Article

Practice What You Preach

Utah’s Unique Demographics Create Niche Opportunities

Devin Felix

June 6, 2013

Daily Bread started eight years ago, shortly after Hurricane Katrina. Founders Mike Strong and Justin Ericksen started out by selling their freeze-dried meals door-to-door in heavily Mormon areas of Utah, Arizona and Nevada. They recognized there was a latent demand among people who believed they should be storing food, but didn’t know what to buy or how to begin.

Demand for emergency food also exists outside of the Utah area, but there are differences between how Daily Bread carries out its business in and outside of the state. When the company expanded nationally in 2009 and began selling online, it did so with a new brand called Food Insurance, while in the Mountain West it still sells its products under the biblically inspired name Daily Bread.

The very terminology used to discuss the products is different as well. “Outside the Intermountain area, ‘food storage’ is Tupperware. Inside the Mountain West, food storage is something different—it’s the legumes and rice and wheat that you put in your basement,” Hyland says.

MissionaryMall and Daily Bread are two of dozens of companies that have capitalized on the opportunities created in a state made up mostly of members of a single, unique, distinctive church. Utah continues to become more religiously diverse, but the opportunities for entrepreneurs to find success meeting the needs of the state’s largest religious group seem unlikely to diminish. 


Business Segments Inspired by Mormon Culture 

  • Modest clothing. Utah is home to several stores, such as Sexy Modest Boutique and Diviine ModesTee, that specialize in women’s clothing that is fashionable, while adhering to LDS standards for modesty.
  • White clothing. Dressed In White, a retailer with five locations throughout the state, offers all-white clothes that can be worn in LDS temple ceremonies.
  • Emergency preparedness. Numerous local companies focus on emergency preparedness, including Thrive Life, The Ready Store and Daily Bread.
  • Missionary-related businesses. Mr. Mac and MissionaryMall, among others, cater specifically to missionaries.
  • Mormon-friendly sex shops. Husband & Wife in American Fork sells lingerie and sex products in a store that is designed to appeal to the sensibilities of a Mormon clientele.
  • LDS book stores. Deseret Book and Seagull Book specialize in books, music and other media for an LDS audience.

 

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