How To Start a Profitable Food Business in Nigeria [UPDATED]

How To Start a Profitable Food Business in Nigeria

How To Start a Profitable Food Business in Nigeria
West African national cuisine. Jollof rice with grilled chicken wings and fried bananas plantains.On gray stone table. Copy space top view


Nigeria is blessed with so much food, fresh organic produce with a lot of variety, due to its wonderful climate.

Nigeria is home to more than 200 Million people with over 500 ethnic groups, each of them with varying food and culture.

Nigerian food is mostly rich and spicy, and the sheer variety of dishes found in Nigeria is amazing.

If you live outside Nigeria like in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom etc., you will be able to source Nigerian food ingredients from your local African store.

Not to ignore the local market in Nigeria with over 200 Million people and an emerging middle class that is in dire need of good food at an affordable price.

Starting a food business is ever profitable in the Nigerian market, and if you plan to start a food business I welcome you to this blog because this article has been written to help you scale your food business from start to finish.

What is a Food Business and How does it Work?

A food business is any business, enterprise or activity that involves the handling of food. The business model behind running a food business enables anyone to take orders and deliver food to anyone and demand money in exchange.

Why Should I Start a Food Business in Nigeria?

Nigeria is a country of diverse cultures and traditions, and its cuisine reflects this diversity. Nigerian food is known for its bold flavours, unique spices, and delicious blends that have won the hearts of many people around the world.

Starting a food business in Nigeria is not only a great opportunity to showcase your cooking skills, but it is also a profitable venture that can help you achieve financial success.

Everyone loves food! Whether you like spicy, salty, sweet, or savoury foods, there are options to satisfy everyone’s taste buds.

For this reason, the food industry is filled with countless opportunities to innovate and get creative.

In this article, we will discuss some of the reasons why you should consider starting a food business in Nigeria.

1. Food is a basic need of man.

The necessities needed for the survival of man remain the same till the end of time, among which food is paramount.

The biggest reason to invest in the food industry is that it’s a basic need. Unlike fashion, accessories, or other similar business types based on people’s “wants”, you can always count on people to “need” food.

2. Huge market potential.

Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, with a population of over 200 million people. This presents a huge market potential for food businesses.

Nigerians love food and are always on the lookout for new and exciting flavours. Starting a food business in Nigeria will give you access to this huge market potential, and with the right marketing strategy, you can establish a loyal customer base and achieve great financial success.

3. Low startup costs.

Starting a food business in Nigeria is relatively affordable compared to other businesses. You can start with a small capital and gradually expand as your business grows.

You do not need to rent a large space or invest in expensive equipment to get started. With just a small kitchen and basic cooking utensils, you can start a food business in Nigeria.

4. Diverse food culture.

Nigeria has a diverse food culture, with different regions having unique dishes and flavours. This presents a great opportunity for food entrepreneurs to experiment with different recipes and create unique blends that can stand out in the market.

Whether you want to focus on local delicacies or international cuisines, there is a market for it in Nigeria.

5. Supportive business environment.

The Nigerian government has made efforts to create a supportive business environment for entrepreneurs.

They have implemented policies and programs that encourage small businesses and provide financial and technical support to help them grow.

This support, combined with the huge market potential, makes Nigeria an attractive destination for business investment.

6. Running a food business is convenient.

In addition to people having the basic need for food, they also lack time to prepare it themselves most of the time.

The food industry offers convenient and time-saving solutions to those with the busiest schedules especially those in middle-class or urban areas.

7. Running a food business is less risky.

Since food is an essential need of man, starting a Food-related business is far less likely to go bankrupt or experience financial trouble than other business types as they respond to a basic human need. As long as your food is delicious, customers will keep coming back.

8. Food Business resonates with passion.

If you love cooking, you should start making money doing what you enjoy. Many people have started their food businesses because of passion. You are most likely to succeed when doing something you like.

Cooking is not only a fun activity, but you get to learn lots of things. You can learn to cook different dishes or try using new ingredients.

9. People want to get meals delivered.

People have loved the convenience of food delivery since the beginning of the dining industry. Online food delivery still presents a $210 billion market opportunity globally.

The truth is that no one likes to do it all by themselves, some people like the fact that they can order food by themselves and get it delivered to them.

How Do You Start a Food Business?

It was reported that Nigerians spent 56.65% of 40.20 trillion which is equivalent to about 21.62 trillion on food consumption.

Starting a food business in Nigeria can be a lucrative and rewarding venture. With a population of over 200 million people and a love for food, the Nigerian food industry offers a vast market and opportunities for entrepreneurs.

