How To Start Cocoa Cake Production Business In Nigeria Or Africa: Guide

How To Start A Lucrative Cocoa Cake Production Business In Nigeria Or Africa: The Complete Guide | Image: Tejas

The cocoa bean is a cash crop used for the production of cocoa liquor, cocoa butter, and cocoa powder. It also serves as an ingredient for most of the chocolate foods produced. Cocoa bean or cocoa, which is also called the cacao bean, is a dried and fermented seed from the Theobroma tree, which produces cocoa solids (non-fat substances) and cocoa butter (fat substances). Cocoa beans are the foundation of chocolate foods.

The cocoa bean has become popular around the world as a result of the rise in the chocolate confectionery market. Other than the chocolate confectionery market, other markets like the cosmetics and beverage market have also contributed to the growth of the cocoa bean global export market.

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The cocoa bean market increased to about 4,570 thousand metric tonnes by 10.7% in 2018. The top exporters of cocoa beans include Côte d’Ivoire ($3.53 billion), Ghana ($1.78 billion), Ecuador ($674 million), Nigeria ($621 million), and Cameroon ($492 million). On the other hand, Netherlands ($2.15 billion), Germany ($1 billion), United States ($927 billion), Malaysia ($812 billion) and Indonesia ($628 billion).

Nigeria is the fourth-largest global producer of cocoa beans, making cocoa cake production a very lucrative business. The Sub-Saharan country produces about 227,000 metric tonnes of cocoa per annum and exports to the Netherlands, Indonesia, Malaysia, Germany and Belgium, among several others. In Nigeria, the cocoa is harvested from October to June yearly for multiple uses, including beverage and cake production.

The cocoa cake production is relatively new and unexplored, compared to other cocoa by-products. This makes the sector an interesting one with a great business prospect. If you’re looking to tap into the potential of the cocoa cake production business, you will find step-by-step guidelines on how to get started in this article.

See Also: How To Start A Lucrative Cosmetics Production Business In Nigeria: The Complete Guide

 

What Is A Cocoa Cake?

Cocoa cake is made from the residue left after pressing liquor or butter from cocoa. The residue is then processed further into a powder which is used in the making of chocolate confections or beverages.

 

What Is A Cocoa Cake Production Business?

The cocoa cake production is the entire pressing process that produces the five-centimetre thick residue known as cocoa cake. It also describes the other business process involved such as marketing, promotion and distribution to end-consumers.

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Business Opportunities Associated With Cocoa Cake Production Business In Nigeria And Across The World

1). Pastry/Beverage Production:

Most pastry goods and beverage drinks contain cocoa. The uses of cocoa in pastry and beverage goods are more than colouring. Cocoa is useful for making cakes, ice cream, chocolate bars, cookies, milkshakes, tea, etc., which are all lucrative business endeavours for both large-scale and small-scale businesspersons to invest in.

2). Cosmetics Production:

The butter extracted from the cocoa is often used in the production of soaps and creams, powder and other related beauty products. Cocoa is a rich source of antioxidants, Vitamins A, B1, C, D, and E which repair the skin and protect it from sunburn. Cocoa butter also serves as a temporal skin tanning agent. The cosmetics industry benefits optimally from the cocoa by-products business.

3). Cocoa Cake Marketing And Distribution:

As the demand for cocoa cake increases all across the world, there is a need for energetic marketers to distribute to the different sectors or industries where it is needed.

 

Facts And Benefits Of Cocoa

  • Cocoa powder can serve as a condiment.
  • Cocoa is used mostly in the colouring of foods, beverages, and confections.
  • A cocoa tree takes five years to produce its first seed pod.
  • Approximately 400 cocoa bean seeds make one pound of chocolate.
  • December 13th is the National cocoa day in the US.
  • In 1847, Joseph Fry made the first chocolate bar.
  • Cocoa trees are planted next to tall trees to shield them from direct sunlight.
  • Each cocoa tree produces approximately 1,000 beans a year.
  • Cocoa production is mostly done by hand.
  • The tree is called ‘cacao’ while the bean or fruit is ‘cocoa’.

