Nigeria: Six entrepreneurs making money in the food industry

A consumer buying Wilson’s Lemonade in a supermarket. Photo: Supplied

A consumer buying Wilson’s Lemonade in a supermarket. Photo: Supplied

From establishing a bakery business to manufacturing baby food, we highlight six entrepreneurs who are making their mark in Nigeria’s food industry.

1. Entrepreneur turns side-hustle into thriving bakery business

Nike Majekodunmi, originally a management consultant, started her baking business casually in 2006, with her first client being a friend who was impressed by her cookies. She transitioned to full-time baking to have a flexible schedule for her family, not anticipating the rapid growth of her business. Rebranded as Nuts About Cakes in 2010, the company expanded from her home kitchen to a major bakery chain with a number of outlets. Majekodunmi funded the growth mainly through personal and family funds, and consistently reinvested revenue back into the business. Read the full article 

2. Selling lemonade through an innovative distribution strategy

Seyi Abolaji returned to Nigeria in 2007, having lived and studied in the US. Initially enthusiastic about joining a relative’s palm kernel oil business, he quickly realised it wasn’t as he had anticipated. Starting anew, he began selling hand-squeezed lemonade at a local university. Now, Wilson’s Lemonade, available in three distinct flavours, is stocked in various supermarkets. Read the full article

3. Producing nutritious foods to low-income consumers

The business of fortified foods in Nigeria is experiencing swift growth as the advantages of healthy eating become more recognised. The challenge lies in affordability, states Pelumi Aribisala, CEO and co-founder of Cato Foods, an indigenous company producing a variety of traditional staple foods enriched with micro-nutrients, or biofortified foods. “Many Nigerians still regard nutritious food as a luxury so we set out to find a cost-effective solution for families to have access to healthy, safe and affordable food, particularly those at the base of the pyramid,” he explains. Read the full article

4. Replacing imported baby foods with local production

Providing suitable meals for babies and toddlers is no small task, a fact Nigerian entrepreneur Seun Sangoleye discovered only after having her own child. “I had no idea what to feed my son, besides formula [milk],” she confesses, feeling that no one she knew could assist.

That was almost a decade ago. Since then, Sangoleye has been developing a children’s meal solutions company, known as Baby Grubz. This enterprise delivers food products and informative resources like meal plans, recipes, and advice. The assortment of food items offered by Lagos-based Baby Grubz includes finely dried fruits and vegetables that can be rehydrated and consumed as a porridge, or incorporated into mixtures for foods such as pancakes and muffins. Read the full article

5. Entrepreneur sets up comprehensive catfish facility

Osky Catfish Hatchery Grow-out & Processing Facility, located near Akure in southern Nigeria, grows and dries catfish for both domestic consumption and international export. Femi Eniola, who returned to Nigeria in 2018, set up the business after training in the Philippines, where he learned that they were using catfish bred in Nigeria. Osky controls the whole value chain, from hatching to growth and processing, and uses an oven to dry the catfish. The business processes around four tonnes of fresh catfish per week. Read the full article

6. A smoothie business in Nigeria

Olubunmi Otufowora, a pharmacist holding an MBA from the University of Lagos, is the founder and CEO of Boomsky Smoothies in Nigeria. She originally started her business by selling smoothies to her office colleagues. Nowadays, the company’s smoothies and juices can be found in a variety of fast-food restaurants and supermarkets throughout Lagos. Read the full article