Friday, March 1, 2024

Starting a Bottle Water Business in Nigeria, Cost and All You Need to Know



Starting a bottled water business in Nigeria requires thorough preparation and understanding of the market landscape. In my recent interview with Malam Zakaria, the insightful owner of Zaraiko, a prominent bottled water company in Bauchi State, we delved into the essential aspects of initiating such a venture. His experience, spanning from establishing a pure water company to evolving into the production of bottled water, offered a wealth of knowledge for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Clean drinking water is more than a necessity; it’s a fundamental right. In Nigeria, where access to safe drinking water remains a challenge for many, the bottled water industry has become a lifeline. Malam Zakaria’s insights shed light on the burgeoning market for bottled water and its vital role in catering to the growing demand for safe, potable water across the country.

As I sat down with Malam Zakaria, the owner of Zaraiko, nestled in the bustling heart of Kasuwar Kaji, Azare Market in Bauchi state, his words resonated with experience and entrepreneurial wisdom. “Starting a bottled water business isn’t just about quenching thirst; it’s about meeting a fundamental need for clean, accessible water in our communities“, he began.

Starting a bottle water Business in Nigeria

Malam Zakaria’s invaluable knowledge isn’t just for those seeking business success but also for individuals passionate about serving their communities. This blog aims to distill his extensive expertise into a comprehensive guide tailored for aspiring entrepreneurs looking to venture into the bottled water business in Nigeria. From the intricacies of starting a business to the critical cost breakdown, the goal is to equip readers with the necessary insights to embark on this entrepreneurial journey successfully.

I couldn’t help but absorb the wealth of knowledge he shared about the bottled water industry in Nigeria. His journey from running a pure water company seven years ago to venturing into the realm of bottled water production was a testament to the growth and potential of this business.

Starting a bottled water business in Nigeria requires a keen understanding of the industry landscape“, Malam Zakaria remarked. “It’s more than just selling water; it’s about meeting demands, understanding market trends, and navigating challenges“.

Current Market Trends, Demands, and Growth Projections

The conversation delved into the prevailing trends in the Nigerian bottled water market. Malam Zakaria emphasized the increasing demand for clean and conveniently packaged water, citing a growing population and heightened health consciousness as driving factors. He highlighted how these trends present immense growth opportunities for budding entrepreneurs eyeing this sector.

Current Market Trends

  1. Health Consciousness: Malam Zakaria noted a significant shift in consumer preferences toward healthier beverage options. With a heightened awareness of health-related issues, more Nigerians are seeking clean and safe drinking water, driving the demand for bottled water.
  2. Urbanization and Population Growth: The steady increase in urban populations has accelerated the demand for packaged water. Cities and urban areas, witnessing rapid expansion, are hotspots for bottled water consumption due to varying degrees of water quality and accessibility.
  3. Convenience and Hygiene: Bottled water offers unparalleled convenience and assures consumers of quality and hygiene. The convenience factor, especially for individuals on the move, students, and office-goers, is a major driver of sales.
Also Read  Starting a Small Provision Store in Nigeria, Cost and All You Need to Know


  1. Accessibility and Availability: The demand for bottled water transcends geographical boundaries. It’s not limited to urban areas but extends to semi-urban and rural settings where access to safe drinking water is a concern.
  2. Varying Consumer Preferences: There’s a spectrum of preferences among consumers. While some opt for basic packaged water, others seek premium brands with additional attributes like mineral content or specific packaging.
  3. Bulk Purchases: Besides individual sales, bulk purchases from corporate organizations, event organizers, and institutions contribute significantly to the market demands.

Growth Projections

Malam Zakaria shed light on the promising growth projections for the bottled water industry in Nigeria:

  1. Market Expansion: With Nigeria’s population projected to grow, the bottled water market is poised for further expansion. Growing populations will lead to increased demands, especially in regions experiencing rapid urbanization.
  2. Technological Advances: Advancements in water purification technologies and packaging methods are expected to enhance production efficiency and product quality, driving market growth.
  3. Economic Factors: The rise of the middle class, coupled with improving disposable incomes, will likely amplify the demand for bottled water, creating a sustainable growth trajectory for the industry.

