“The internet of things brought me clarity”, are the words of Temitomi Matiluko a farmer/food processor who was YouTube-trained on spices processing. Tomi, the CEO of ‘Obetodun Spices’ whose production facility is located in Omu Aran, Kwara State, Nigeria, started with gardening, before her passion translated to growing turmeric. She discovered there’s more to planting when her bountiful harvest had no place to go.
In her words, “I didn’t know what to do with my harvested turmeric, so I checked YouTube and learnt how to process it into powder. Then I realized turmeric powder is highly sought after, expensive and rare”. After discovering market viability, she innovatively thought it good to produce variants by adding various traditional spices in different forms to capture specialized market. The first batch of production was sold out after which massive buzz was created and words of mouth spread the gospel of Obetodun Spices to localities.
With startup capital from her family, Tomi started production with nylon packaging but later evolved into gold pouch package. Obetodun spices are 100% natural herbs, spices and seasonings. The major ingredient (Turmeric) is grown locally. The goal of the startup is to give the world healthy alternatives to chemically formulated seasonings.
According to Tomi, some of the challenges that confront the startup are; inability to penetrate new market, proximity to demand market, higher market demand versus lower supply of production input as well as volatile presence of established seasoning brands competing with healthy alternatives. However, the affordability of Obetodun spices has been of huge advantage, opening business opportunities for resellers at an affordable rate.
In her opinion, Tomi believes the Nigeria packaged food industry is a growing market. Although, some common challenges such as inadequate electricity supply, rigid NAFDAC registration process and purchasing power due to economic instability affects the packaged food industry at large.
She has a strong belief that Obetodun spices will become a house hold name in coming years. “Our mission is to enlighten most Africans on the importance healthy food”, she said.