The CEO’s Journey in Building a Consumer Snacks Company


Daily Food Boss Baker Cupcake Product

Geoffrey Fadoul, CEO of Daily Food, and his co-founder have launched an industrial bakery business that sells snacks across West Africa. It also supplies fast-food chains, such as KFC, with hamburger buns. By Koromone Koroye

Geoffrey Fadoul was born to Lebanese parents and his family – which stretches back three generations – grew up in several West African countries, including Mali, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Guinea.

“After completing my MBA in Scotland, I decided to work for our family business in Benin and in the regions where we operate across Africa,” says Fadoul.

The family operates a diverse portfolio of businesses under the Fadoul Group Africa umbrella. Founded in 1966, the group began operations in Burkina Faso before gradually expanding to more than 10 African countries.

Leveraging his knowledge of West Africa’s B2B and B2C climate and his connection to the region through the family business, Fadoul wanted to move away from commerce and into manufacturing fast-moving consumption.

“I knew I wanted to make products that could sell quickly in large quantities. My best bet was to produce snacks, which people could buy with a small amount of money,” he says.

With this idea in mind, Fadoul created Daily Food Ltd with Jean-Paul Nasser, its co-founder, in 2018. It is an industrial bakery, which manufactures and distributes food products in several countries in West Africa. West, including Ghana, Benin, Togo and Côte d’Ivoire. It operates a single factory outside Ghana and exports to other French-speaking markets.

Find the right product-market fit

During one of his trips to Nigeria before founding Daily Food, Fadoul observed street vendors selling a popular product called Gala to people stuck in traffic. “It was an eye-opening observation because we saw how popular this product was among Nigerian consumers and how quickly it was selling out on the streets of Lagos.”

Inspired by Gala’s market penetration in Nigeria, Fadoul returned to Ghana to produce pastries like sausages, chicken and beef rolls to sell through street vendors and open markets.

Cupcakes on the Daily Food production line.

Cupcakes on the Daily Food production line.

But soon after Daily Food’s products hit the streets of Ghana, the team realized that the local market was different from Nigeria’s. “Ghanaians didn’t like the meaty consistency of the beef and sausage rolls. Instead, our research revealed that they preferred to see chunks of meat in their baked goods. Second, the traffic in Ghanaian cities was not heavy enough for street vendors to sell our products to interested customers,” he explains.

Daily Food had two options: continue to produce and market its pastries in the hope that customers would eventually adopt them; or to produce snacks that appeal to their target audience. The company decided to go with the latter and introduced the Boss Baker cupcake in 2019. Less than three months later, the factory was running at full capacity.

“About a year after testing our initial product offering, we used the same machines to produce and package our cupcakes. We succeeded in this pivot, and the cupcake became a bestseller in a few months,” explains Fadoul.

Access the B2B market

Before Daily Food started manufacturing its cupcake product, it was approached by KFC in Ghana. “KFC wanted to localize their purchase of hamburger buns. So we worked with them to develop rolls that meet KFC’s international standards. We also registered our buns with Burger King,” says Fadoul. He believes KFC and Burger King approached the company because of its ISO 22000 and FSSC 22000 certifications.

Ghana imported US$1.9 billion worth of agricultural and food products in 2021. Local bakeries still have to import raw materials that are not readily available to meet quality requirements.

A worker at the Daily Food factory in Accra, Ghana.

A worker at the Daily Food factory in Accra, Ghana.

Business challenges and expansion opportunities

Since its launch in 2018, Daily Food has experienced its fair share of hurdles. “We struggled to satisfy consumer enjoyment and patronage. Low sales and slow adoption revealed that our potential market did not appreciate our sausage rolls and meat pies. The only way to overcome this was to introduce something nicer. Our solution ended up being the cupcake.

Another challenge the company faced was accessing consumer data and information, a complex and costly process. Fadoul had to quickly build the capacity of its marketing and sales team to meet research needs. They deployed investigative tactics such as handing out snack samples and feedback questionnaires in open markets and on the streets. The team changed recipes and tried new ingredients after reading their customers’ responses. “We are always doing ongoing trials and relying on market feedback to help us grow our business.”

Fueled by its research and successful pivot in Ghana, Daily Food began exploring opportunities for expansion into other West African markets. Breaking into French-speaking Africa was an easy choice thanks to Fadoul’s connection to the region. In 2019, the World Bank predicted that approximately 62.5% of the fastest growing African economies are in Francophone Africa. In addition, French-speaking countries such as Côte d’Ivoire sustained economic growth following the global pandemic in 2020.

“Our research revealed that West African countries have similar FMCG environments, where much of the business is done in large local markets, not supermarkets,” he adds. “Before starting to export our products, we identified the big wholesalers and distributors in our category and trained these players. We gave them the resources to get our products into the hands of our end customers.

Since launching its original Boss Baker Cupcake in 2019, Daily Food has expanded its product offering to include Boss Baker Fruitcake, Strawberry Cake, Chocolate Cake, Oatmeal Digestive and Shortbread Cookies.

“Soon our products will reach Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates,” reveals Fadoul. “We have obtained all necessary approvals and are waiting to send our shipments to these regions.”

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