Understanding these trends, demands, and growth projections is pivotal for aspiring entrepreneurs aiming to venture into the bottled water business in Nigeria. These insights emphasize the need for innovative strategies, quality assurance, and market adaptability to capitalize on the burgeoning opportunities within this dynamic industry.

Why the Bottled Water Business is Lucrative in Nigeria

The appeal of bottled water lies in its necessity and convenience“, Malam Zakaria explained. “Water is a fundamental need, and in a country like Nigeria where access to clean drinking water isn’t uniform, bottled water bridges that gap. It’s a lucrative venture due to its constant demand, especially in densely populated areas and during emergencies“.

1. High Demand and Accessibility

Limited Access to Clean Water: Accessibility to safe drinking water remains a challenge in various regions of Nigeria. Bottled water fills this gap, providing a reliable and readily accessible source of clean drinking water, especially in areas with compromised water quality.

Urbanization and Lifestyle Changes: Urbanization and changing lifestyles have significantly boosted the demand for convenient, on-the-go hydration. The bustling urban life, coupled with increased outdoor activities, makes bottled water an essential and convenient choice for consumers.

2. Health and Hygiene Consciousness

Safety and Quality Assurance: Consumer concerns about waterborne diseases and contaminants drive the preference for packaged water. Bottled water assures consumers of safety, undergoing stringent purification processes to meet quality standards, thereby addressing health-related worries.

Perceived Health Benefits: Many consumers perceive bottled water to be healthier than tap water, attributing it to purification processes and mineral content. This perception contributes to the sustained demand for packaged water.

3. Business Scalability and Profitability

Low Entry Barriers: The relatively low barriers to entry make it feasible for entrepreneurs to start a bottled water business. This inclusivity allows smaller players to enter the market and compete effectively.

Profit Margins: Despite the competitive nature of the industry, well-structured bottled water businesses can yield substantial profit margins due to high demand, efficient production processes, and economies of scale.

4. Changing Consumer Preferences

Convenience and Portability: Bottled water’s portability and convenience make it a preferred choice for consumers who prioritize mobility and ease of access.

Varied Product Offerings: Diversified product offerings, such as flavored water, vitamin-enhanced water, and different packaging sizes, cater to a wide spectrum of consumer preferences, enhancing market reach and potential sales.

5. Regulatory Compliance and Consumer Trust

Regulatory Standards: Compliance with quality standards and regulatory bodies like NAFDAC instills confidence in consumers, assuring them of the safety and purity of the bottled water they consume.

Brand Trust and Recognition: Established brands that consistently deliver quality and maintain transparent processes build trust and loyalty among consumers, fostering a competitive edge in the market.

Malam Zakaria’s insights painted a vivid picture of an industry ripe with potential. His emphasis on understanding the market, identifying trends, and leveraging the ever-growing demand highlighted the promising landscape awaiting those venturing into the bottled water business in Nigeria.

Market Research and Feasibility Study

Market research is the backbone of any successful business.” Malam Zakaria’s opening statement echoed a sentiment crucial for aspiring entrepreneurs. He emphasized the significance of a comprehensive market analysis before diving into the bottled water industry. His insights revealed a meticulous process, encompassing various key elements:

1. Importance of Market Research

Malam Zakaria underscored the critical role of thorough market research. Understanding consumer behavior, preferences, and existing competitors’ strategies is fundamental. “You need to know your audience, their needs, and how you can offer something better“, he emphasized.

Also Read  Starting a Bakery Business in Nigeria, Cost and All You Need to Know

2. Steps for Conducting Market Research

He highlighted the steps involved in conducting effective market research. From studying demographic data to analyzing consumer trends and mapping out potential competitors, his advice stressed the need for a holistic approach.

3. Analysis of Competitors and Market Size

You’re not alone in this market.” Malam Zakaria emphasized the importance of understanding competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. Understanding the market size and its growth potential aids in devising a feasible business plan.

However, when I started my own company there is only external competitors, my bottled water was the first in Azare town as it then. The only other competition I had then was was Faro, Eva, and swan so the local market within Azare town and some part of Bauchi was fairly easy for me win.

