Cold room business in Nigeria is one of the multi-billion naira, silent businesses. Right here from where I am sitting, I can count up to five multi-millionaires that I know made their money from cold room/ food preservation business.
What does cold room business entail?
It involves selling of pre-packaged and preserved food items in Nigeria. When you say cold room business in Nigeria, what readily comes to mind is Frozen Fish or poultry products like chicken and turkey but it goes far beyond that.
There are other products that are sold by cold room operators including frozen yoghurt, Ice Cream, Ice Block, Soya Milk, Prawns and basically, any food item that needs refrigeration as a means of preservation.
Starting a card room business in Nigeria involves taking the following steps-:
First, you have to look for a very good warehouse which you can use as your cold room. The place needs to be spacious and well ventilated in order to guarantee adequate preservation of your products.
Determine Your Scale of Business
There are different scales of cold room business in Nigeria. You can either go for the small scale cold room business which would only entail selling to immediate customers or go full scale, which would involve manufacturing/packaging or importing your products yourself.
For people who want to engage in small-scale cold room business, all you need is a good shop, refrigerators or a min-cold room, constant power supply and of course, access to cheap supply of products.
Registration with NAFDAC
Since you would be dealing in consumable food items and may also be importing some of your products, it is necessary to register with NAFDAC. You can visit their website, www.nafdac.com for more information on this. However, this is only required for large scale businesses.
Determine Products to Sell
You should look around you and do a proper research on the most lucrative items to sell. I could tell you that Frozen Fish and Chicken are some of the fastest selling products but what if it doesn’t sell in your location due to stiff competition? The onus therefore rests on you to determine what products would sell faster and better in your location.
Construct a Cold Room
You need to hire someone to construct a cold room for you if you cannot afford already-made ones. If you are running your business on a large scale, refrigerators alone might not be sufficient.
Constant Electricity Supply
PHCN is not your friend in this business; they would mess you up. So get yourself a good, strong stand-by generator to provide constant access to electricity. This is extremely important in order to avoid goods going bad due to absence of electricity.
Determine Source of Supply
Where would you get your goods from? This is a very important decision to make. If you are venturing into frozen fish, meat or turkey business, it is possible for you to process and package your products yourself.
You could have a farm where you would raise live chickens or livestock and then have them slaughtered and processed for sale upon maturity. You can also process and package other products yourself. This would guarantee you more profit than when you import products.
Other things you would need for this business include packaging supplies, measuring scales, tables, polythene bags or cartons, bowls, knives and support staff.