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Kayode Omosebi: The FAT Business in being SLIM



The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity.Peter F. Drucker

Have you ever tried to gauge the growth rate of these trends?

  • The number of Nigerians exercising in your locality
  • The number of “abokis” you see around hawking fruits
  • The number of fruit seller clusters you see around
  • The influx of slimming pills and teas
  • The number of Nigerians who use shapewear

Hmmm, Okay…so what about it?

Well it’s a fast growing emerging trend creeping in as a way of life or principle, what I term Healthy Living.

Looking for the next business move or side-hustle? There is a whole lot in here for you.

Healthy living is now a conventional topic. It is no longer just a story in the Style section or something only fitness fanatics’ value. There are few cultural or demographic differences in the significant value people place on living healthier lifestyles or the challenges they face in making that happen. Consumers are paying closer attention to their health; demand is shifting towards products, activities and lifestyle that are geared towards healthy living. Bearing in mind the growing incidence of hypertension, diabetes, obesity and other health related issues coupled with pot-bellies and other concerns in the country, middle-income and high-income consumers are keen on avoiding these issues by consuming healthy foods, drinks and engaging in fitness and wellness activities.

After decades of emphasis on curing diseases, consumers increasingly realize that staying healthy requires a real behavioral commitment, as well as new and more productive relationships with health and care stakeholders. Ask the average Nigerian to choose between easy, affordable access to world-class medical care versus easy, affordable access to healthy living options, I guess more than half will chose healthy living despite their access to high-quality medical care.

The unhealthy epidemic that is currently going on in Nigeria has led to a growing popularity of fitness and weight loss, and this will continuously become an obsession for Nigerians. One key driver is the change in demographics of those who try to keep fit. They used to be concentrated more on the 18-28 range, but the popularity has spread out over all age groups, and increased particularly amongst Nigerians over 50 and children and teenagers.

Based on my estimate, over a quarter of Lagosians are on some sort of diet, and about two-thirds are likely to be women. For this reason, the healthy living market is generally geared towards women, but there are opportunities also in the men’s segment as well as those who have been underserved. As the industry evolves, you will see that dieters will be those with higher incomes than non dieters, in general, and tended to be more urban than rural.

The first one gets the oyster; the second gets the shellAndrew Carnegie

Some businesses (Multinationals and SMEs) are already tapping into this new market, and are making a huge success out of it.

Let us point to some; So Fresh Neighbourhood Market, Nature’s Way Energy Bar, Shape You, T5 Fat Burner, Calorad, Edmark Products, Alomo Bitters, Orijin, FIJK flusher, Clean9, Curves Africa, and a few others.

However, the market is still largely untapped. By my estimate, the major players in this market satisfy only 30% of the fast growing healthy living market. Nigeria’s ever increasing population growth, rising middle class, rising disposable income and consumer spending, increased urbanization rate, and other favorable indicators are the power force to the growth of this market.

It’s relatively low capital requirement coupled with the depth of the market offers viable business opportunities at every level/base of the pyramid and portends a good investment case for Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSME)

Fatten up your business while they shed some weight. Make sure your business promotes healthy living and fitness.

Before setting out, find the answers to these questions: What do consumers say about healthy living? What do they see as the major barriers to doing what they know they should do? And what are the business opportunities for companies as they create new markets for their products and services to respond to consumer demand?

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Andrey Popov

Kayode is an Economist and Investment Banker with experience in investment research, corporate finance and investment banking.  He has built a sound knowledge of Sub-Saharan Africa economies and financial markets, with keen focus on Nigeria. He is passionate about the MSME field and aims to plug the funding gap hindering growth in this field. Having seen the obstacles that MSMEs often face when seeking funding to grow, Kayode is focused to link promising sustainable and viable businesses with the investments they need to get off the ground. Thus, he offers advisory and financing services to MSMEs that contributes to the growth and development of the nation. [email protected] @KayTrinity