4. Feasibility Study

To ensure business success, feasibility study is very important, and should not be overlooked at all in this present business landscape. Truth be told I did not formally do feasibility study before I started Zaraiko bottled water, I already had several years of experience with producing sachet pure water says Malam Zakaria.

As at that time, there not other company in town producing bottled water all where brought in from other states. At a point I thought why not tap into the market, and I just had a little bit of discussion about it with my wife and within few months I started buying the machines and licensing then production.

He elaborated on the significance of a feasibility study, emphasizing its role in validating the business concept. “A feasibility study helps you understand if your idea can become a profitable business“, he stated.

No doubts, his insights shed light on the critical nature of conducting thorough market research and feasibility studies before launching a bottled water business. His advice underscored the need for a strategic understanding of the market landscape and competition, serving as a solid foundation for success in this industry.

Requirements to Starting a Bottled Water Business

Starting a Bottle Water Business in Nigeria, Cost and All You Need to Know
Starting a Bottle Water Business in Nigeria, Cost and All You Need to Know

Starting a bottle water business is a venture that demands keen financial planning and a meticulous understanding of the costs involved“, Malam Zakaria, the seasoned owner of Zaraiko Bottled Water Company, shared during our insightful conversation.

His words echoed the sentiment that initiating such a business in Nigeria requires a comprehensive grasp of the financial aspects involved. Here, we delve into a detailed breakdown of the costs to anticipate when venturing into the bottled water industry, as advised by Malam Zakaria.

1. Land Acquisition or Lease: The Foundation of Your Venture

Acquiring or leasing the land for the factory marks the foundational step, accounting for a significant portion of the initial investment. Malam Zakaria stressed the importance of selecting the location judiciously, this decision impacts accessibility, security, and compliance with regulations. Costs may range between N5 million to N7 million, contingent upon the size and specific requirements of the property.

2. Factory Construction and Utilities: Building the Operational Hub

Constructing the factory infrastructure aligns closely with the envisioned scale of operations. Zakaria emphasized the necessity of adhering to standardized layouts for optimal production efficiency. The factory design includes essential sections like the production room, storage areas, office space, and hygiene facilities. Budgeting an approximate N5 million to N7 million is crucial to accommodate construction and utility expenses, ensuring a fully functional operational hub.

3. Equipment and Production Machinery: The Core of Operations

Investing in requisite machinery and equipment is pivotal. From water treatment facilities to filling and sealing machines, each component plays a vital role in the production process. Zakaria highlighted the significance of quality and reliability when procuring these essentials. An estimated N3 million to N5 million is necessary to acquire the necessary apparatus and ensure smooth production operations.

4. Regulatory Compliance and Licensing

Navigating the regulatory landscape is a fundamental aspect highlighted by Zakaria. Acquiring licenses from agencies like NAFDAC and adhering to health and safety standards are indispensable. The process, while vital, incurs costs averaging around N300,000 to secure necessary approvals and certifications.

5. Human Resource Allocation

Human resources are the backbone of the any business, the bottled water is not left out either. Allocating funds for competent staff salaries, training, and employee welfare significantly influences operational success. Ensuring proper compensation, averaging N40,000 monthly, is crucial to maintain a skilled and motivated workforce.

Malam Zakaria’s invaluable insights shed light on the intricate financial aspects of establishing a bottled water business in Nigeria. Understanding and meticulously planning for these diverse costs are critical in ensuring a successful foray into this lucrative industry.

Also Read  Starting a Furniture Business in Nigeria, Cost and All You Need to Know

Cost Breakdown for Starting a Bottled Water Business

Navigating the Financial Landscape

Embarking on a venture in the bottled water industry demands a comprehensive understanding of the financial investments involved. The conversation with Malam Zakaria unearthed essential cost breakdowns pivotal in laying the groundwork for a successful enterprise.

Land Acquisition or Lease: The Groundwork Investment

The foundational step involves securing land or leasing a suitable space for the factory. This pivotal decision can require an investment between N5 million to N7 million, contingent upon location, size, and local regulations. A well-chosen site ensures optimal accessibility and adherence to safety standards.

