How to start Popcorn Business As Retailer/Wholesaler
Popcorn business is one of those businesses that are yet to be tapped. This business is self-sustaining. It has the capacity to make someone wealthy overtime when there is consistency. Popcorn is a snack gotten from the popping of corn from a heated surface.
Corn can be gotten anywhere in Nigeria but it is predominant in the North. The business is not stressful, it does not consume much time, you can start with small amount of money grow and manage it alone at the comfort of your home.
Another way is to pop and sell at a wholesale price to retailers who will package them as the like. Is not everybody that have the time pop corn for sale even though they are interested in selling it.
WHY YOU SHOULD START A POPCORN BUSINESS
This is a very lucrative business to venture into. Good planning and proper management can grow the business to international level a point where you start exporting.
Many people like munching popcorn for a number of reasons; because of its crunchy nature, others nutritional value, some people take it as an alternative to food, others for relaxation check event centres, amusement parks, programmes(church, sport etc) popcorn is the order of the day. Consumers are ready to buy any time production is made, making it a secured business.
HOW MUCH IS NEEDED FOR A POPCORN BUSINESS?
The amount of money you have determines the strength of the popcorn business. The business can be started with as low as #10,000 excluding fixed capital. For large scale production you need up to #150,000 and above. If you have good money buy items in bulk it is more economical.
THE TYPE OF CORN TO USE FOR POPCORN BUSINESS
Foreign corn is very good for popping, however, the rise in dollar also affects the price. Go for the local corn that pops like the foreign, it is sold at a lesser price. We have this type of corn in Nigeria, in Jos, Plateau State. Note, it is not corn that pops so be cautious when buying.
1. Corn : this is the major raw material needed for a popcorn business.There has to be certain amount of moisture inside the corn such that when heat is applied, it makes a popping sound, from inside out. When corn does not pop what comes out is a dude corn very hard to chew. Look for sweet corn with good moisture content. I will recommend Karason Gold, is a very good specie to use.
2. Sugar : popcorn requires plenty of sugar
3. Salt : a little is enough
4. Vegetable oil : very little to make the popcorn attractive.
5. Butter : a little of it makes the popcorn taste better, use Topper butter.
6. Flavour : this brings out the popcorn aroma very well, adding it attracts plenty customers as the environment is covered by it. Making the popcorn irresistible to many people. Put just 1 cap bottle of flavour in one popcorn pot. There are different types of flavour, the liquid type is preferred as the solid ones can contribute in making the corn to burn.
7. Powdered milk : this is optional but adds fine taste to popcorn. Don’t add milk if you cannot exhaust them the same day. That is for those using show glass. But for those sealing in packs don’t let it get to a month.
A big bowl : this is where you turn the popcorn into before packaging and sealing them.
Showcase : this should be for those that are using the locally fabricated machines that doesn’t have show glass. The foreign popcorn machines are already manufactured with a show glass; this is one advantage it has over the local ones.
Nylon : this should be branded in other to distinguish your product from others. If your branding is unique it will compete with others in the market. Put your phone number and address on the branded nylon in case any retailer is interested the person can easily contact you.
Popcorn machine: locally made machines is preferable to the foreign ones. It is cheaper. Go for the big size if you are starting in a large-scale. You can make it two or more depending on the number of hands you are employing. Employ additional hands if you are starting big for effective production and distribution. Buy the type of machines that accepts both salt and sugar.
1. Sealing machine:
Seal your nylon very well to prevent air from entering. This will make the crispy nature to remain until consumption. The number of sealing machines you need depends on the size of your popcorn business, the number of hands working for you and the production level.
One sealing machine is good for small-scale production. Seal the popcorn immediately they finish popping, to prevent air from entering.
2. Gas cylinder or electric:
if you are using the locally manufactured machine, it is advisable to use the one with gas cylinder and not the kerosene stove as the slightest mistake can cause you a lot of harm. Gas cylinder will help to solve the problem of light shortages.
METHOD OF PREPARATION
Measure 50 to 100mm oil to the popping pot
Add a tablespoon butter to it
Put 1 and half cup of corn
Add 2 tablespoon of sugar
Shake the pot to mix well, place it in your popcorn machine after 2 minutes it begins to pop.
Add flavour if you desire, let it continue popping until you cannot hear the sound anymore, bring it down and turn into a bowl,
Pour powder milk (optional) shake the bowl thoroughly until the milk is well mixed.
Package for sale or showcase it in your show glass. This procedure is for the locally made machines.
For the foreign machine,
Turn on the popping machine, heat it for 2 minutes, pour a little oil into it, add butter, sugar, salt, measure a cup of corn into it. This depends on the size of the machine you are using and the spinner.
Add flavour (optional) allow it to pop after a few minutes the popcorn will start coming out on its own into the showcase. At this point off the heater so that the remaining corn can pop without getting burnt.
Always monitor the amount of heat you are using and reduce it immediately it starts popping.
HOW TO PACKAGE POPCORN
You can use containers, nylon or paper. Nylon is what those supplying uses. Package #50 what of popcorn and arrange 30 in a big nylon and supply at the rate of #1,100. Or 10 packs in a nylon for #350. Put it in the nylon and use sealing machine to seal it in such a way that air cannot enter.
WHY POPCORN GET BURNT
There are two outstanding things that will make popcorn to burn.
1. The Type of Machine Used
The first machine I used was the electric type. It came to a point the machine became too hot even when I reduced to the last button. What I did was to abandon it for the local machine. But you can take yours to technicians to set up the regulator because that’s where the problem was.
2. Sugar or liquid application
When I started using the local machine, the popcorn was always burning. In a bid to find out the problem I stopped putting sugar from the start. Instead, I applied it the same time I am applying flavour close to when the popcorn will start popping out. That way the case was settled.
Target supermarkets, schools, canteen, hotels that are not producing, stores, eateries, markets etc. Employ people to sell for you at traffic, motor parks etc. Locate the street hawkers; they sell faster in large quantities.
Position your popcorn machine on a busy road, market, high commercial area, busy road and pop for sale.
Get a good location because the secrets of making #100,000 and above in popcorn business lies mainly on the location. Find a good place where the population is high. Put milk in your popcorn and watch sales increase.
Do not add colour when using milk it is not advisable. There are some coloured nylons you can use which will make the popcorn to appear coloured. You can customise your nylon with different colours.
CHALLENGES IN POPCORN BUSINESS
1. Location is usually the number one challenge if you can get a good location then you are sure to succeed in this business.
2. Consistency is another challenge. If you are producing for instance 300 packs daily be sure to continue with it as a drop in production can affect the business.
3. Dedication, you have to be committed to the business very seriously because it is a sure way to succeed.
4. Planning, you have to plan well for the business to grow and succeed. A good planning will keep the business running.
5. Good Management: A good management guarantees a secured profit; although every business has a risk percentage how you manage your own will help you avoid losses.
6. Ideal Marketing Strategy: this will help in the growth of your business depending on the kind of strategy you are using. A good one will increase the number of buyers meaning more profits.