However, like any business, starting a food business in Nigeria requires careful planning, hard work, and dedication. In this article, we will provide you with some tips on how to start a successful food business in Nigeria.

Developed countries spent less on food unlike poorer countries like Nigeria spent more. One of how you can tap from this business opportunity; is by starting a food business, this section teaches you step-by-step how you can start a food business in Nigeria.

1. Conduct Market Research.

Before starting your food business, it is essential to conduct market research. You need to understand your target market, their preferences, and what they are willing to pay.

Determine the types of foods that are in high demand in the area you want to serve. You can also check out your competitors and study their menus, pricing, and marketing strategies.

2. Choose a Niche.

Choosing a niche for your food business is crucial to its success. Identify what type of food you want to specialize in and focus on that. You could consider catering for events or providing a mobile food service.

There are various niches to choose from, such as healthy food, fast food, continental cuisine, and local cuisine.

You could also consider starting a food processing business, which involves the manufacturing, packaging, and distribution of food products.

Having a focused niche allows you to grow your audience, connect with sponsors and advertisers, and concentrate your marketing and content creation efforts.

Whether you intend to start a food business, one thing you need to do is decide on the niche you want to serve.

A niche is the area of expertise in which you will specialize. This guides the type of products you will focus on, partnerships you will accept, content you will produce, and customers you will try to attract.

When it comes to running a food business, you need to decide on your preferred niche. Some of the food niches include; Family meals, Wines and champagne, indigenous meals, Exotic cuisine, Baking and Quick meals, and a keto Diet.

You should choose your preferred area of focus and invest in it to acquire a target audience.

3. Develop a Business Plan.

Developing a comprehensive business plan is crucial to the success of your food business. Your business plan should include your goals, target market, menu, pricing, marketing strategies, and financial projections. It is important to include a contingency plan in case of unforeseen circumstances.

4. Register Your Business.

As a food business owner, business name registration is essential to get your business up and running.

Registering your food business is important, and it involves obtaining the necessary permits and licenses from the relevant government agencies.

You will need to register with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and obtain a Tax Identification Number (TIN) from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

You will also need to register with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) if you plan to produce and distribute food products.

For a food business owner to make their business eligible for investment, grants or government it has to be registered as a company. 

Registering a business name in Nigeria is as easy as creating an account on Facebook, all can be online, all that is needed to be done is to access the official portal of the commission and that settles it.

I wrote a comprehensive guide on how you can register your business in Nigeria. Check out the link to the article to learn more.

5. Get Funding For Your Business.

Next is to get funding for your business. There are various ways to fund your business, the first of which will be self-financed.

Self-financing or personal investment is the best way of financing used by several business start-ups. 

Even when you take a loan or ask a venture capitalist or government entity to provide funding for your start-up, they still have this question; how much capital you shall be investing in your start-up? 

In the later stages of business, you can easily opt for business loans and lenders shall not have a reason to deny it, as they will consider the stability of the business, as it will be a low-risk factor for them.

I wrote a comprehensive guide on this blog on how you can access funds for your business in Nigeria.

6. Choose a Location.

The success of any business is subject to where it is located in a given environment on account of political considerations, religion, ethnicity etc. 

Without business or economic advantages in place, a business will fail. Further research shows the experts confirm that the majority of Nigerian entrepreneurs do not achieve their expected goals in terms of profit because of the wrong location of business.

When starting a food business choosing the best location is the best thing that can help your business grow.

You dont want to cite your business in a rural area, your main target should be the urban cities where the middle-class lives.

7. Source for Quality Ingredients.

The quality of your ingredients is essential to the success of your food business. You should source fresh and high-quality ingredients from reliable suppliers.

You could also consider establishing a farm-to-table model by growing your produce. This ensures that you have control over the quality of your ingredients and reduces your operational costs.

8. Hire Competent Staff.

Your staff is an essential part of your food business. You need to hire competent staff who can deliver excellent customer service and prepare delicious meals. Your staff should be knowledgeable about the food industry, food safety, and customer service.

9. Implement Good Hygiene Practices.

Food safety is essential in the food industry, and you need to implement good hygiene practices to prevent foodborne illnesses.

This includes proper handwashing, cleaning and sanitizing equipment and utensils, and storing food at the right temperature. You should also ensure that your staff is trained in food safety and hygiene practices.

10. Promote Your Business.

Marketing your food business is essential to attract customers and growing your business. You could promote your business through social media, flyers, word of mouth, and partnerships with other businesses. You could also offer promotions, discounts, and loyalty programs to attract and retain customers.

