2018 was a monumental year in the frozen yogurt industry as revolutionary Nigeria’s yogurt brand, Sweetkiwi, launched at Union Kitchen, a healthy-driven retail outlet in the United States of America.
The frozen yogurt industry in Nigeria has not been one to boast of contributing to the health of the consumers due to the high content of added sugar.
The industry has also not seen any brand pioneer a distinct business move until Sweetkiwi’s launch 7 years ago which drove a new perception and re-wrote the narrative.
The yogurt company was founded by Ehime Eigbe-Akindele in 2011. Born out of her love for desserts, and a personal inclination to be healthy.
Ehime noticed a gap in the industry – one void of frozen yogurts that were as natural and healthy as they were sweet. She worked on a clean label recipe making frozen yogurt from fresh milk and culturing it into real yogurt.
To aid her, Ehime Eigbe-Akindele went on to take a course in Dessert Production, and a certification course in Entrepreneur Management from the Enterprise Development Centre of Pan Atlantic University, Lagos.
Prior to launching Sweetkiwi, Ehime graduated with a BA Honors from London Metropolitan University in Business Information Technology & International Relations.
She began her career in Amnesty International before moving to Citigroup in Dallas, Texas where she handled corporate loan restructuring, default banking, and bankruptcy. Ehime Eigbe-Akindele is, also, a Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Scholar, and has been named one of Nigeria’s most inspiring women in 2016.
In a span of 7 years, Sweetkiwi has dominated the Nigerian frozen yogurt scene and was named one of the 100 most innovative businesses in Nigeria.
The negotiation to scale beyond Nigeria started in June 2018 with Union Kitchen, a food and beverage business accelerator, with franchises all over the world. Sweetkiwi currently stocks at eight stores in the Washington D.C area. She said “the plan is to go regional than national in the US along with creating experience locations in major cities. We are working to scale Sweetkiwi to a global level.
We have received so much support from the DC food scene and government. ‘I wish the governments in Nigeria can support entrepreneurs in the same way, instead of the current way they treat small businesses. Imagine what we could achieve, we had a better environment to facilitate growth.’ Ehime said on her biggest struggles as an entrepreneur.