Daily bread – How to start a successful bread bakery business in Africa’s fast growing bread market (2023)

Ever considered one of the bread bakery business opportunities in Africa? You’re about to learn several reasons why you should.

Everyone eats bread. Bread competes against rice and cassava (gari) as the most popular food and staple in Africa. It has remained a widely-accepted food item because of its convenient and ready-to-eat nature.

Bread is a common food item in many African households and up to 70 percent of breakfast diets on the continent contain bread.

The size of the African bread market is worth billions of dollars every year and nearly all the bread we eat is produced locally. A bread bakery business is easy to start up and can be run from a home kitchen or a bread factory.

Let’s take a dive into this interesting idea and explore the business opportunities for African entrepreneurs in the bread bakery business…

Why is the demand and market for bread growing very fast in Africa?

According to a recent study, the demand for bread is expected to explode in the coming years. South Africa, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Sudan and Kenya are currently the largest and leading bread markets in Africa.

The key drivers of this demand are Africa’s rapidly growing population, an expanding middle class which has more money to spend, an enlarging labour force, and increasing rates of migration to African cities and towns.Daily bread – How to start a successful bread bakery business in Africa’s fast growing bread market (1)

Africa now has more than 50 cities inhabited by over one million people. By 2020, more than 500 million Africans are projected to live in urban areas and cities.

Statistics reveal that urban dwellers and city people eat more bread than people in the rural areas. Given the rapid growth of African city populations, bread is sure to remain a highly sought-after food item by African households.

More than 80 percent of all imported and locally produced wheat flour in Africa is used by bakeries to produce bread. The rest is used by food processors to make biscuits, cakes, pasta and pasta.

Over the last decade, more bread has been consumed in Africa than maize and rice. Why? It’s simply because bread is more affordable (costs much less than rice, yam and maize).

Bread also appeals to the convenience and lifestyle of most people – it’s an instant meal that requires no further preparation, and makes a great fast snack (besides its popularity as a breakfast item).

Many of us may not know this: bread provides more nutrients than any other single food source and is particularly important as a rich source of carbohydrates, proteins and vitamins B and E!

Market opportunities for entrepreneurs who want to start a bread bakery business in Africa…

There are different categories of bread that attract different kinds of consumers in Africa. It’s very important that entrepreneurs understand these categories to help them decide on the type of bread they will produce, the likely competition and the needs of the market.

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Plain White Bread

Daily bread – How to start a successful bread bakery business in Africa’s fast growing bread market (2)At the bottom of the ladder is the basic, plain and cheap white bread. This variety is very common with low income earners or people who just want to fill their belly and don’t care about nutritional content.

This type of bread usually comes without any labeling, branding or packaging and very little attention is paid to product taste, quality or hygiene. It’s best described as ‘bread for bread’s sake.’

Popularly known as ‘Agege bread’ in many parts of Lagos (Nigeria), this basic white bread is usually less than the size of a standard loaf and can be consumed in one serving by one person.

Agege bread is normally unsliced and its nutritional content is the poorest in the market.

Some bakers have been found to include unhealthy additives and dough enhancers (like Potassium Bromate) to artificially increase the size of this bread in order to fetch higher profits. Most of these substances are banned in several African countries but their use remains widespread due to poor regulation and low consumer awareness. (photo credit: theparadigmshiftng.com)

More than 50 percent of bread sold on the African market are of this type and most consumers are drawn to it because of its very low price. As a result, most independent and small-scale bakeries producing this bread make money by selling cheap at high volumes.

There are usually no leading producers in this segment of the bread market and it’s commonly dominated by many small-scale and family-run bakeries.

Nourished White Bread

Daily bread – How to start a successful bread bakery business in Africa’s fast growing bread market (3)At the midsection of the bread market are loaves which provide nutritional value to the consumer.

This type of bread usually contains ingredients like eggs, milk, fruits, etc. and generally do not contain unhealthy supplements or additives.

A lot of attention is usually paid to the product’s taste, branding, packaging and overall quality.

This bread appeals to, and is targeted at, African middle-class households and customers who are conscious about high food standards, nutritional content, quality and taste. These customers are also willing and very happy to pay extra for this higher quality.

Most families also prefer nourished bread for their growing children. As a result, nourished white bread costs much higher than the plain version on the market. (photo credit: manufacturingtoday.com.ng)

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This segment of the market is dominated by franchise bakeries, industrial bakeries and small independent bakers.

