Home Food and Beverages Establishing a Small Scale Ice Cream Production Business in Nigeria

Establishing a Small Scale Ice Cream Production Business in Nigeria


ICE cream is a delicacy that is enjoyed by everyone, old and young, rich or poor, especially children and women. Its consumption cuts across all socio-economic, ethnic and religious classes. It has a nice flavour, smooth texture and high nutritive value. Its cooling and refreshing effect, especially during the dry season when heat and thirst are at their peak, makes it a product that is highly sought-after especially after meals.

The Ice Cream Market

The market for ice cream is universal. School children lick countless sticks per day during the break and on their way home. One can produce and sell ice creams in candy bars, round plastic containers, cones, sticks and through the use of vending machines stationed strategically around or in the snack shops, supermarkets, schools and bus stops or even areas where there is a high concentration of residents or heavy pedestrian traffic. Hotels, restaurants, higher institutions, supermarkets, strategic joints and homes are traditional channels for ice cream sales.

Mass-produced ice cream can also be supplied on contract to fast foods joints and any of the above-mentioned channels. The quantity consumed on daily basis is much. Low-priced ice cream sticks are children’s favourites and sales run into millions of Naira per annum. The two largest producers of ice cream in the world are situated in France and the UK. Their only product is ice cream and their combined annual turnover runs into billions of dollars!

Machinery And Equipment

The essential equipment components are weighing balances, blending tank, pasteuriser, homogeniser, freezing unit and other sundry equipment. For anyone venturing into direct vending in strategically located points, automatic ice cream making machine is essential for each location. Production and vending are done right on the spot. All the relevant machinery can also be sourced from local companies that supply ice cream manufacturing equipment. Local fabricators who are experienced abound.

Raw Materials

The raw materials for ice cream production include milk, eggs, cream, sugar, butter, water, flavour, food colourants, emulsion stabilisers, chocolates etc. Most of these raw materials are available locally from many of the companies and importers dealing on food and beverage additives. Packaging could be in small plastic containers but generally, it comes in 250ml, 500ml, and one-litre, two-litre, and four-litre containers.

Production Processes

The white of eggs is thoroughly whipped. Milk solids, emulsion stabiliser, flavour, sugar and colour are mixed with water in the right ratio and then added to butter and cream. These are all mixed with the whipped egg froth, pasteurised for some minutes, homogenised quickly and then frozen for about two hours before being sold to buyers.

The average floor space required is about 40mX40m and a warehouse type of building is ideal. Provision has to be made for cold room or external water-cooling tower.

Estimated Project Cost

The cost of establishing an ice cream plant will depend on the level of production desired. That will determine the expected plant capacity and cost. It should, therefore, be noted that ice cream can be produced on a micro level solely for homes and on a large and small-scale for mass sale. On a small-scale basis, N750,000 is enough to establish a profitable ice cream business. This is made up of the cost of the following: preliminary expenses, machinery and equipment, space rental, utilities, working capital and contingency.


Ice cream production has been proved to be a very financially rewarding business. You can imagine a world-renowned company producing and shipping ice cream worldwide to the extent that it is the largest producer in the world! It can be replicated here even if on a national level. And I know that Nigerians can and will do it.

The best way to make money in any business is the ability to identify your targeted customers and be able to reach out to them. Your targets for this kind of business include

Having a stand in a busy location

Very close to many schools

Outdoor/catering for parties and events

Special deliveries to homes and offices

Requirements and Costs

Ice Cream Production Machine N180,000
Refrigerator N50,000
Gen set N40,000
Others N50,000
Total N320,000

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