Make Money Exporting Foodstuffs

Food Exporting Business Opportunity

Another opportunity has emerged for business-minded individuals seeking ideas on what they can do to earn a living or for those of you working, to earn extra cash.

The local foodstuffs exportation business is growing rapidly kudos to the rising number of Africans living abroad.

This form of entrepreneurship was discovered by some locals who at one time traveled abroad to visit relations or do business and on getting there found out that the local kind of delicacies like egusi, amala, onugbu, fio-fio, pounded yam, and Oha soup, etc are rarely available and when seen in an African restaurant, very costly.

This gap in getting local dishes abroad has opened opportunities also for foreigners living abroad setting up restaurants. Also in the last two decades, restaurants across Europe and America have thrived, making these delicacies a regular feature on their menus.

make money exporting foodstuffs

Different Local Delicacies

To sustain their business, they have practically created a good opportunity for exporters, who have since been supplying them with a variety of foodstuffs to keep their business going.

The sheer volume of those involved in the running of these African kitchens, as they were, has indicated that a massive supply gap must be plugged, especially on a daily basis.

At a seminar organized in Lagos, Nigeria, the Chief Executive, The Thy Consulting (Member of The Thy Global Investment Limited, a food exporting company), Ismail AbdulAzeez, said the demand for local foodstuffs in Europe and America is rising due to increasing number of Africans, particularly Nigerians, sojourning there.

This, he explained, has created the need for foodstuffs exporters to supply African restaurants in the United States (US) and Europe.

He listed the commodities in demand as smoked fish, crayfish, garri, beans flour, melon seed, ogbono, cassava flour, bitter leaf, dried pumpkin leaf, pepper, pap, and vegetable leaves, among others.

According to him, there is a market for traditional and innovative food products in North America and Europe, but buyers are interested in high-quality food products and strict safety standards.

He explained that foodstuff presents a great opportunity for small companies to enter the overseas food market.

According to Ismail, the volume of Nigerian export of foodstuffs to these countries is still on a very small scale considering the estimation of well over 20 million Nigerians, who reside outside the country, with the majority living in the United Kingdom (UK) and the US. This, he noted, has created opportunities for more Nigerians to come into the business to meet increasing demand.

How to Make Money Exporting Foodstuffs

Describing it as an opportunity for Nigerians who want to start a small export business, AbdulAzeez said the first thing is to find out from a relative abroad what kinds of local delicacies are in demand.

After that, the new entrants will identify where to source such food products locally.

According to him, exporters of agricultural consumer products would be well served to get in touch with knowledgeable Nigerians living in Europe and the US as many members have a great degree of expertise in the complex market. For food products to do well, a combination of good marketing and attractive packaging, he said, is a must together with quality produce.

Though one can start small, he advised on the need to incorporate a limited liability company, register with Nigerian Exports Promotion Council (NEPC), has an e-mail address, a mobile phone, and a domiciliary account with a bank.

He emphasized further the need for local training to reduce losses incurred by Nigerian exporters due to non-compliance with health standards on food produce exports.

He said with a large number of Africans in the Diaspora, the potential of food export business is vast in Europe and America where Nigerians visiting such places flock to ethnic-food shops, supermarkets, natural and organic food stores, fair trade co-ops, industrial end-users, and the many layers within the foodservice industry to buy local foodstuffs.

According to him, food export opportunities exist around the world and some key markets have the potential for increased purchases from local exporters.

Small foodstuff exporters, he said, have an opportunity to build on a strong reputation for quality food products and grow sales in a few years.

I, therefore, urge our youths and agribusiness entrepreneurs to make good use of this great opportunity as this does not require one to break the bank before starting. All that is required has been categorically stated here. There is already an emerging group of exporters making money from exporting African foods abroad. Even the foreigners also enjoy these foods and this is helping to increase the prices of these commodities as demand is higher than supply.

This opportunity may not last a lifetime, the sooner you start, the better for you, the smarter for you, and the more money for you before the business is saturated with bigger competitors which is imminent.

Francis Nwokike

Francis Nwokike is a Social Entrepreneur and an experienced Disaster Manager. I love discussing new business trends and marketing tips. I share ideas and tips that will help you grow your business.

29 Responses

  1. Temitope says:

    Glad I found this page, I’m interested in exporting seasoning cubes, palm oil, Egusi, Ogbono(melon seeds) and garri
    Do you perhaps have an estimate of the cost needed to start this business?
    Thanks for your time.

    • Hi Temitope, thank you for stopping by. I am sorry, we cannot give you an estimate as the business requires other technicalities. You should reach out to Thy Global Consult mentioned in the article for more enquiries on the other fees required, the current cost of shipping, and from there, you can reach a figure depending on the scale (quantity) you wish to be exporting.