Daily bread – How to start a successful bread bakery business in Africa’s fast growing bread market (4)Special bread

This category of bread refers to wheat (brown) bread, whole meal bread and other forms of uncommon bread in the market.

Consumers who prefer these kinds of bread do so for lifestyle, health, taste or cultural reasons.

Special bread is usually sold in specialty stores and supermarkets. They cost much more than the plain white and nourished versions and require specialized skills and experience to produce.

Bakeries that produce this bread target niche markets like upper class residential areas and parts of town with a large population of foreigners.

How to start a bread bakery business – An important checklist

1. Prepare a business plan

Daily bread – How to start a successful bread bakery business in Africa’s fast growing bread market (5)A business plan is not as scary as it sounds. Even if you don’t intend to source any capital from banks or investors, it is important that you organize your thoughts on paper.

A business plan doesn’t have to be complex or too elaborate, just something to keep your eyes on the big picture. The business plan will allow you to easily identify the obstacles and anything you may not have considered.

Your business plan should consider the prevailing market price for the type of bread you want to produce and how much competition there is. You also need to estimate the profit you’re likely to make in the first, second and third years.

Is it sustainable? Is it worth the time, effort and capital?

It’s usually wise to keep 8-12 months working capital to adequately support a bread bakery business.

If you’re looking for a sample bakery business plan template, I have found a good one you can adapt and use for your own bread bakery idea.

You can view it here.

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2. You should know enough about bread

Nobody says you must be a master baker to succeed in this business; you really don’t need to. However, you need to know the basics and tricks of the trade if you want to survive in this business.

Sign up for a bread baking course and learn the basics about measurements, recipes, flavours, packaging, branding and marketing. You should not give in to the temptation of thinking it’s enough to just hire a manager and have the bakery make you money.

Ignorance in the bread bakery business is likely to open you up to financial losses and eventual failure.

3. Choose a location that’s close to your target market

Daily bread – How to start a successful bread bakery business in Africa’s fast growing bread market (6)The types of bread in the African market appeal to different segments of consumers. You must ensure that the type of bread you intend to produce will find a sizeable market in your area.

What kind of people live around you?

Are they high, middle or low-income earners?

Are they students, single people or households with families?

Are they predominantly young or old people?

If you live in a closely knit community like a residential estate or a university campus, it may be a great opportunity to run this business from your home kitchen. (photo credit: miraimages.photoshelter.com)

Look for newly established or developing suburbs and high traffic locations that have little competition. It’s also important to focus on areas that may not be well serviced, like industrial estates or high density office blocks where you can draw eager customers.

4. Would you need a permit or license to operate?

Depending on your country and location, you may require a permit or license from a government establishment or Consumer Health office to operate a bakery.

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What are the requirements and standards for approval?

Would you need to have specific equipment like fire safety tools?

Is there a standard qualification you must obtain to be eligible for a permit?

You must know these requirements in advance and take the necessary steps to ensure you get the approval you need to open your doors to the public.

Daily bread – How to start a successful bread bakery business in Africa’s fast growing bread market (7)5. You need to use the right equipment

The size and quality of your equipment will depend on how much bread you intend to produce for the market and the amount of startup capital you have.

It’s very important that you don’t spend too much on equipment at the beginning of this business. Look out for any good quality, pre-owned (second hand) bakery equipment you can find at a bargain price.

The basic equipment you need to start a bakery business include: an oven, mixer, dough moulds, dough divider, fermentation chamber (proofer) and maybe a bread slicer.

The bread bakery business is an interesting opportunity in Africa…

Because most people WILL eat bread most of the time, the bread business can be a very rewarding venture if entrepreneurs can find a large market with few competitors.

With some creativity and higher quality, a new bakery can easily win consumers over from an established bakery. When properly planned and operated, bakeries can become a rich source of lasting income.

If you believe this type of business will work for you, start working on a business plan and take action as soon as possible.

You could also choose from many more amazing business ideas in the Business ideassection of this website.

We would love to hear from you about your successes, challenges, advice and questions. Do not forget to leave a comment in the section below and share this opportunity with your friends.

To your success!

(Video) The industrial bread process: an overview for children (KS2)

And by the way, if you enjoyed reading this article and you’re thinking of raising capital to start or grow your business, you’ll love my amazing and life-changing FREE course.

