other aspects of the business without worrying.

Hire a local attorney to get all licenses and permits properly for a cotton candy business.

Step 3 – Buy insurance

It’s best to get an insurance policy in place before you start your cotton candy business.

The right plan will cover all aspects of the business-from your equipment, inventory and transportation costs; to any legal costs or liabilities.

This way you won’t have to worry about anything when it comes to financial losses if any.

Step 4 – Need a location

If you’ve done your market research and you know there’s demand for cotton candy in your area, then it’s time to find the right location.

A prime location would be a carnival or festival that happens on a regular basis.

However, if none of those exist near you, then I would collaborating with fairs, events at schools, parties etc.

Step 5 – Get your supplies together

Before you start selling the cotton candy, the first step is to get all your supplies.

Apart from the ingredients and accessories you need for making cotton candy, you also want to do preparations such as finding a location and getting carts or wagons.

Once everything is in place, it’s time to go out there and start  selling cotton candy!

5 Places To Sell Cotton Candy

  1. Local fairs, carnivals and festivals:  If you live in a place where there are fairs and carnivals happening regularly, then your chances of making sales increase drastically.

  2. Parties: Another great way to make money with cotton candy is by catering for birthday parties. All kids love cotton candy-so if you’ve got a machine at home, it’s as easy as whipping the candy and asking for a fee.

  3. Schools: This is a great way to start your cotton candy business-selling to schools! For summer events, gymkhana etc, you can easily sell cotton candy as a fundraiser for schools for between 50 cents and 1 dollar per piece.

  4. Events at malls: If you’re lucky enough to have a mall in your vicinity, then I would suggest selling candy floss at the events they host regularly.

  5. Corporate events: If you have a machine that makes huge quantities of cotton candy, then you should aim for corporate clients who can afford it! You can easily charge up to $10 per piece-and trust me, cotton candy goes a really long way!

  6. Farmers Market:  If you live in a place close to farms, then you can also make cotton candy at home and sell them at the farmers market.

  7. Local Businesses:  If you know of any local businesses that host events or any local food business, then it’s a great place to sell. You can also offer them a stand at their place for a fee or profit-sharing!

Promoting and Growing your Cotton Candy Business

Building a brand:

  • Create a logo for your business and prominently place it on the cart you use, bags and packaging of cotton candy.

  • Give out flyers and business cards with your logo to everyone you meet-the more exposure, the better!

  • Promote your business whenever possible by handing out pamphlets or making someone wear a T-shirt that has your logo on it.

Promoting and customer loyalty

  • Customer loyalty rewards programs are an extremely effective way to get people coming back for more!

  • Offer discounts or coupons on your cotton candy and other products with each visit or purchase made.

  • You can also invest in customer loyalty cards where customers earn points every time they buy cotton candy. At certain intervals, you can give out prizes like free cotton candy coupons etc.

Advertising cotton candy business:

  • Start an Instagram account and promote your business
  • You can set up a website for your business where you can feature information about the other products you sell and make it easy for people to call you to events.
  • Create a Facebook page and add that to your other social media accounts. You can even buy ads from Facebook to promote your business further.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a cotton candy business profitable?

Of course, it is! If you have the right location and people are buying your product, then you can make big bucks.

How much do cotton candy makers make?

According to comparably, the salaries of Cotton Candy Makers in the US range from $18,740 to $44,900 , with a median salary of $26,950 .

The middle 50% of Cotton Candy Makers makes $26,950, with the top 75% making $44,900.

How much does a bag of cotton candy sell for?

I am sure you are wondering how much to sell cotton candy for. Well, there is no straight answer.

Depending on the bags and amount of cotton candy you sell, you can sell it for  $5-$6 each.

How do you market cotton candy?

You can market cotton candy by giving out flyers and business cards, as well as advertising it on social media like Instagram and Facebook.

What can I name my cotton candy business?

You can name your business whatever you like! It could be related to cotton candy or something completely different.

  • Candy Land
  • Crazy Candy
  • World of Candy
  • Cotton Candy House
  • Candy World
  • Cotton Candy Palace
  • Snowy Cotton Candy
  • Cotton Candy Castle
  • Pink Sugar Floss
  • Sweet Treats Co. and so on!

Conclusion: How do I start a cotton candy business? 

Cotton candy is a fun and easy treat for kids, but it’s also profitable to make your own business.

Now that you know how to start a cotton candy business, get started!

You can find all the ingredients at any grocery or specialty store and it doesn’t take too much time.

As always, if you have questions just let us know in the comments below. We love hearing from our readers!

How do I start a cotton candy business