How To Start Popcorn Production In Nigeria Or Africa: The Complete Guide

How To Start Popcorn Production In Nigeria Or Africa: The Complete Guide | Image Source: Pexels

Popcorn business is, no doubt a very lucrative business.

Popcorn (Zea mays Everta) is a popular snack consumed by people located all over the world as an appetizer and sometimes for fun. It is a special type of flint maize that explodes when it is exposed to heat treatment, as a result, producing flakes.

Popcorns are widely consumed at cinemas, eateries, road traffic, schools, and many other places, by people ranging from kids to teenagers, and fully grow adults.

Compared to most snack foods, popcorn is low in calories as air-popped popcorn has only 31 calories per cup and oil-popped corn is only 55 calories per cup.

Also, not all varieties of maize/corn pop. Out of the 6 types of maize/corn—pod, sweet, flour, dent, flint, and popcorn—only popcorn pops. It is a whole grain and is made up of three components: the germ, endosperm, and pericarp

About 8 million tonnes of corns are produced in Nigeria annually, with Kaduna state being the highest producing state of the crop. But very few places produce the popcorn maize, and as a result, the bulk of it is imported into the country. Despite this, the popcorn production business continues to thrive in Nigeria as it is widely consumed as a snack in every part of the country, making the business lucrative.

If you’re looking to start a popcorn production business in Nigeria, you should read on.

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What Is A Popcorn?

Popcorn is a variety of corn which expands and puffs up when heated. Popcorn is made up entirely of corn, and for every 100g of popcorn, the energy value is 382kcal.


What is Popcorn Production?

Popcorn production is the process of making popcorns. It entails getting popcorn maize variety for the production, roasting in an oven, packaging the popcorn, and getting the right location/spot for retail.

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Business Opportunities in Popcorn Production 

1). Snacks Production:

Popcorns are usually just produced, packaged, and used as healthy snacks that are enjoyed on the go or in cinemas or parties.

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Facts and Benefits of Popcorn

  • The ability of popcorn to pop lies in the fact that corn kernels contain a small amount of water stored in a circle of soft starch inside the hard outer casing.
  • Popcorns can be successfully incorporated into diet as a daily snack and is associated with significant improvements in the cardiovascular system.
  • Popcorns may offer a healthy alternative to energy-dense, nutrient-light snacks, potentially improving the nutrient intake
  • A specific variety of white or yellow corn could be used in popcorn production
  • Essential parameters for consumer acceptance of popcorns are shape, colour, aroma, taste and texture
  • Salt and sugar are two primary popcorn flavours
  • Popcorn is usually coated with oil, butter and salt to give a nice taste
  • Popping results are sensitive to the rate at which the kernels are heated. If heated too quickly, there will be partially popped kernels with hard centres. Heating too slowly leads to entirely unpopped kernels
  • Popcorn is a popular snack food at sporting events and in movie theatres

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Types of Popcorn Businesses

1). One Spot Popcorn Business/Popcorn Carts:

This type has to do with finding just a spot, probably a busy place and staying there to make popcorns that would be sold immediately. It involves less stress and mobility.

2). Commercial Popcorn Business:

in this type, the popcorns are made in large quantities and supplied to retailers and marketers. Popcorns produced commercially usually have labels most times.

3). Mobile Popcorn Business:

in this type, the popcorns are made in a mobile cart that is pushed around and stopped when someone requests to buy some popcorns.

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How to Start A Popcorn Production Business In Nigeria: Step By Step Guide

1). Getting the Materials Ready:

The raw materials that will be needed for the business is a specific variety of corn. Corn bags should also be purchased. The goal is to choose sweet corn that will contain just enough moisture.

For adding taste to the snack, one would also need sugar, salt, and butter which could be bought from the supermarket or any other nearby shop. Later, they will be appropriately mixed, and the corn will be popped using a popcorn machine. 

2). Method of preparation:

  • Measure 50 to 100 ml oil to a popping pot.
  • Add a full tablespoon butter to it.
  • Add 1½ cup of corn.
  • Add two tablespoons of sugar.
  • Shake the pan to mix well.
  • Place it in popcorn machine stand.
  • After 2 minutes, it will begin to pop, then add flavours (Note: Flavor is liquid not dry). It should be allowed till all pops, by then, the popping sound will be low still no sound.
  • Turn it into a big bowl and add milk and shake it well till the milk mixes well with the popcorn.
  • The popcorn is ready. 

3). Packaging the Popcorn:

There are several ways you can sell your popcorns. But the most common way is through popcorn bags. You need to be creative and introduce various attractive methods that will entice people and make them love the popcorn.

4). Making Profits From The Popcorn Business:

The profits gotten from popcorn production is quite good, and with consistency, massive sales and profits could be made. 

Popcorn carts are about one of the easiest methods for selling popcorn. They are instant buying and selling gratification.

Places and events where a person could possibly set up a cart to sell popcorns include street corners, open markets, community parks, theme parks, carnivals, fairgrounds, farmer’s market, sporting events, tailgating, home improvement stores, job sites and outdoor malls.

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Challenges Of The Popcorn Production Business In Nigeria

Here are some challenges that can affect starting a popcorn production business in Nigeria, Africa, or many other places around the world:

  • High dependence on importing the maize used in popcorn production
  • Lack of government support
  • Lack of a highly favourable market
  • Lack of efficient production mechanisms
  • Poor funding of research activities
  • Bush burning
  • Lack of capital for large scale production
  • Lack of adequate widespread knowledge on how to produce high-quality products
  • Thieves and criminals

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To Sum It Up

The popcorn production business in Nigeria can be a lucrative and profitable venture to start-up, due to its vast market demand and on your own ability to build a wide supply chain network. If you’re looking for a business to venture into, the popcorn production business in Nigeria is a great option to explore.

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What are your thoughts on how to start a popcorn production business in Nigeria or Africa? Let me know by leaving a comment below.