Click the course banner below or click here to get started with the course.


How can I be successful in bread business? ›

8 Tips for Managing & Optimizing Key Bakery Operations Costs
  1. Keep a Close Eye on Rent and Overhead. ...
  2. Apply for Licenses and Permits, and Find a Lawyer. ...
  3. Hire and Train Bakery Staff. ...
  4. Track Food Cost and Revenue. ...
  5. Market Your Bakery and Attract New Customers. ...
  6. Bakery Interior Design and Atmosphere.

How to start bread making business in Nigeria? ›

How To Start A Bakery Business In Nigeria
  1. Step One: Decide The Type Of Bakery You Want To Open. ...
  2. Step Two: Register Your Business With CAC. ...
  3. Step Three: Draft A Business Plan. ...
  4. Step Four: List Out The Equipment You Need To Start Your Bakery Business. ...
  5. Step Five: Rent A Space For Your Bakery Business.
Oct 18, 2021

How profitable is a bread bakery? ›

The average bakery profit margins are low. A typical margin for a bakery is between 4% and 9%. The reason that bakeries have such small margins is due to competition. To sell your products, you need to offer them at prices that are market competitive yet still allow you to make money.

Why are bakeries successful? ›

The success of any bakery, whether a home-based or commercial operation, hinges largely on the quality of the products. Develop a repertoire of baked goods that stand apart from those sold at other local sources or made by individuals.

How do I start a successful bakery business? ›

5 Steps to Starting a Bakery Business From Home
  1. Create your business entity and acquire the proper licenses.
  2. Plan the bakery menu.
  3. Get the right equipment and supplies.
  4. Review your overhead costs and price your products accordingly.
  5. Start baking!
Apr 16, 2022

How much does a loaf of bread cost in Nigeria? ›

1.1 U.S. dollar

How much is bread sold in Nigeria? ›

Nigeria: A loaf of fresh white bread (500g) costs an average of $1.12 in Nigeria.

How much is a bread baker paid in Nigeria? ›

The average salary for a Baker is ₦23 per month in Nigeria.

What bakery items are high profit? ›

14 Most Profitable Baked Goods for Bakeries
  • Cakes. Cakes make up 24% of all bakery sales. ...
  • Pies. From apple to pumpkin and lemon meringue to maple pecan, there's an almost endless variety of pies your bakery could sell. ...
  • Cupcakes. Cupcakes are one of the most profitable baked goods. ...
  • Muffins. ...
  • Donuts. ...
  • Breads. ...
  • Bagels. ...
  • Tortillas.
Oct 6, 2022

What are the weaknesses of a bakery? ›

When they are, the margins and profits are potentially high.
  • Staffing Weaknesses of a Bakery. Your employees are the face of the bakery to your customers and employees are one of the many problems encountered in bakery business models. ...
  • Operations and Cleanliness. ...
  • Financial Management Processes. ...
  • Bakery Marketing Challenges.

Can I start a bakery with no money? ›

If you're wondering how to open a bakery with no money, you'll need to take out loans. There are three common ways business owners get funding: commercial loans, business lines of credit, and small business loans. Traditional Commercial Loan - You can apply for a traditional commercial loan at any major or local bank.

What mistakes do startup bakeries make? ›

Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting Your Bakery Business
  • Do not over-promise and under-deliver. ...
  • Give customers what they want, not what you THINK they want. ...
  • Be a good listener – listen to customer feedback and act on it. ...
  • Offer low prices for high-quality products. ...
  • Make sure your food is fresh.

What do bakeries sell most of? ›

Top Selling Baked Goods
  • Bagels.
  • Cream puffs.
  • Cornbread.
  • Blueberry muffins.
  • Whoopie pie.
  • Red velvet cake.
  • Banana bread.
  • Pretzels.

What is the failure rate of bakeries? ›

If you want to start a business on industry standards, then know this; 1 in every 5 bakeries fail.

How long before a bakery is profitable? ›

Bakeries, like most restaurants, usually become profitable within their first three years of operation.

What causes baking failure? ›

1) You forgot to add baking powder, or you used expired baking powder. 2) Your pan is too big, so the mixture can't rise enough to fill it. Or 3) You over whisked. Next time, make sure to use baking powder, and pay attention to the expiration date.

