Popcorn, as we all know, is a type of corn that pops when heated or fried. The business of production and sales of popcorn is a very lucrative one owing to the fact that the market is large and everyone likes popcorn.
It is evident that this business is very lucrative because adults, students, young children, etc. like it and with a visit to any dealer, one can attest to this fact.
Also, you do not need a shop to start this business if you don’t have enough money. All you need to do is to find a busy junction or ask someone for a space in front of his or her shop. The business is stress-free as the processes involved in it are simple and can be done by anyone.
In this article, we would be looking at how to start a popcorn business, the equipment required and the profit margin that you stand to make if you go into mass production of popcorns.
How to start a popcorn business in Nigeria
I once visited a popcorn producer around Agric Bank junction in the Coal City and inquired from her about all that is needed to start the business and from her responses, I understood that it depends on someone’s starting capital in order to decide how to start. This was what she had to say:
“There are several options available for people who want to start this business depending on the person’s capital and willingness to work”
Equipment and raw materials needed to start popcorn business
According to her, the following materials are needed if you want to start a popcorn business:
Popcorn machine: this is the machine that is used to make the popcorn. Depending on your capital and whether you want to start mass production of popcorn, there are two types of popcorn machines. They are:
The manual popcorn machine: this is the type that makes use of gas and requires the maker to turn a handle on the pot from time to time. This type is cheaper than the other one that we all know. It only uses gas and this means, that you can make popcorn anytime, any day and anywhere as long as you have your filled gas cylinder.
Electricity powered popcorn machine: there are other types of popcorn machines that rely on electricity (either from a generator or anywhere) for their operation. This obviously is costlier than the manual type discussed above and is more convenient to use. It is not a must that you buy this one if you do not have enough money to start with. This is the type of popcorn machine that we all are familiar with. See the picture below:
Also, there are other types of popcorn machines that make use of both electricity and gas. They are also costlier but more efficient than the two above.
After choosing a type of popcorn machine to use, then you will need other equipment like:
Sealing machine: this is obviously needed if you wish to go into mass production of popcorn and wish to have your own branded popcorn. These machines can be gotten for 15,000 Naira or more depending on the size and your location.
With this machine, you can seal your popcorn after packaging them. if you don’t have money for this, please you can stick to the use of nylon bags for packaging your product.
A stand or shop: the girl in question that I visited stays at a junction and just used an umbrella for shade. You can find a shop if you have the money or just attach to someone else’s shop if you wish. But, if you are into mass production of popcorns, it is advised that you find a shop for yourself to avoid inconveniences.
Nylon bags: this lady has no sealing machines and makes use of nylon bags for packaging. The least price at which she sells hers is 50 naira. Just a normal small white nylon bag (the type used for wrapping Okpa and the likes) is enough for this.
However, if you have the money, you can go for branded bags for your popcorn. The type used by many eateries and known brands out there. But if you don’t, just continue with the nylon bag.
Raw materials needed for popcorn production:
Corn: according to the lady, there is a particular type of corn that is used for popcorn production and not just any type of corn. She opened up to me that this was the mistake she initially made when starting; although she used it to test her skills at home.
According to her, the type used for this is known as popcorn and is used because if naturally contains moisture and has a hard exterior shell with a soft center that pops when heated. There are two types of popcorn according to her and they are the pearl and the rice popcorns. These types differ based on the shape of the corn (pearl corn is more rounded while the rice popcorn is longer).
Butter: this makes the corn soft and yummy. This can be bought from anywhere and is common at provision stores.
Sugar: this makes the popcorn sweet and will also increase patronage.
Milk: some producers make use of powdered milk for their production and according to them, it adds to the sweetness and general acceptability of their popcorn.
How to make popcorn:
There are different methods of making popcorn but they all involve mixing the raw materials listed above in adequate proportion. At this point, she advises that you practice different proportions at home till you learn the art very well before starting the business.
You can also decide to hang around people that produce and sell popcorn for a while just to understand some secrets used by them before starting. You can also opt to become an apprentice for some weeks if you wish to know more about the business.
How do I make money from popcorn business?
This is the big deal right? Of course, we all want to make money off the business and no one will want to do any business that will not benefit him or her. This said the key to making money from popcorn production and sales business is to ensure that your popcorn tastes great.
Yes! You heard it. If the popcorn you produce doesn’t taste great, believe me, you might not make much from the business and your chances of having loyal customers will be thin if not zero.
Also, the location of your business is the key to making money from it. Junctions and areas where busy people live are sure for this business to thrive. You can make more money if you start this business in a school, preferably a tertiary institution.
Again, you must have to market your popcorn so as to attract customers. This can be done using signposts, banners, etc. or even getting hawkers to hawk your popcorn. This will make people know about you and find you.
If you are into mass production, you can advertise to eateries, provision stores, etc. and supply them with your product at wholesale prices.
Also, for you to be unique in your own way of producing popcorn, you can move away from the conventional white popcorn to making coloured popcorn and see your business boom more than others even if you are in a very competitive area. You can also start selling ice cream alongside.
The profit margin for popcorn business:
An interview with another producer elsewhere revealed that it costs between 30 and 40 Naira to produce a packet of popcorn that is sold for 100 Naira. This means if you produce and sell a thousand packets of popcorns in one week with a cost of production per pack of 40 naira;
You will spend 40 × 1000 = 40,000 naira.
When sold, you get 1000 × 100 = 100,000 naira.
This is a whole profit of 100,000 – 40,000 = 60,000 naira weekly.
Wrapping things up:
As can be seen from the post, this business is a very lucrative one and instead of spending your money on Ponzi, and other schemes or betting, you can start this business with less than 50,000 naira and make so much money.
It is also important to note that you must not be the one to produce the popcorn, you can buy the equipment and raw materials needed and then employ someone to be doing the business for you and agree on the payment plan.
We would like to hear from you. Have you started the business or do you have any question? Let me know through the comment section.
Start popcorn production business today and be financially independent!