By Bimbola Oyesola
It is a new year and time to consider and reconsider what new business option that can deliver optimum profit for the discerning entrepreneur. One of such business options is Yoghurt drink production. It is a business that you can do right from the corner of your home with good return on your investment.
Yoghurt is a pasteurised low-fat milk drink that is fermented and conjugated to a custard-like consistency with mixed lactic acid culture. It may or may not be flavoured according to desired taste. Common flavours used are banana, apple, strawberry, vanilla, chocolate, fruit juice and other condiments.
Yogurt is a drink that is delicious and lovely and has a lot of healthy benefits. It is a nutritious drink with a lot of vitamins that helps the body function well. Also it helps in reducing stress.
The average man in the street knows what yoghurt is and its refreshing qualities are rather not new. It is consumed all the year round, but mostly during the dry season when demand for drinks is always very high because at this time, thirst is at its peak. Its popularity as a nutritious food item, especially among the weight-conscious people, has grown tremendously in recent times.
So going into this production now at this period of harmattan, which will eventually usher in the dry season may not be out of place.
As an entrepreneur, you can capitalise on this seasonal demand to make good money by producing this tasty drink in various flavours. You could make drinking yoghurt, set yoghurt, stirred yoghurt or frozen yoghurt, with respective recognisable features and requirements:
The market for yoghurt is vast and under-supplied, particularly in the urban and semi-urban areas. This is because there are a few good quality and NAFDAC-approved producers. Even in the rural areas, its patronage is fast increasing. To vegetarians and children, its consumption is a delicacy and a drink they cannot do without. During festive periods and parties, you can actually customise and deliver special orders as people have now come to identify yoghurt as a special drink at parties.
Produced good quality yoghurt can be sold directly to eateries like snack shops, supermarkets, the various NGOs that run charity homes and a national network of appointed distributors who in turn will appoint their own agents and hawkers on bikes in specific areas. You can also carry the product to church and mosque grounds during their religious services and to events organisers during their numerous social gatherings.
Other segments of the market include the colleges, higher institutions and sporting grounds especially during sporting activities and other festivals. Households are not left out. All these constitute the channels of distribution for your finished product. Consumers and distributors will queue up at the gate of your factory once the quality and flavour of your yoghurt meet their taste.
There is a high potential for the export of yoghurt to Ghana , Cote d’Ivoire , Benin Republic ,and other ECOWAS countries and Central African Republic to earn foreign exchange.
In order to succeed in this business, below are requirements you may need to follow:
Getting feasibility study on the business is very important in a bid to know the cost and other items needed.
Before starting the business, it is important you register the business as required by the law. Also, as this is a business based on food and drink, you will be required to register the business and get permission to go on with the business from NAFDAC and other regulatory agencies.
As usual with any business, location is key and very important. For the business of yogurt drink, a good location will help the business thrive. Also having a nice and friendly environment will help grow your business. When looking for a good place to start the business, try and make sure it is located in a busy area with a lot of activities going on such as near schools, churches, shopping malls and more. If it is sited near these outlets you are sure to have a large volume of patronage.
When starting, you will need the following equipment and materials to help make the business successful. A freezer, filling and sealing machines, dispensers, chairs, tables, air conditioners, fans, furniture, blenders, napkins, table cloths, towels and much more.
There is, however, an automatic yoghurt manufacturing machine that is obtainable locally. This has the capacity to produce 1,000 litres or 16,000 sachets of yoghurt in a day of three shifts. The automatic machine is easy to operate and maintain.
It has an in-built arrangement for stirring, re-constitution and incubation. Its use ensures that the yoghurt you produce will be of high quality because it enables you to have correct measurement of raw material input and temperature control. This will ensure that the finished product will meet the stringent hygienic conditions stipulated by the regulatory authorities like NAFDAC and SON.
The major raw materials for yoghurt production are skim milk powder (SMP), sugar, stabilizer, preservative, starter of pure culture and flavour. Sugar and stabilizer each has four major functions in the production process. About five types of milk can be used in production, but the most preferred is the SMP. Some of these raw materials are imported but are locally available in the market when desired.
Steady supply of electric power is very essential. But a major problem of Nigeria is the poor, irregular power supply in the country. However, this is a business that requires you having constant power through out your working hours as the product is based on it to be made cool. So to avoid getting your materials spoilt or damaged, you will need to get a generating set or a solar system panel to maintain and grow your business.
Adequate good quality water is also necessary. Depending on the planned scale of operation, you may or may not need to own your own transport equipment.
You will need to employ people to help with the business. You may not need to employ a lot of people in the beginning when you start, but you have to get a few hands to help you in making the drink, attending to customers or even delivering the products.
The procedure entails measuring out the appropriate weight of each raw material per batch of production, thoroughly mixing them, heating the mixture to the appropriate temperature in order to render it free from most harmful and spoilage organisms, cooling and adding starter culture (no overheating, mixing, packaging and cooling. Cooling could be done either before or after packaging.