The biscuit is one of the most eaten snacks around the world, it is cheap, easily made, and fulfills a lot of purposes as a food. For example, kids take it to school to serve as lunch break grub. It is also eaten with tea, served at birthday parties and similar events, and the list goes on. Its wide array of performance is mostly due to its many varieties and types. There are the sweetened biscuits, crackers (personal favorite), cookies, shortbread, rich tea, wafers etc. Each has a different make therefore serving a different function.
The market right now is littered with so many kinds of biscuits that at times it is difficult to make a choice when buying one. They include both the locally produced and the foreign ones. Despite the foreign ones being the buyer’s choice almost exclusively the locally produced biscuits enjoy a lot of popularity and are making profits.
Biscuit is a commodity that is bought every day, at all times of day. It is consumed in all parts of the country, whether in the poorer regions or otherwise. With a demand such as that, it is safe to say the biscuit production business is a booming one. But it requires one crucial thing to make it successful – marketing. There is an astounding amount of marketing to be done in order for biscuits to sell, but more on that later. Now we will busy ourselves with how to setup the biscuit production plant.
Register With The Food Agency
Unlike some processed foods that could be sold in their raw form like crude palm oil for example, which doesn’t need a NAFDAC clearance before it is sold in the market, biscuits after being produced reach the final consumer for direct consumption so a registration with NAFDAC is mandatory in this venture. Because of food safety laws. You have to pass a certain sanitary and hygiene test before you will be allowed to start production. Also, your company has to be registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to be legally recognized. It may take up to three months to finish the NAFDAC registration as stated in their website.
The Equipment/Machinery Needed to Produce Biscuit
Basically biscuit production is a factory job, it is large-scale. Of course other small-scale business models exist, where the biscuit is produced at home. This home based production is very popular in Europe but it doesn’t work here in Nigeria. So we will be focusing on the large scale biscuit production.
First, you will have to consider the capacity at which you want to produce in tonnes. The average machine produces 1000kg daily by employing an 8 hour shift. By excluding weekends and a few public holidays you have about 280-300 days a year of production which means you will be producing about 290,000 tons annually. In this kind of factory size you will need up to 40-50 employees which will comprise of factory workers, administrators, managers, marketers and chefs.
Buy and Store Your Supply
You will be in need of an incredible amount of supply ingredients for the biscuits such as wheat, flour, sugar and others. They can all be sourced locally fairly easily I might add. One just has to buy in tonnes and store in the building facility.
List of Required Items
Due to the size of the business it is difficult to pinpoint the price of individual items but according to a market research the overall cost of building a biscuit factory that can manufacture at least three types of biscuits is N17 million Naira. Below is a list of the major items that is needed to start a biscuit production business.
- Land and building
- Equipment – Some of them include grinder, oven, cutter, packaging machine etc.
- Employed Staff – Includes management staff, admin staff, factory workers and others.
- Food agency registration fee
Where to Buy Your Machinery
The machines are not easily sourced, it usually involves importing them. The first option is to buy online from the Chinese on reputable websites such as alibaba.com and aliexpress, they connect you directly with manufacturers and wholesalers, with that you have the opportunity to contact one of the machine’s manufacturers. But they may not handle the logistics such as delivery and importing into the country, you may have to involve a third party to handle that for you.
Secondly, you could contact a company that sell the product via their website or through a sales person, this is a better option because they mostly handle logistics operations, delivery, setting it up and may even provide technical support afterwards. If you opt for this method it is advisable to order from the USA or other developed nations.
Branding and Marketing
Your brand is what defines you, your company values, it is an identity. For instance if I say ‘Digestive biscuit’, ‘Oreos’ or ‘Cabin biscuit’ your mind automatically reels off to their respective packets, and you feel a certain trust you have for them because it is something that you know. But how did you know them and why do you trust to buy from them.
When you create an identity for company, you create a brand, and when you create awareness for your product you have done marketing. These are what define a good company, a good marketing strategy and a great brand. A good brand has a color/logo/theme/mascot that people could use to identify you, a great example is the Digestive brand, its symbolic red is always present and the wheat plant engraving on the biscuits is just genius, or the word YALE on some biscuit products. It makes them easily recognizable, and that is part of what makes them a popular choice.
There are extensive courses available that teach branding on different levels which you can use for staff training, it helps a lot, alternatively you can hire an expert on branding to help run your marketing campaign.