Soft Drinks Business in Nigeria: How to Start as a Distributor or Retailer

  • October 1, 2023

Soft drinks business in Nigeria is a very lucrative business to start, as it moves fast due to the high demand for “minerals” because of its cheap prices.

The business is easy to start and makes a lot of money that meets both short-term and long-term goals. You can start a soft drink business anywhere in Nigeria, and the capital needed to start is flexible.

If you’ve been looking for different daily income business ideas that make fast money on a daily basis, the soft drink business is one to try. You can start the business today, make your first sale, and of course, your first profit from the business today.

So, if you’re looking to start, just continue reading, as you’ll not only discover how to start a soft drink business in Nigeria, but you’ll also get to know the cost of starting the business, how profitable it is, the challenges and risks involved, and of course, how to succeed selling soft drinks in Nigeria.

Ready to get started! Let’s go then!

What Are Soft Drinks

Soft drinks are non-alcoholic drinks that contain sugar, color, gas, and carbohydrate, and they are drunk mainly for refreshments at home, work, parties, or even traffic.

Soft Drink Business in Nigeria

Popularly known as mineral business in Nigeria, the soft drink business in Nigeria like I said earlier is very profitable. This is because soft drinks are the cheapest refreshments drinks that are most affordable by many Nigerians.

Nigerians love soft drinks not just because they are cheap, but also because it refreshes them. A lot of hardworking Nigerians consume soft drinks during the day at their workplace and even at night after meals, that is why the business makes money every day.

Soft drinks business can be operated in three ways including distribution, wholesaling, and retailing (we will come to this later in this post). There are different types of brands that produce soft drinks in Nigeria, getting soft drinks to sell is not difficult, although you need some capital to get started.

Related: How to Start a Profitable Pure Water Business in Nigeria

How Much Does it Cost to Start a Soft Drink Business in Nigeria

The capital needed to start a soft drinks business in Nigeria depends on the type you want to start, your area, and a few other factors.

As a retailer, you may need a capital anywhere from N10,000 to N50,000 to start a mineral selling business in Nigeria. To start as a wholesaler, the required capital may go from N100,000 to N500,000 to get started. While as a distributor millions of Naira are required to start a soft drink business in Nigeria.

Read Also: 18 Highly Profitable Businesses to Start With 5K in Nigeria

Is Soft Drinks Business Profitable?

Yes, the soft drinks business is profitable in Nigeria. However there are factors that affect the profitability of this business, and they include location, competition, and time of the year.

Regardless, there’s still lots of money to be made from the soft drinks business in Nigeria, and this is mainly due to the high demand for minerals. It is hard to see a Nigerian party without soft drinks being shared to be consumed.

That’s not all, but soft drinks have become part of daily food (like water) which many Nigerians can’t do without consuming daily (I’m an example). So, whether you are selling as a retailer, wholesaler, or distributor you’re definitely going to make profits off the business.

Soft Drinks Business Ideas in Nigeria

Soft drinks business in Nigeria

There are different ways you can operate the soft drink business, and in Nigeria, there are majorly three ways you can approach the business including:

Soft Drinks Distribution Business

Soft drinks distribution business in Nigeria involves partnering with or buying soft drinks directly from soft drinks manufacturing companies and selling to wholesalers and/or retailers in crates.

If you’ve ever seen a soft drinks depot, that’s an example of a soft drinks distribution business. It is likely they are owned by an individual or a group of people. Operating the business this way, you’ll need a lot of money.

Related: How to Become a Distributor for Big Companies Like Coca Cola, Dangote, and So On in Nigeria

Soft Drinks Wholesales Business

The soft drinks wholesale business involves buying soft drinks from distributors and reselling them to retailers at cheap prices. Wholesalers do sell in crates, half of a crate, and even in pieces to retailers.

Operating the business this way is not too stressful, as retailers find wholesalers and buy from them. Although some wholesalers supply retailers using trucks. Wholesalers also sell in bulk to party organizers, schools, churches, hotels, resorts, etc.

Soft Drinks Retailing Business

Soft drinks retailing business involves the buying and selling of soft drinks in pieces to final consumers. Retailers buy soft drinks from wholesalers and go through a lot of processes to get them sold such as freezing.

You can start the business this way with a little capital usually anything from N5,000 Naira and above, as you can buy one crate of different varieties of minerals at once to get started.

List of Soft Drinks in Nigeria

The following is a full list of the soft drinks to sell in Nigeria and make money on a daily basis both plastic and bottled.

