Ideas for a Smoothie Business in Liberia

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Variety of smoothies prepared by Mako's Fruits

Smoothies are becoming more and more popular in the urban parts of Liberia, and the core reason behind this is the health-conscious mindset that post-war Liberians are developing. Staying healthy including keeping one’s body in good shape is a trending aspiration of Liberians residing in urban and suburban parts of the country. This aspiration has not just influenced their daily activities, it has also influenced their choices of food. They have chosen to consume foods that contain the most nutrients that the human body needs to stay healthy. And they, over time, have developed a strong taste for smoothies, fruit bowls, or fruit salads since they all are enriched with nutrients that keep one healthier.   

Interestingly, emerging smoothie startups are yet still bewildered about the most ideal market location. Smoothie bars are often situated in low interaction locations, therefore, resulting in fewer sales. This article, however, reveals four ideal locations for a smoothie business.  

The Gym

Physical fitness centers will expose smoothie business to people from different professional backgrounds, and different communities that would take your business probably years to reach. (Photo Credit: Team Yode Fitness)

Physical fitness centers will expose your smoothie business to people from different professional backgrounds, and different communities that would take your business probably years to reach. 

At the gym or whatever form of fitness centers, you will realize that the interaction rate is so high, people are talking about fitness related topics and food or drinks are never out of such a conversation. Word-of-mouth referrals work the magic in this situation. Therefore, having fitness influencers talking about your product, particularly the health benefits that your product offer consumers will soon have you attending to a lot of customers. You can further discuss the possibility of having a spot in the same building where the gym is or near your targeted fitness center. 

The Airports

Airports are also places with high levels of person-to-person interactions and business-to-customer (B2C) interactions. Like me, there are hundreds of people who love to have a conversation over a drink, sometimes a locally made drink at an airport. Showcasing smoothies that are blended with local ingredients would surely be a thirst daring adventure for any traveler of my kind that is using the Roberts International Airport (ROB). Having a smoothie bar at this location could increase the income flow of a startup. 

Speaking of airports, some airlines are strategic about their in-flight food service. For example, a flight bound for Liberia might serve potato greens (or a likeness of it) as a main course meal, along with a bottled or canned beverage. Of course, in-flight food services go through more advanced levels of compliance tests to ensure passenger safety. But what would it take to have a smoothie made from Liberian sour-sop or golden plum on board? An even more brilliant idea would be to sell smoothies in the departure lounge, where hungry passengers can grab a quick, healthy base before boarding their flight.

Corporate Buildings

The corporate world is all about time management. People of this category are also health-conscious consumers but they do not have the luxury of time to get what they want to eat or drink while at work. If one can assure them of the consistent availability of smoothies during workdays, they might appreciate it. Another opportunity here is that a smoothie startup could add a few cents or dollars to deliver. 

University Campuses

One thing for sure is that university campuses have dozens of health-conscious people. I realized this while completing my undergrad studies at the University of Liberia. The first way to begin here is to have a permission letter from the administration of your target university. After that is done, one would have to get the ball rolling by going straight into production. Again, word-of-mouth referrals would surely work the magic here. All one would have to do is to spot out the popular cats and have them talking about your product across their social media accounts. 

Liberia, a Smoothie Paradise

The smoothie culture should not be very difficult to take off in Liberia. For decades Liberian mothers of the lowest economic brackets paid their children’s tuition by selling “sweet mother” — those sweet, colorful, frozen, artificially flavored snacks, which are still popular today. Some people use sour milk instead of the Kool-aid or Foster Clark flavors that are on the market.

Smoothies are on another level.

The keys to a good smoothie are crushed ice and naturally-flavored ingredients — preferably fruits — blended together. Real fruits. And if you’ve ever experienced the eclectic collection of tropical fruits that grow naturally in Liberia, some of which can only be found here, you would agree that Liberia should be a certified Smoothie Paradise.

In Liberia, smoothies are still considered a foreign snack for foreign folk. This is because the ingredients are not as filling as a rice dish on the one hand and, for the price point on the other hand, most still consider having a smoothie as non-essential — a luxury, so to speak. True, the costs involved with producing smoothies are for a slightly higher economic bracket. We’re talking about a steady supply of electricity, equipment and raw materials. But with a bit of innovation, a tight supply chain, a clever growth plan, and good quality control, a lean startup could soon be making smoothies that just about everyone can afford.

5 COMMENTS

  1. this has to be the dumbest business idea in history. Liberians dont have the money to buy the rice which is the staple. they are living off $1.50 a day for a family of four. where the hell will they get the money for a luxury drink like a smoothie. they worried about rice, palm oil and fish not no damn SMOOTHIE. Mr. harris did you do your research? Liberia is the poorest nation on earth. who the hell wants a smoothie when they cant get the staple food rice and oil? you are not a journalist just an [email protected]

  2. No wonder Liberians and Liberia are suffering because of the lack of innovation; is rice and palm oil, the only agricultural produce Liberian has? Have you considered that food is a component of Medicine or some agricultural produce has vitamins that contribute immensely to our health? If the mentioned agriculture produce could be blended to provide nutritional health to our population, what is wrong with it?
    Have you not thought about the ripple effect that could have on our economy, example processing our over- produced plum or orange or what we called butter pear, banana, pine apple into a smoothie business what would that do to our farmers, employment of our young people who have no job to do, but dance to political party songs and wear berets and T-shirts? And the taxes that could accrued to government? would not that encourage our famers to produce more fruits, thus boosting their income level to take care of their respective families?
    Why some of us do not think before writing craps and are anxious to insults others for writing their ideas, you can stick to your rice and palm oil, but this is a good agri-business idea,: Mr. know it all”

    • Mr. Gbada J. Flomo,

      i could not agree with you more. The fruits that you mentioned are medicinal and very rich in nutrition.

      i just returned from the hinterland and bought a lot of fruits and my son and I are enjoying the smoothie that my wife made for us to drink.

      We are rich in natural resources and we have abundance of fruits and if making them into other products will benefit our economy and also benefit us health-wise, then yes, go for it.

      Vote December 8. NO VIOLENCE

      Thank you

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