How much does a loaf of bread cost in Africa? ›

In 2022, a loaf of fresh white bread weighted 500 grams cost 1.14 U.S. dollars in Nigeria, the highest price among the selected African countries. By comparison, the price of a loaf of bread averaged 0.91 U.S. dollars in South Africa and 0.61 U.S. dollars in Egypt.

What can 500 US dollars buy in Nigeria? ›

Are you overpaying your bank?
Conversion rates US Dollar / Nigerian Naira
50 USD23049.65000 NGN
100 USD46099.30000 NGN
250 USD115248.25000 NGN
500 USD230496.50000 NGN
8 more rows

What does $100 dollars buy in Nigeria? ›

Are you overpaying your bank?
Conversion rates US Dollar / Nigerian Naira
100 USD46084.50000 NGN
250 USD115211.25000 NGN
500 USD230422.50000 NGN
1000 USD460845.00000 NGN
8 more rows

What is the most expensive bread in Nigeria? ›

The most expensive bread in the history of mankind, the Nigeria Cassava Bread. Production costs is estimated to be around N10billion.

Who buys the most bread? ›

Revenue-wise, China and India dominate the lion's share of the global bread market, which is valued at $66.8bn and $47.28bn, respectively in 2022. The type of top-selling bread in each market varies from country to country.

Which African countries have the most expensive bread? ›

Breakdown & Key Metrics. Data compiled by Numbeo on behalf of Ghana Web for the nine African countries with the most expensive prices of bread show that in Nigeria, a 500g loaf of fresh white bread costs an average of 1.12 USD. This amount is the highest across Africa.

How to market bread in Nigeria? ›

How To Sell or Market Bread In Nigeria or Africa
  1. Set up a physical store: Establish a physical store in high traffic areas such as malls, markets, and residential areas.
  2. Mobile sales: Use a food truck or van to sell bread to customers in various locations.
Apr 9, 2023

How much capital do you need to start a bakery? ›

The average startup cost to open a bakery is between $10,000 and $50,000. This is lower than the average cost of opening a restaurant, largely due to the reduced need for employees, seating, and inventory for most bakery businesses.

How profitable is bread making business in Nigeria? ›

Is Bakery Business Profitable? Yes, bakery business in Nigeria is profitable and I will state some reason here. It is profitable because all Nigerians eat bread and the ones that do not eat which are the very low percentage like and eat other baked foods. This could be cake, sausage, or any other kind of snacks.

What are 4 things sold in a bakery? ›

Bakery and baked goods categories like bars, breads (bagels, buns, rolls, biscuits and loaf breads), cookies, desserts (cakes, cheesecakes and pies), muffins, pizza, snack cakes, sweet goods (doughnuts, Danish, sweet rolls, cinnamon rolls and coffee cake) and tortillas.

How much does a successful bakery owner make? ›

While ZipRecruiter is seeing annual salaries as high as $248,000 and as low as $17,000, the majority of Bakery Owner salaries currently range between $28,500 (25th percentile) to $89,000 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $152,000 annually across the United States.

What is the most common bakery product? ›

The most common baked item is bread but many other types of foods are baked as well.

What are the dangers of working in a bakery? ›

Working in a bakery places staff at risk of developing an occupational skin disease, such as dermatitis or eczema. This is because the skin frequently comes into contact with dough, spices and detergents – all of which when exposed to the skin on a regular basis can cause irritation.

Who is the target market for bakeries? ›

The bakery will appeal to all households and residents. Whether someone is working class, a business executive, a teacher, or a student, there will always be a need for a bakery. You can download the Bakery business plan template (including a full, customizable financial model) to your computer here.

What are the problems with bread? ›

When is bread not healthful? The highly processed flour and additives in white, packaged bread can make it unhealthful. Consuming too much white bread can contribute to obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. However, buying bread with the word “whole” as the first ingredient still does not guarantee a healthful product.

Can you make a living from bakery? ›

Home bakeries can be a successful side hustle or even a full-time job. Whether you want to keep it small or build it up (maybe even start your own bakery!), it's essential to know what you're getting into. The amount you'll make is based on the work (both time and effort) you put in and the name you make for yourself.

Is working in a bakery stressful? ›

What does a professional baker do? This career is not all glamour like people may assume: It requires very early hours. It's a very physically, mentally demanding job. You're working with your hands all day long and if something goes wrong, it's because you did it wrong.

