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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


  1. Biodun

    December 17, 2015 at 9:25 am

    Very True, Interesting piece.

    In my area, some guys just look for an open space on a Saturday morning, play music and conduct exercise, the dancing type like “Insanity”, and they charge 1200 per head every saturday. Healthy living business

  2. Sisi Yem Yem

    December 17, 2015 at 9:28 am

    Serious Business. When the poor are looking for food to eat, the rich are burning it, why eat it in the first place….hahahaha.

  3. Mayowa

    December 17, 2015 at 9:33 am

    Nice piece of work Kayode. Very timely and articulate.

  4. Dickson.O

    December 17, 2015 at 9:35 am

    Quite apt. Well done. That’s a brilliant piece

  5. Uzoma Umekwe Charles II

    December 17, 2015 at 9:46 am

    Intereseting read…this probably applies not to only Naija as quite a lot of folks round the world wanna stay in shape.

  6. Buki

    December 17, 2015 at 9:50 am

    Insightful. We need more of this kind of post, this is why I will always choose Bella Naija to a Linda Ikeji. One is value adding while the other is gossip and unnecessary gist

    • keke D

      December 17, 2015 at 10:18 am

      Very true Buki, but gossip sef they BN, na just care gossip. Nice article BTW

    • pinopino

      December 17, 2015 at 12:01 pm

      wait ooo. I thought LInda Ikeji is the owner of Bella Naija?

    • keke

      December 17, 2015 at 1:23 pm

      @ Pinopino, make Uche Pedro catch you. She’s the brain behind Bella Naija.

    • ATL's finest

      December 17, 2015 at 3:51 pm

      @ Pinopino say what????? Linda ke? Nah Linda is in her own lane. #Uchebaby#

  7. Josephine

    December 17, 2015 at 10:20 am

    Interesting Piece. I think the idea that Alomo and Orijin is good for the health is a mis-conception. Those drinks will kill many Nigerian men slowly, but what’s the business of the manufacturer?

  8. Emekus

    December 17, 2015 at 10:31 am

    those i see jogging in my area are pot-bellied old men, dem no sexy at all. I would be jogging too if i saw sexy babes. But honestly, healthy living is the new trend and many people are making cool cash from it. Big question, what can I do?

  9. Dayo. A

    December 17, 2015 at 10:35 am

    The same with Starlite, Pepsi Lite, Diet Coke, Dano Slim, Wheat Bread and many more. I love this piece.

  10. Thelma

    December 17, 2015 at 10:42 am

    I believe this piece 100%. My friend said he knows someone who was importing Green tea into Nigeria but made very low sales. Then he told his suplliers to repackage it as Slimming Green tea, same content oh. And now, the sales is huge, they now import frequently.

    • Lulu

      December 17, 2015 at 11:00 am

      Repackaging and Rebranding of Life. Green tea is by default a slimming tea

  11. Doris.O

    December 17, 2015 at 11:17 am

    It is this shaper of a thing that amases me, every girl around me wears one. I even met a guy who wears girdle, he was looking trim when i met him, he got home and I saw belly, from where? I found out he wears girdle + tight singlet. Pot Belly is no longer sexy

  12. Pweeety Rae

    December 17, 2015 at 11:57 am

    Nice piece, we would love to see more of this. This reminds me of how I spend so much during the week to live healthy, eating fruits and salads at work, drinking green tea in the morning and then call it a day by 6pm. But i mess it up during the weekend with Suya, Fish peppersoup, Asun, Nkwobi and massive beer. So I am always back to square 1, then i spend more the following week with more expensive healthy foods. But now, i quit, i can’t come and die.

  13. Ehis

    December 17, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    I run a gym and the turn out has been low since we started. Am i doing something wrong? I think it’s best I send you a personal message

  14. Shaday

    December 17, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    Wow, I do lovely smoothies, shakes and salad. I’m going to consider setting up a small mobile shop, I will start by selling to my colleagues. Thanks for the expository write-up

  15. IK

    December 17, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    Interesting article. I will learn how to do healthy sharwarma, diet suya and low-calorie Nkwobi lol

    • keke

      December 17, 2015 at 1:25 pm

      hahahaha, you should also try low-calorie Amala and Poundo-lite (i.e diet poundo yam). loool

  16. dee

    December 17, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    So so true. I am into organic weight loss and wellness products. My products sell out fast. They work too.?

    • keke

      December 17, 2015 at 1:24 pm

      @dee, can I know more about your organic weight loss? I want to have a flat belly

    • dee

      December 17, 2015 at 2:47 pm

      Pls send me an email with your digits. I will give you a call. [email protected]
      Or dm my instagram @purpleandjade

  17. Toye

    December 17, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    Nice 1 Kay!

  18. ATL's finest

    December 17, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    Nice one . The fastest way I burn fat is by running and walking. All that late night fufu business, count me out.

    • keke

      December 17, 2015 at 3:59 pm

      @ATL’s finest, after drinking all night then you get home to meet properly made Pounded Yam with Egusi and bushmeat in a microwave waiting for you, or jollof rice/plantain and turkey, tell me you won’t eat it, especially when its made my mama.

  19. Dayor

    December 17, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    Nice piece. Slimming tea and pills everywhere, sometimes i wonder if they have side effects.

  20. keke

    December 17, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    Please if you live in Ajegunle or Makoko, don’t think you have a business idea. People in your zone want to chop, they don’t care about healthy living.

  21. Lighthouse

    December 17, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    Very correct, you’re on point sir. I keep trying to eat healthy but fruits, salad and all that are boring, i don’t get filled. But i agree with you, there’s business in here for people looking to start small.

  22. ostus

    May 20, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    Just read your article. quite insightful. My company markets Calorad and we are always glad to teach people who want lasting and healthy weight loss how to do it and be successful at it. Eventually we must all try and modify our lifestyle and be mindful of safety because we have only one body to last us a lifetime. bigups Kayode.

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