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Types Of Cocoa

1). The Forastero Cocoa:

Forastero cocoa is the most widely grown variety of cocoa. It makes up over 70% of the world’s cocoa production. It produces 4 – 5 cocoa pods a year and is known for its smooth yellow and green appearance. It has a high concentration of tannin, a Polyphomelic biomolecule that binds to and precipitates proteins and other organic components like alkaloids and amino acid. The Forastero cocoa has a high acidity level and is often combined with several cocoa types to enhance its bitter flavour. It originated in Brazil.

2). Criollo Cocoa:

The criollo cocoa cultivar is mildly acidic and has an aftertaste of tobacco, caramel nuts, and fruit. Criollo cocoa is the most expensive and quality variety of cocoa. It is rare and is not grown in most places because it has the least annual yield.

3). Trinitario Cocoa:

Trinitario cocoa is a hybrid variety of Forastero and Criollo cocoa. Trinitario is the most potent type of cocoa, as it is a mix of the best traits of the Forastero and the Criollo cocoa bean. It came about as an accident, but after the hurricane of 1727, it got replanted.

 

How To Start A Cocoa Cake Production Business In Nigeria: A Step-By-Step Guide 

1). Drafting A Business Plan:

A detailed business plan for a cocoa cake production business entails all details and plans laid out for the success of the business. This includes the budget, business strategies, objectives, SWOT analysis, business timeline, etc.

2). Getting A Business Site:

Most small-scale businesspersons would prefer to start their cocoa cake business in their homes, both for comfort and to save cost. However, for large-scale cake producers, a suitable business site large and spacious enough for baking activities is necessary.

3). Buying Cocoa Cake Production Equipment:

It is important to invest in the most basic equipment such as stones remover machine, cacao grader machine, cocoa bean roaster, cooling machine, cocoa bean grinder, liquor storage tank and a cocoa butter press machine, among others.

4). Harvesting And Sorting Cocoa:

The Theombora tree is a delicate tree that, and so, plucking cocoa is a skilful task done by hand. With the use of a knife, carefully pick the pods from the flower. You might have to use hooked blades attached to poles to reach the higher pods. After harvesting, use a slightly blunt machete to break the cocoa pods into two. Before processing, sort the cocoa beans to remove the unripe or condemned. A cocoa pod houses over 50 cocoa beans each.

5). Fermentation:

Fermentation is the process of reducing sugar and starch to acid or alcohol. Fermentation turns the cocoa bean brown. Place the cocoa beans in a shallow tray or wrap it up in banana leaves for 5-8 days, making sure to check on it occasionally, turning the down to up and, then up to down.

6). Drying The Cocoa Seeds:

After fermentation, the next crucial stage is drying the beans. Spread the cocoa beans on a wooden bed or tray and leave them in the sun to dry. Depending on the climate, the cocoa seed takes a week to dry. It is necessary to turn it occasionally to ensure every bean is dried. Drying the bean reduces its weight and mass.

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7). Processing The Cocoa Cake:

The most demanding part of producing cocoa cake is perhaps the extraction itself. Pay attention to the following steps:

  • Roast the beans to make the outer shell brittle and easy to remove.
  • After roasting, winnow the cocoa beans in the winnowing machine to remove the outer skin and separate the chaffs from the cocoa nibs.
  • Grind the cocoa beans. Grinding turns the cocoa nibs into cocoa liquor, which is unsweetened. Manufacturers often mill different types of cocoa nibs together to enhance flavour.
  • Extract the cocoa butter from the liquor. This process extracts the butter from the liquor, leaving the mass of residue known as cocoa cake. The cake may undergo further processing, which turns it into cocoa powder and sold to the cosmetic, health, or condiment industry.

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Challenges Of Starting A Cocoa Cake Production Business In Nigeria

  • Unfavourable weather conditions
  • Lack of financial help from the government
  • Low-quality chemicals
  • Extracting cocoa cake could be a tedious process
  • Absence of mechanized farming equipment
  • High cost of equipment
  • Challenges with distribution channels
  • Poor management skills among investors in cocoa cake

See Also: How To Start A Lucrative Coffee Bean Farming Business In Nigeria: The Complete Guide

 

To Sum It Up

The cocoa cake production business holds lots of promise across the world, thanks to its high demand rates. Cocoa cake production in Nigeria can be a lucrative and profitable venture to start-up, due to its vast market demand and on your ability to build a wide network. If you’re looking for a lucrative business to venture into, the cocoa cake production business in Nigeria is a great option to explore.

 

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