Marketing is the lifeblood of any business. The best way to promote your food business is with visual content because people will crave your food if they see such good pictures.  After you take those awesome photos, now it’s time to make use of them for promotional purposes.

1. Use Facebook.

Your Facebook Page is often the central hub for your entire social media marketing presence as a small business.

Facebook is home to one of the largest marketplaces in the world, with more than 3 Billion people on its platform.

I wrote a comprehensive guide on how to grow your business on Facebook. Check out the link to the article to learn more.

2. Promote on Twitter.

Every single minute, an average of 350,000 new tweets are posted on Twitter. This equates to more than 500 million tweets per day, While it might seem like a large quantity, by comparison, Facebook has an average of 3 million new posts per minute.

Twitter is home to over 1 Billion users as of 2022 and has recorded more engagement that any social media platform.

Twitter can be used as a tool to grow your food business, by tweeting out branded tweets, creating paid ads and partnering with social media influencers to help boost your reach.

I wrote a comprehensive guide on how you can grow your business on Twitter. Check out the link to the article below to learn more.

3. Instagram can Increase Your Reach.

Instagram has been Projected to reach 1.2 billion users by 2023, Instagram has huge potential for small business owners to boost their marketing efforts, and marketers everywhere know it.

Marketers and business owners rank Instagram as second in importance after Facebook, and sixty-four per cent of marketers plan to increase their activities on Instagram over the next year.

Instagram is one platform that can help grow your food business in a short period because of its photo-centric approach, it is one place to showcase your delicacies.

I wrote a comprehensive guide on how you can grow your business using Instagram. Check out the link to the article below to learn more.

4. Start a YouTube Channel About Your Business.

YouTube receives more than 40 million visitors a day, who watch nearly five billion videos. Aside from that, YouTube is the second biggest search engine, coming after only Google itself.

And take note that YouTube is only growing. Year after year, because more people are spending more time on it.

Many people go to YouTube to find answers and how-to tutorials especially, You can leverage this as a food business owner to reach out to a huge audience.

I wrote a comprehensive guide on how to start a YouTube channel and become successful with it. Check out the link to the article to learn more.

5. Blog about your Food Business.

People want to know that they can trust you. And they also want to see that you know what you say you do!

By writing blogs that showcase your expertise in your field, you can establish your credibility and win the trust of your customers.

Blogs are also a great way to give your customers a glimpse of your business’s personality! They’re able to hear your voice, and they’re able to see your passion for what you do.

I wrote a comprehensive guide on how you can start a blog and become successful at it. Check out the link to the article to learn more.

6. Pin your Food Business.

Pinterest is a social media platform that allows users to share images that inspire them or that they’d like to revisit on their own personal, virtual mood boards.

Users can also search for, well, anything and within various categories. Pinterest is a great, often under-utilized resource for businesses, as these pins can share product information, link back to websites, increase brand exposure, and more.

Using Pinterest coupled with your brand website can help expose your business beyond borders.

I wrote a comprehensive guide on how you can utilize Pinterest to grow your business. Check out the link to the article to learn more.

7. Create a Google Business Profile.

Google is the world’s most-visited website, and currently holds more than 92% of the search engine market share.

Creating a Google Business Profile is an important way to attract new customers to your business through Google search and Maps.

A Google Business Profile helps ensure that people find your business when looking for products and services like yours in their local area.

Most times people want to visit the closest canteen to them, and one of the first things they do is open their Google app and make a search.

A Google Business Profile also improves your local SEO. In particular, a listing for a local business is more likely to appear when people search for a nearby business using Google Maps.

I wrote a comprehensive guide on how you can get your business listed via Google my business. Check out the link to the article below to learn more.


Starting a food business in Nigeria is a great opportunity for anyone with a passion for cooking and a desire to succeed in the business world.

With a diverse food culture, huge market potential, low startup costs, high demand for convenience, and a supportive business environment, Nigeria is a fertile ground for food entrepreneurs. So, if you are thinking about starting a food business, Nigeria might just be the right place for you.

Finally, Starting a food business in Nigeria can be challenging, but with the right planning, dedication, and hard work, you can succeed.

By following the tips outlined in this article, you can start a successful food business that meets the needs of your target market and contributes to the growth of the Nigerian food industry.

What do you think?

Written by Udemezue John

Hello, I'm Udemezue John, a web developer and digital marketer with a passion for financial literacy.

I have always been drawn to the intersection of technology and business, and I believe that the internet offers endless opportunities for entrepreneurs and individuals alike to improve their financial well-being.

You can connect with me on Twitter


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