There’s always demand for popcorn in school areas, shopping malls, event centres, cinemas because it is a yummy snack that is good for keeping the mouth busy while watching movies, football match, break plays at school and so on. Before starting a popcorn business you need to understand that somethings must be learnt, materials and ingredients will have to be purchased.
The first step is to figure out what type of popcorn business you wish to start in Nigeria. There are two main categories, namely;
- Small scale popcorn
- Medium scale popcorn
This is the most commonly practiced model called ‘Local popcorn’ which involves home production or roadside production of popcorn. People with small capital often go for this type of popcorn business as it does not require elaborate structure, branding and organisation. It can be done in either your kitchen or a busy roadside junction.
This is a more formal, advanced and structured model which is run like a standard company that would require strategic planning and machinery/equipment to facilitate the production of popcorn.
When doing the medium scale popcorn business, an important aspect of it is branding. This simply refers to the company name and design, as well as packaging method which makes the popcorn very presentable to the end users. For example the attractive appearance of a special nylon or paper wraps will make customers rush to buy the popcorn.
GET TRAINING ON POPCORN PRODUCTION
This is one of those businesses that mandates you to get the requisite skills before you can start the start anything. If you already know how to make popcorn, you have an advantage, but if the opposite is the case, then some options to consider include getting a trainer by enrolling in a training course or asking to learn from someone who is already into the business. But if you want to eliminate the human interaction factor, you can opt for learning it online via YouTube tutorials and blogs that give step by step guides.
Knowing how to make popcorn is not enough when you want to start a popcorn business as what will give you regular customers is if your product is tasty. The training period will put you through how to source raw materials, how to measure ingredients and package the popcorn.
To start a popcorn business one does not need to break the bank, rather, the opposite is the case as it can be started with as low as N15,000 excluding fixed capital. For large scale production about N150,000 is the recommended amount to get the business up and running.
You cannot make popcorn if you do not have the raw materials also known as ingredients. The key ingredients for the production of popcorn are; corn, sugar, salt, butter, milk, vegetable oil, and flavour (optional).
Some people add 1 cap bottle of flavor during the processing in order to make the popcorn irresistible. There are different types of flavor, the liquid type is preferred one.
The primary items needed include;
I. Big bowl or container
II. Nylon (branded) for packaging the popcorn
III. Sealing machine
This is used to seal the popcorn immediately they finish popping to prevent air from entering. This will make the crispy nature to remain intact until consumption.
They can be bought for between N10,000 to N15,000, but the prices are hardly fixed so you may have to negotiate with the seller. This particular machine only works with electricity or a generating set.
IV. Popcorn Machine
A valuable tip is to buy the type of machine that can produce both salt and sugar popcorn to cater to different people’s preference. Also get the big size if you are starting in a large-scale.
Some popularly used popcorn machines are Funpop 8 oz or ET-POP6A-D. If you have N65,000 to N75,000, you can buy it depending on your location and the market place.
Gas cylinder or electric:
Furthermore, it is better to to buy the type of machine that has gas cylinder along with electricity in case your place of residence or choice of business location does not have stable power supply. But if you do not have money to buy that machine there are cheaper ones that are sold for N20,000/N25,000. It also saves you from using the kerosene stove as the slightest mistake can cause you a lot of harm.
Showcase – This is optional, incase you are using the locally fabricated machines that don’t have provision for show glass. The foreign popcorn machines come fitted with a show glass.
PROCEDURE FOR MAKING POPCORN
Local machine (steps):
Measure 50 to 100mm oil to the pot
Add a tablespoon of butter
Put 1 and half cup of corn
Add 2 tablespoon of sugar
After 2 minutes it begins to pop.
Add any desired flavour, let it continue popping until you cannot hear the sound anymore
Bring it down and turn into a bowl.
Pour powdered milk (optional), then shake the bowl thoroughly until the milk is well mixed.
Package for sale or showcase it in your show glass.
Foreign machine (steps)
Turn on the machine, heat it for 2 minutes
Pour a little oil into it
Add butter, sugar, salt, measure a cup of corn into it
Turn off the heater so that the remaining corn can pop without getting burnt.
Ensure the heat is well regulated at all times and turn down the volume once it starts popping.
The success of most businesses can be linked to its marketing strategy. The biggest and most successful brands still advertise their products till date. For the sale of popcorn, you are likely to have more customers in public places like schools, malls, supermarkets, motor parks etc. Once you have produced your popcorn, if you don’t have a sale outlet, position your popcorn machine in any of the abovementioned areas and watch your business boom.
What is the essence of venturing into any business if not to make profit and multiply that with each passing month or year. To have a profitable popcorn business you have to position yourself smartly and be committed to selling daily. Let’s say you sell a pack of popcorn each at N100 to 100 school students on a Monday, you would have made N10,000 in a day alone. If you are able to achieve this every weekday in a month. That is N200,000 you will be going home with at the end of the month. Essentially, it means there is a high probability of recovering your capital in the first or second month of starting the business.
If you ever had any doubts about why you should start a popcorn business and how lucrative it can be, just have it in mind that someone started theirs with N150,000 and made N200,000 in just one month.