  2. Oluwadamilola says:

    Pls,I’m a student,just getting to know this business,like how much do I need to register under a company,and how much do I need to start the business?

  3. Eze Amara says:

    Will like to export crayfish and palm oil

  4. Eze Amara says:

    I will like to join how can I go about it

  5. Please I want to be exporting pap/akamu
    Help me, how to start Nd see company that can be of help.?

  6. Mercy says:

    Wow I love your article and I am so interested. Am a Ghanaian and I will love to start this exportation of food stuffs esp bitter cola and any other food stuffs. Pls how do I start? What do I need to do? How do I get buyers for my goods. Pls help me Boss

  7. Uket says:

    Please I already the idea of food stuff export business. But how can I scout for buyers abroad. I need help. Thanks

    • Hello Uket, if you read carefully our post, you’ll get few ideas on how to scout for buyers abroad. The more easier way is to find and belong to an exporting company that allow pool of food producers and exporters to come together and send their produce broad. These companies make the contact for buyers abroad, all you have to do is bring your produce and get paid after sale is made.

  8. George Davies says:

    I am a Sierra Leonean, I have just read your article on food export to Europe, America and elsewhere. I am interested in it, but I am bothered by their regulatory requirements and food safety laws.

    • Hello George, it is important you understand the quality/standard of food items you wish to export abroad and to do this, you need to contact the Agriculture Ministry of your country to direct you to the proper office that oversees agricultural produce exporting for the standard of food items accepted by any country you wish to import to. Being a member of Food exporting bodies could ease this for you as the necessary requirements are made available to members. Do not just cultivate any food items or bulk buy any food items with the intention to export without understanding the quality, specie and even packaging methods without proper enquiries by the local authorities. Best regards.

  9. moji says:

    Pls,am a corp member serving,am interested in the exportation business, aw will i go about it

    • Hello Moji, you can consult, they could help in the training and provision of materials and information you need to startup. They are member of a Food Exporting Company and are located in Lagos. You can contact them through the link provided and tell them Francis of The Total Entrepreneur referred you to them.

  10. sunny ogar says:

    I just came across this article and I am so happy for it. Please I need to ask how one can send perishable items through air freight and how it cost to send items more so if there are any special agency to deal with in Abuja and port harcourt.

  11. Amusan Caleb Femi says:

    Thanks Sir, i’ve been doing this food stuff exportation without formal trainning how do i get intouch with this “The thy consult” am also in Lagos i need to be train i surely need it.


    I’m interested in this foodstuffs export business as outlined in your brief explanation. Perhaps I’ll need for assistance on the financial outlay and documentation. Thanks.

    • Hello Dickson, nice to hear from you.

      You could contact a consultant for those information as we do not not have expertise on the financial impliaction involved. We suggest you contact The Thy Consult (a food exporting company) using the link in the article to ask your question and maybe their address so you can speak with them on one on one basis.

      Thank you.

  13. Akintomide Mary says:

    Please how can I get buyers of palm oil here in Nigeria. 08034447150.@marisbeauty. Looking forward to hearing from you as soon as possible. Thanks

    • Hello Mary,you need to ascertain such information through market survey. I also send palm oil to the north from the east. I am working this out with a friends mother in Zamfara state.

      So you need to look out for buyers, discuss terms and if favorable, start business. It is a viable business.


      Francis N.

  14. Julius fadahunsi says:

    I am an exporter of charcoal but I would like to venture into foodstuff also.
    So am thinking how can one get a buyer in Europe?

    • Thank you for the comment Julius. Exportation of charcoal has been viable over the years. Keep it up.

      I believe strongly that your contacts to which ever country you export charcoal to can be a starting point. You can also contact your relations or friends abroad and ask them if they can help you source for restuarants that prepare local delicacies and get their contact for you. You should know what to do once this contacts are made.

  15. Emeka says:

    Thanks for this article, i am a student who’s still in school but i’m having financial challenges here, pls how do i get started?

  16. sarah says:

    Please how much will it cost to register d company, and where can I get the training

    • Registering a company in Nigeria is not so hard. If you reside in Abuja, I could give you the contact of a lawyer that will help you with the process. You have to register your company with CAC

      I do not know if there is a training school for this type of venture but if you can consult “The Thy Consult” – , I believe they could help. They are member of a Food Exporting Company and are located in Lagos. But you can contact them through the link provided and tell them Francis of TheTotalEntrepreneurs referred you to them. Maybe they could help, am not certain.

      Give me a reply for follow up.

      All the best.

      Francis N.

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