The average Nigerian has a penchant for foreign things so it is no surprise that American and British snacks are big hits in the country.
Potato chips, sausage rolls and foreign made cookies are few of the many snacks that are hawked majorly on the streets and also sold in the highbrow markets of Nigeria. These snacks drive sales that are huge enough for franchises to be bought to make the foreign snacks more readily available locally.
On the other hand, Nigerian snacks are not as popular outside the shores of the country, causing a large imbalance in the export/import flow.
Interestingly, there is a wide range of Nigeria indigenous snacks such as plantain chips, assorted range of peanut snacks, chinchin and so on that areÂ not only tasty butÂ also healthy snacks. They are however confined to street corners largely as local snack options.
Branding and commercializing these snacks even within the country has been a slow process but it has definitely taken flight with companies like Dufil throwing its weight behind theÂ Minimie chinchin which has gained a lot of popularity in the Nigerian market.
Also, a lot of businesses are opening up shifting the focus from what used to be accepted. The definition of cool is becoming redefined as more attention is being paid to the commercialization of the Nigerian indigenous snacks.
Chips are being made from the popular pumpkin leaves(ugwu) and other vegetables like Uziza mixed with oats and sesame seeds. Concentrating on the exotic options that have been derived from local products may seem farfetched because the popular everyday snacks are equally awesome.
While some businesses are concentrating on changing the face of cool and creating healthy snack options from irregular ingredients, some other businesses are focused on creating premium snacks from the regular West African snacks.
Chika’s food named after the business owner, Chika Russell, are majorly gluten freeÂ vegan plantain chips and peanuts that are sold in big grocery stores in the UK. Chika Russell first caught everyoneâ€™s attention when she turned down the 30,000 pounds offer she got from one of the investors on Dragonâ€™s den because she wasnâ€™t ready to let go of 30% of her company at the time.
The company is now worth over 1 million pounds and there are moves to partner withÂ majorÂ airlines to include Chikaâ€™s as one of the snacks offered on their flights.
The growth of the company is no doubt based on great business planning, management and top notch quality controlÂ but none of that makes sense if there isnâ€™t a great product up for sale.
Chika Russell has achieved what may have seem impossible byÂ offering the world West African snacks on a large scale.
The spotlight is on Africa, there is no better time to start that business and take it to the world. Nigeria and indeed other West African countries have a lot to offer the world.