The ice block business seems like a negligible business with a very little prospect. This explains why people tend to look down on a lot. However, contrary to popular opinion, it could turn out a very lucrative business, especially when operated on a large-scale industrial level. Research has revealed that one can earn between N250, 000 to N300, 000 monthly from making ice blocks. Increase of fast-food chains across the globe is what drives the ice market growth, especially in the US.
In hot regions of the world such as Africa, chilled drinks are the preferred options always. Temperatures during the day can rise to 40°C, especially in the Northern parts of the continent. The tropical weather conditions experienced in most parts of Africa is what primarily drives the ice block making industry, as people drink more water to refresh and rehydrate their bodies. Added to that, the proliferation of bars, nightclubs, restaurants, and outdoor parties is a factor that contributes significantly to the growth of the industry.
In Nigeria, the ice block business is practised by a large number of people. Besides the hot weather, the inadequate power supply is a factor that works in favour of the industry, making it a business whose returns on investment (ROI) is profoundly guaranteed. If you’re looking to start a business in Nigeria or any other part of Africa, you will find the ice block or ice cube business highly lucrative. Here’s a guide to help you through.
What Is An Ice Block?
Ice block or ice cube is basically solid water. It is made by putting water into a specific type of nylon bag, which is then placed in an ice block making machine for hours to solidify.
What Is An Ice Block Production Business?
Ice block making is the process of putting ice in either a nylon or cardboard box or bag or any other material that can handle the expansion of water as it turns to ice, and placing it in an ice maker machine to freeze. An ice block production business describes the entire process of producing, packaging and marketing ice cubes to retailers and end-consumers.
Business Opportunities In Ice Block Production Business In Nigeria And Across The World
1). Sale And Distribution Of Ice Cube:
A lot of small-scale restaurants cannot afford to buy a generator or a fridge, and they also need to offer chilled refreshments to their customers. Ice block sellers are their go-to for their chilled drink needs. Thanks to the erratic power supply, restaurants and eateries resort to the use of ice cubes to keep their drinks chilled, particularly all through the afternoon. This creates opportunities, not just for the producers but also for the distributors of ice cubes. In addition to distributors, ice cube production and distribution requires the services of skilled drivers also.
2). Production Of Ice Block Maker:
An ice block maker is a mechanical device used to solidify water packs into blocks. The ice block production business operates primarily on the ice block maker, which makes a very lucrative business all across the world. As of 2018, the global ice maker market was valued at $4.35 billion, and it has been projected to grow as much as over $6 billion by 2024 at a CAGR of 6%.
Facts And Benefits Of Ice Block
- Ice blocks are convenient to use.
- Using ice blocks to preserve foods is better, as it doesn’t affect the food itself but only coats it like a frost.
- Ice blocks make a cheaper alternative to buying a fuel generator for your home or business.
- You can do the business from anywhere (from the comfort of your home or a shop).
- When applied on the skin, ice block fights open pores.
- Ice block on the face reduces acne and wrinkles.
- It gets rid of puffy and dark circle around the eyes.
- Ice block reduces belly fat
- It removes tan and sunburn
- Soothes blemishes
- Relieves muscle pain
- Reduces swelling
- It was first made in the United States.
- Frank Epperson is said to be the first person to make an ice block in 1905.
- Ice blocks have approximately 200 kcal (837 KJ) of energy.
- The biggest ice block in the world (25 feet) was made by a company called Snapple.
- Ice block business grows in big cities with a lot of population.
Types Of Ice blocks
This type of block moulds faster than dry ice, because it is moulded with the use of chemicals like ethanol.
2). Dry Ice:
Dry ice block moulds naturally and longer in nylon without any chemical additions.
How To Start An Ice Block Production Business In Nigeria: A Step-By-Step Guide
1). Create A Business Plan:
To start an ice block production business, you should draft a comprehensive business plan that encompasses all your business objectives, budget, plans on how to generate capital, the scope of operation, preferred location, etc.
2). Get A Suitable Business Site:
Your business site or factory should be situated far from residential areas because of the noise from the generator set and ice block maker, but also close enough to avoid excessive transport expenses.
3). Get The Required Equipment:
After setting up the business structure, purchase the needed equipment to get your business rolling. This includes a water system, a generator set, ice block makers, drums or tanks for water storage, and coolers for storing the blocks as well as a vehicle for distribution. You will also invest in minor safety kit such as overalls and gloves for the members of staff.
Some factors to consider when purchasing icemaker machines are:
This is the amount of time it takes for the water to freeze when put into the machines. Some take longer to freeze than others.
Consider the number of blocks it can produce at a time. Some can make as many as 100 blocks while others 20 at a time. The number of blocks a machine can make at a time doesn’t only determine the time needed to mould the blocks, but can also affect the quality of ice produced.
Consider the possibility of getting supports from the sellers/manufacturers if the need arises. A good sales support will provide (or show you how to get) repairs or maintenance for the machines.
Prices of ice bloc makers range from N100,000 – N800,000, depending on factors such as model, size, capacity and whether or not it is locally made or imported. The most common locally made machine is built to make 25 rectangular blocks at a time; it costs about N200,000.
4). Package For Distribution:
Most ice blocks are made in transparent polythene nylon bags. The nylons can hold them in both the liquid and the solid states. You can decide to use branded nylons to put your business above your competitors. It can also land you contracts from prominent companies.
5). Advertise And Market:
This is the point where branding your ice block production business comes to play. Advertising could take the form of personal contact with restaurant operators, hotel managers, roadside shops, etc.
Challenges Of Starting An Ice Block Production Business In Nigeria
- Unstable electricity
- High capital investments
- Low returns, especially during wet seasons
- High competition
- Risk of buying fake equipment
- Poor road network for distribution
- Difficulty in maintaining ice block machine
To Sum It Up
Irrespective of technological advances in the world, the ice block production market will continue to rise. This implies that the ice block market is bound to increase over time, both in developed and developing countries. The ice block production business in Nigeria can be a lucrative and profitable venture to start-up, due to its vast market demand and on your ability to build a wide network. If you’re looking for a lucrative business to venture into, the ice block production business in Nigeria is a great option to explore.
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