What are the busiest times for the bakery business? ›

Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas are often packed with special orders and increased foot traffic. Bakeries that ship products may also see a pre-holiday rush in terms of ordering supplies and processing orders.

What are the 3 main ingredients in baking? ›

Flour, water, and leavening agents are the ingredients primarily responsible for the characteristic appearance, texture, and flavour of most bakery products. Eggs, milk, salt, shortening, and sugar are effective in modifying these qualities, and various minor ingredients may also be used.

How much does a bakery sell per day? ›

Most bakeries, on average, generate over $1,000 a day in sales, resulting in $365,000 in annual sales, approaching the $450,000 average mentioned above.

Which state has the most bakeries? ›

The state with the most bakeries per capita is definitely an interesting one: Florida.

How much do bakeries mark up? ›

Profit margins vary by industry, but generally, a 5% margin is low, a 10% margin is average and a 20% margin is good. The key is to find a balance between the profit that you want to be generating with what's realistic for your customers.

How can I increase my bread sales? ›

Tips for attracting customers to your bakery
  1. Strengthen the aroma. ...
  2. Offer new products and recipes. ...
  3. Invite them to enter with a funny message. ...
  4. Prepare the products well and explain them. ...
  5. Give free samples. ...
  6. Manage your social media well. ...
  7. Create bespoke merchandising. ...
  8. Conduct small surveys among your customers.

What are common problems in bakery business? ›

Four common wholesale bakery challenges - and how to solve them
  • Poor cashflow. We see this a lot with bakeries just starting out. ...
  • Effective product promotion. ...
  • Running out of inventory. ...
  • Collecting and managing multiple wholesale orders effectively.
Feb 1, 2021

Can you make money selling homemade bread? ›

Home bakeries can be a successful side hustle or even a full-time job. Whether you want to keep it small or build it up (maybe even start your own bakery!), it's essential to know what you're getting into. The amount you'll make is based on the work (both time and effort) you put in and the name you make for yourself.

What products make bread rise? ›

Baking Powder and Baking Soda

Baking powder or baking soda work quickly, relying on chemical reactions between acidic and alkaline compounds to produce the carbon dioxide necessary to inflate dough or batter (more on this later).

What ingredient adds richness to quick breads? ›

Flour adds structure to the bread but the batter must be mixed minimally so that the gluten structure doesn't develop too much. Fats are added for richness and flavor, and when creamed with sugar, they trap air creating lightness in the batter.

What bakery item makes the most money? ›

14 Most Profitable Baked Goods for Bakeries
  • Cakes. Cakes make up 24% of all bakery sales. ...
  • Pies. From apple to pumpkin and lemon meringue to maple pecan, there's an almost endless variety of pies your bakery could sell. ...
  • Cupcakes. Cupcakes are one of the most profitable baked goods. ...
  • Muffins. ...
  • Donuts. ...
  • Breads. ...
  • Bagels. ...
  • Tortillas.
Oct 6, 2022

How do bakeries know how much to make? ›

Forecasting your bakery's sales

Typically, bakeries use sales data, labor costs, food costs, and production capacity to forecasts their sales.

What is a weakness of a bakery? ›

Poorly operated bakeries waste ingredients and labor, increasing expenses and lowering profit margins. Inadequate equipment results in the waste of cakes and breads not properly baked.

What are the weakness of bread? ›

Most bread is refined, which removes much of its natural fiber and vitamins. Fiber, particularly, is important because little is absorbed from the digestive system and is filling. White, refined bread is low in fiber and has a higher glycemic index, which means those calories convert to sugar much faster.

How do you pack bread for sale? ›

Package your bread attractively and practically. Slide loaves into paper or clear plastic bags with twist-ties. Label the bread with the type of bread, the weight and the ingredients. Include your name and contact information so customers can get a hold of you if needed.

How much does it cost to make 1 bread? ›

Final Words. It doesn't cost a whole lot to make a loaf of bread at home. In fact, you shouldn't pay more than $2. While it takes far more time and energy to create bread at home, you will save money and enjoy bread that is tastier and healthier than store-bought.

How much does a loaf of bread cost to make at home? ›

How Much Money Can You Save By Making Your Own Bread? The price of making your own basic white sandwich bread is about $1.75 per loaf, and the price of a store-bought loaf is between $1-$2.86/loaf.


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