AACE foods is a spice maker and complimentary foods manufacturer located in Sango Otta, Ogun State, Nigeria.
The founders of AACE foods started the company with a vision to accomplish three things:
- Preserve farmer’s post-harvest loss by processing and packaging spices within Nigeria.
- Reduce malnutrition in Nigeria and Africa by producing complimentary foods (Soya Maize – Blend of Maize & Soya Bean with fortified vitamins and minerals)
- Improve the lives of small farmers by working with them & empowering them through the purchase of their raw material.
AACE foods was established in November 2009 with production starting in 2010. Initially AACE foods focused on B2B (Business to Business) by selling their finished goods to other companies that used their products. In 2013, AACE started B2C (Business to Consumer) retail, selling their products to the end customer.
“AACE foods products are 100% natural, preservative-free, better than what any of the imported products that flood the market can boast of”
Manufacturers in Nigeria face several challenges. Here are some of the challenges that AACE Food faces:
- Registering each product can be challenging as a SME (Small-Medium Enterprise) in Nigeria, especially when you have a vast product line. SMEs have to go through the same process of registration like the big companies that have a lot more resources to do so. Learn how to register your products
“AACE Foods products include suya spice, yellow pepper, black pepper, garlic powder, turmeric powder, jolly rice and fried rice seasoning, soya maize complimentary products”
- Another challenge for manufacturers is marketing, in particular distribution. A lot of distributors are willing to carry their product but will only do so on credit and those credit facilities are not readily available for SMEs. If banks were willing to provide loans at a reasonable interest rate, it will really help the distribution channel for producers like AACE Foods.
- Another issue is sourcing proper and reliable machines. Even when you are able to source good machines, you face the difficulty of getting it through customs in a timely fashion.
- AACE foods is also completely powered by diesel generators. Another increased cost of production for a lot of manufacturers in Nigeria.
“100% Made in Africa”
When you think about all the challenges that local manufacturers like AACE foods have to face. You wonder why they stick with the business. As the marketing manager said “sometime you wonder, why don’t we just repackage” meaning import processed product and just package it for the Nigerian Market. That’s what a lot of businesses do – they do not take part in the manufacturing process because it’s a tough business to be in.
Regardless of how tough the business is, that’s the business that AACE Foods wants to be in. To bring their vision to reality, AACE Foods wants to produce a product that they can proudly call “100% Made in Nigeria”. After all, the raw material is all locally available in Nigeria and other West African countries. From sourcing the right raw material, grinding it, drying it, packaging it and labeling it. Everything is done within Africa and it creates a lot of value for everyone along the supply chain.
During our tour of the factory, AACE Foods had all the signs of a well-run factory that meets global standards. Safety and cleanliness was a priority. The production line and the machines were well organized.
One of the core values at AACE Foods is continuos improvement. To commit to that, AACE Foods learns and continuously improves their product offering. This includes getting a better mix of their ingredients or getting a better package that will appeal to the market. Those kind of values are what keeps businesses like AACE Foods sustainable.
Sango Otta as a location for AACE Foods’ factory is ideal but the roads are not favorable. AACE foods is located in an industrial area with a lot of other factories. Being in an industrial zone fosters a lot of collaboration and makes manufacturing a product easier – sharing ideas & knowledge on how to make a product, buying products from one another, providing support and other resources. “Read about how kpakpakpa.com wants to help improve collaboration and information sharing between manufacturers & product makers in Nigeria”
The unfavorable roads that lead in and out of these factories increases the challenges that these factories have to overcome. Logistically, it increases the cost of transport of moving raw material and finished goods to and from these factories. Also, from a staffing point of view, it hinders these factories from recruiting A-grade staff – they don’t want to work in this environment, they’ll rather work on the Island and more “favorable” locations.
Regardless of the challenges, AACE Foods has a great vision. By producing locally, they create a lot of value and jobs within Nigeria and they make a very high-quality product that rivals the imported competition.
“The label of all the products is locally designed and printed in Nigeria. Aace foods houses its own R&D department where they come up with the recipes and mixes required to make each product”
So when next you want some spice in your food or you are looking for an all-natural complimentary food that is 100% proudly Nigerian – think of AACE Foods. Their products can be found at your local supermarket. You can also find them here on Supermart.ng
“AACE foods product range include spices, complimentary foods and spreads (peanut butter)”
Let us know below what you think about AACE Foods products or your opinions on the challenges of doing business in Nigeria.