Factory Construction and Utilities: Establishing the Operational Hub

Building the operational hub, complete with production areas, storage, administrative sections, and hygiene facilities, necessitates careful financial planning. Allocating an estimated N5 million to N7 million for construction and utilities ensures a well-equipped, compliant factory ready for operations.

Equipment and Production Machinery: The Operational Backbone

Acquiring machinery and equipment, such as water treatment facilities, filling machines, and packaging units, constitutes a substantial investment. Setting aside approximately N3 million to N5 million ensures the acquisition of reliable, high-quality equipment, essential for efficient production processes.

Regulatory Compliance and Licensing: Navigating Legal Avenues

Securing licenses and adhering to regulatory standards from bodies like NAFDAC is a critical requirement. Allocating an estimated N300,000 for approvals and certifications is essential for compliance, ensuring the production of safe and approved bottled water.

Human Resource Allocation: Sustaining the Workforce

Investing in human resources, adequate compensation, training, and welfare, is crucial for a proficient workforce. Allocating approximately N100,000 monthly for staff salaries and development ensures a skilled team driving the company’s success.

Understanding the diverse financial components highlighted by Malam Zakaria is pivotal when contemplating a venture in the bottled water industry. Navigating these costs strategically lays the groundwork for a robust and successful business in this thriving market.

Setting the Operational Foundation

Ensuring Optimal Production Infrastructure

Malam Zakaria’s insights into the operational aspects of initiating a bottled water business shed light on the critical components for a robust foundation.

Water Sourcing and Treatment: The Lifeline of Quality

Central to the business is sourcing and treating water to impeccable standards. Installing a borehole system or partnering with water corporations becomes imperative. Allocating resources for a borehole (approximately N100,000) and water treatment units (N250,000) establishes a reliable water source, ensuring the quality of your product.

Packaging and Distribution: Logistics and Presentation

Investing in adequate packaging materials (e.g., printed nylon sachets, packaging bags) and a delivery truck (approximately N1.2 million) ensures efficient distribution. Budgeting for packaging materials, along with transportation expenses, bolsters the logistical framework for reaching consumers effectively.

Technology and Production Machinery: Streamlining the Process

Critical to efficient production are state-of-the-art machinery and technological advancements. Allocating resources (around N2.5 million) for equipment such as filling and sealing machines, reverse osmosis units, and sterilizing units guarantees streamlined operations, enhancing productivity and product quality.

Utilities and Maintenance: Powering the Operations

Consistent power supply, through generators and relevant utilities, is vital for uninterrupted operations. Investing in a reliable 20 KVA generator (between N700,000 to N1.2 million) and utilities like diesel and fuel ensures consistent production, minimizing downtime.

Safety and Hygiene: Regulatory Compliance

Creating a hygienic production environment aligns with regulatory standards. Allocating resources for maintenance materials, protective gear, and sanitation products (such as soap for tank cleaning) ensures adherence to stringent health and safety regulations.

Malam Zakaria’s comprehensive overview emphasizes the critical components essential for establishing an efficient and quality-driven bottled water business in Nigeria. A strategic allocation of resources in infrastructure, machinery, utilities, and hygiene forms the cornerstone for operational success in this burgeoning industry.


Throughout this discourse, Malam Zakaria’s insights have illuminated the path for aspiring entrepreneurs venturing into the bottled water business in Nigeria. The journey of establishing a bottled water business encompasses multifaceted considerations.

His experience vividly highlighted essential aspects, ranging from acquiring a suitable location, navigating regulatory requirements, to crafting a strategic business plan. The cost breakdown unveiled the necessary investments in infrastructure, machinery, and compliance measures vital for operational success.

In conclusion, Malam Zakaria’s insights evoke optimism for the industry’s potential. The bottled water business presents a fertile ground for growth, sustainability, and significant returns on investment. By assimilating knowledge, leveraging resources judiciously, and adhering to industry standards, aspiring entrepreneurs can carve a niche in this dynamic market.

Ken Sylvester
Ken Sylvester
Ken Sylvester is a business and financial advisor with over 5 years in the financial market as an analyst and trader. Ken is also a seasoned blogger with over 3 years of experienced.

Read more

Local News