Nigerian online food delivery service supports female farmers

Bertil van Vugt
By on May 18, 2015

Saudat Salami is running Easyshop Easycook Services Ltd, an online fresh food delivery company based in Lagos, Nigeria. Currently she is fundraising via our platform to expand operations. We contacted Saudat to find out more. “We mainly work with female smallholder farmers because they constitute the largest ratio of farmers but they are the most disenfranchised.”

Saudat SalamiCan you explain more about how your ‘farm to table’ delivery company has started?

“Easyshop Easycook Services Ltd was founded in 2005 and incorporate in April 2010. We started as a home-based shopping service targeted at working women. With just one staff member and myself, the fresh foodstuffs were bought from a nearby market and brought to our home office. There they were cleaned and then delivered to the homes and offices of our customers.

The seed capital we needed to start came from personal savings and loans from family members. My first delivery van was my mother’s car, which I picked up on Sunday night to use from Monday to Friday and I returned it Friday evening after my last delivery. We have since grown to 3 delivery vans and 15 members of staff.”

How do the smallholder farmers benefit from your operations?

“In the past we were buying our fresh foodstuffs from the major market hub which the farmers supply to directly. Some traders there are farmers whilst others are the middlemen. Due to problems we have with traceability, arbitrary price increases and quality we decided to buy directly from smallholder farmers so we can eliminate the middlemen, trace the source of the food and reduce our waste.

We mainly work with female smallholder farmers because they constitute the largest ratio of farmers but they are the most disenfranchised. As a woman-owned business we want our social impact to also include a high number women as suppliers and members of staff.”

Can you explain how the online delivery space in Nigeria is growing?

“The industry is fast growing, but still in its infancy. Users have a hard time paying online or prior to delivery. There are a lot of companies online providing all kinds of delivery services, but with hardly any structure to support their businesses. This has made it very difficult for users to identify the good companies to patronize. Our company is one of the oldest in this industry and we serve a niche market of fresh groceries. We offer 100% guarantee on all our items and have a well-structured office to support us. We offer hybrid order and payment channels in other to be flexible to our busy customers lifestyle.”

EASYSHOP staff

As you are bringing groceries to your customers, how do you deal with the congested roads in Lagos?

“Congested roads are always there so we plan our days around it. We offer two delivery windows (10am -1pm, 3p – 7pm). Same day delivery is accommodated if the order comes in before 10 am. We use only vans. Most of our customers shop in bulk and it cannot fit on motorcycles. Also, we supply fresh and frozen groceries, putting this on the motorcycle does not work well. Beating traffic is about timing. We do not offer 3 hr delivery windows yet. But our expansion is meant to address that.”

Who are your target customers?

“70% of our customers are working women, in the age group between 28 and 55. Middle income, internet & social media literate, and have an outsourcing mindset. 30% corporate organizations e.g. schools and hospitality industry. We presently market through women groups, social media, referrals and door-to-door promotion.”

Finally, how will you use the investment you are currently looking for?

“Our investment will be used to build structures that will help to process the foodstuffs we buy directly from the farms. Installing a butchery and storage facility for instance. We would also like to increase our capacity to be able to cater for more customers. Partnering with a marketing company that will help to attract more customers is part of the expansion strategy, as well as employing better talent that will work with the founder to restructure the company. And lastly to implement international food safety standards in our company operations.”

Visit the venture profile of Easyshop Easycook Services Ltd. When you want to access the fundraising details, register as an investor on our platform!