Fan Milk International
- Website: www.fanmilk.com
- Sector: Consumer Services
- Country of operations: Multiple
Cream of the crop
With its range of ice creams, yoghurts and juices, Fan Milk International is helping customers across West Africa to keep cool. The company, which sells its refreshing products in Ghana, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Togo, Benin and Burkina Faso, was founded in 1960 by Danish entrepreneur Erik Emborg. The business still retains a link to Denmark, where it has a team of technical staff but, since 2013, the firm has been owned by France’s Danone Group and the UAE-based Abraaj Group.
“The group maintains an unparalleled frozen distribution chain in its operating markets and sells the majority of its product via a dedicated network of agents and street vendors,” says Edouard Spicher, CEO of Fan Milk International. “Given the strong levels of urbanisation we are witnessing across our markets, we have focused on optimising our distribution system to ensure product availability in high-density areas.”
“The mission was simple yet big in scale,” says co-CEO Chris Folayan. “We bridge the e-commerce gap between continents and provide high-quality products to people in Africa.”
Challenging economic conditions in recent years have had an impact on consumer purchasing power, and the company has taken steps to improve its own productivity to ensure it can continue to provide high-quality products to customers at affordable prices. The firm has also revamped its executive management team and invested in production capacity, while increasing the number of distribution agents and vendors to 23,000.
Fan Milk International still uses bicycle vendors, but it’s experimenting with other methods too, such as solar-powered kiosks. Edouard expects changes ahead. He says: “Fan Milk will continue to be a household name and a leader in the dairy and juice space, but the mode of distribution is likely to change as the indoor channel matures in our markets and we’re adjusting for this impact on our business model.”
- 23,000 distribution agents and vendors currently sell Fan Milk products