If you’re seeking a profitable venture in the food industry in Nigeria, then the beans business might just be the ideal choice for you. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the steps to become a successful player in the beans buying and selling industry. We’ve previously explored various food business ideas in Nigeria, from fruit trading to frozen foods, but today, our focus is on the versatile world of beans.

Beans, a staple food in Nigeria, holds a special place in the hearts and diets of its people. For many Nigerians, especially those living on less than a dollar a day, beans are a vital source of protein, replacing more expensive alternatives like meat and fish. This unique demand makes the beans business in Nigeria an incredibly lucrative opportunity.

Targeting the Poor and the Rich

One of the remarkable aspects of the beans business is its wide-ranging customer base. Approximately 89% of Nigerians fall into the category of the economically disadvantaged, making them a ready market for beans. Additionally, even the remaining 10% of the population, which includes the more affluent citizens, still contributes significantly to the demand for beans.

Types of Beans Popular in Nigeria

In Nigeria, two major types of beans dominate the market, and understanding these distinctions is crucial for success:

  1. Oloyin Beans (Honey Beans):

    This variety is commonly used for preparing dishes such as beans porridge and ewa agoyin. Typically, the rich and middle-class prefer this type of beans, making it the most expensive variety in Nigeria.

  2. Olotu Beans:

    Olotu beans are versatile and used in various dishes like moin moin, akara, and ekuru. They are often favored by the economically disadvantaged due to their affordability compared to Oloyin beans.

Starting Your Beans Business

Now, let’s delve into the essential steps to kickstart your beans business, whether you intend to operate as a wholesaler or retailer.

  1. Conduct Market Research

Before diving into the beans business, thorough market research is a necessity. This step helps you gather crucial insights, such as:

  • Profitability potential in your chosen area.
  • Existing competitors and the types of beans they offer.
  • The socioeconomic status of your target market.
  • Strategies to convince local retailers to buy from you if you opt for wholesale.

Market research ensures you make informed decisions that will ultimately lead to the success of your beans business. Moreover, it helps you determine whether to set up shop in a local market or a more conventional retail area.

  1. Secure the Required Capital

The scale of your beans business depends on the capital at your disposal. Decide whether you want to be a wholesaler with a warehouse or a retailer with a small or medium-sized shop. To fund your venture, you have two primary options:

A. Self-Funding: Consider saving a portion of your earnings for six months to a year. If you already have some savings, you can use these funds to start your business.

B. Borrowing: Alternatively, you can seek financial support from family and friends, though be cautious about borrowing from banks due to the associated risks.

  1. Establish a Shop or Warehouse

Depending on your business scale, rent a shop, warehouse, or even purchase a wheelbarrow for smaller-scale operations. When selecting a location, ensure:

  • The premises are waterproofed and rodent-proofed.
  • Your shop or warehouse is strategically positioned for easy customer access.
  • The rental cost aligns with your budget.

After securing your space, furnish it with tables for displaying beans and crates for proper storage and protection from water and flooding.

  1. Source Beans Wholesale

For large-scale operations, it’s advisable to purchase beans directly from farms, as this is generally more cost-effective than buying from local food markets. Remember to factor in transportation costs when making your calculations, as you’ll need to move the beans from the farm to your shop or warehouse.

Additionally, buying from farms ensures that your beans are freshly harvested, which can be a selling point for your business.

  1. Launching Your Sales

Initially, your shop or warehouse will be in a new area, where potential customers may not be familiar with your brand. To kickstart sales:

  • Promote your business to friends and family.
  • Inform them about your beans business and the benefits of purchasing from you.
  • Consider offering discounts to customers who refer others to your shop.
  1. Expanding Your Profit Margin

To grow your sales and profits in the beans business, consider these strategies:

A. Online Sales and Delivery:

List your beans on e-commerce platforms like Jiji, Konga, and Jumia to reach a broader customer base. Ensure you have high-quality images and descriptions to attract potential buyers.

B. Wholesale to Other Foodstuff Businesses:

If you operate as a wholesaler, promote your beans to other food retailers in your area. Offer competitive prices to entice them to purchase from you.

C. Cater to Party Organizers:

Sell your beans in bulk to party organizers and caterers who use beans for dishes like akara and moin moin. Bulk orders can increase your sales and profits significantly.


The beans business in Nigeria has the potential to build substantial wealth, provided you make informed decisions and strategically invest your capital. Over time, you can diversify your product offerings by including other foodstuffs like rice, vegetable oil, and palm oil, further solidifying your position in the competitive food industry. By mastering the art of buying and selling beans, you can embark on a profitable journey in the world of Nigerian food businesses.

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