  • Coca-cola (Coke)
  • Sprite
  • Fanta
  • Pepsi
  • 7 Up
  • Mountain Dew
  • Schweppes
  • Limca
  • Maltex
  • Maltina
  • Hi-Malt
  • Miranda
  • Bigi Cola
  • Bigi Apple
  • Big Tropical
  • Champman
  • Lacasera

See Also: How to Start a Foodstuff Business and Make Massive Profits

How to Start a Soft Drinks Business in Nigeria

1. Decide on the Type of Soft Drinks Business to Start

To start with, you need to first decide on the type of soft drink business you want to start. Picking a type depends on lots of factors including your budget, location, and the ease of operating the business based on your lifestyle.

If you’re in an area where there are lots of retailers but few or no wholesalers or distributors whatsoever, going with the distributorship, or wholesaling would be ideal. Although funding the soft drink distribution business may be difficult, you can seek money or partnership with friends and family, seek venture capitalists, or get a loan to get started.

2. Carry Out Market Research on The Type You Want to Start

After deciding on the type you want to start, the next thing is to do some findings that will help you understand more about the business. Research how easy it is to operate the business in your area, find out the legal requirements to get started and also get to know who your customers are.

Based on your result, draft a simple business plan containing your overall strategies including, management, and marketing plan. This will serve as a road map to a successful soft drink business in Nigeria.

3. Get a Store/Shop

After your business plan is drafted, the next thing is to start the practical aspect of running the business which starts with a storage facility. A shop or container is required as a retailer, a store as a wholesaler, and a warehouse as a distributor.

While looking for a location to site your store, make sure you consider the ease of running the business in that area including soft factors like:

  • Competition
  • Target customers
  • Security

Firstly, make sure that there are few soft drink businesses in the area where you want to secure a store. Also ensure that your potential customers will be able to quickly locate your store, and make sure that there are low criminal records in the area.

Related: How to Make 5K+ Daily Starting a POS Business in Nigeria

4. Get The Needed Equipment to Run the Business

Soft drinks business

After securing a store, there is other equipment needed to run a soft drink business in Nigeria. Although not all are required based on the type of soft drink business you want to operate. The following are some of the equipment needed

  • Truck
  • Freezer
  • Cooler
  • Generator

These are required based on the type you choose to start. Assuming you want to start as a distributor or wholesaler, you would need a truck and generator. While as a retailer, a cooler, and possibly a freezer would only be required to run your business.

Also, regardless of your type of soft drink business, you will need other basic equipment like tables, chairs, and padlocks to operate your business.

5. Register Your Business (Mainly for Distributors)

This is not necessary for retailers, but if you want to become a distributor of soft drinks in Nigeria your business must be registered. This is because legal documents of your business will be required while applying to become a distributor of soft drinks companies including Coca-cola which is the most popular in Nigeria.

If you did your market research well, you should know all the required registrations. The most common one of these is CAC. Your business name needs to be registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to make it legal, and genuine in the eyes of the companies you want to partner with.

6. Find a Supplier

Since you’re not the manufacturer, you need to source places to buy your goods to start the business.

As a retailer, your suppliers are wholesalers or distributors, as a wholesaler, your suppliers are distributors, and as a distributor, the only place to source soft drinks for sale is from the manufacturers.

It is easy to find suppliers as a retailer, as there are lots of wholesalers in every town across the country, and some even hawk around using trucks. As a wholesaler, it is a little bit difficult to find distributors because there are just a few in a town. Here, your market research will help if well done.

As a distributor, for beginners, it is very difficult to get a distributorship license in many companies in Nigeria, as it takes a long process. However, you can start as a sub-distributor by collaborating with existing distributors of the soft drinks company you want to work with, e.g Coca-cola.

Read Also: How to Start Frozen Food Business in Nigeria

7. Hire Staff (For Wholesalers & Distributors)

Only if you’re a retailer you won’t need some helping hands as every soft drink retailing business activity can be carried out by just a person. As a distributor, you’ll need to hire staff to fit in every aspect of the business including supervisors, marketing agents, loaders and offloaders, drivers, and even sales reps.

8. Get Started and Get Working

With everything now set, get your goods stocked in your ship and start selling. The major part of operating a soft drink business in Nigeria is marketing.

So, as part of getting started, you need to market your business, and this is where the work of your marketing agents comes in as a distributor. They should come up with the best marketing strategies for your business in addition to yours.

As a retailer, marketing your business can be done mainly through word of mouth. As soon as you get the business off the ground, inform your friends, family, and neighbours about your business, and also encourage them to inform their friends and relatives too.

Also, you can print some promotional materials like banners and flyers to market your business. As a wholesaler, working with event planners is also a good way to get more people to know about your business.


The soft drinks business is a very profitable one to start in Nigeria whether as a retailer, wholesaler, or distributor, there’s lots of money to be made from the business. If you want to start, I believe this post on how to start a soft drinks business in Nigeria has covered all you need to get started.