Booming business of Kunu, Ginger, Zobo drink in Nigerian markets – Blueprint Newspapers Limited

The Kunu, Ginger and Zobo beverage business is lucrative in Nigeria today, whether for packaging or resale. Apart from the nutritional benefits and easily available in the market, it is very easy to set up depending on the location and how one wants to operate it. ADEOLA TUKURU reports.

For its smallness, vendors are often found on street corners while some put their own in carts and push from street to street. Still, some entrepreneurs have taken the business a step further, selling these drinks online, in banks, hospitals, mini-markets, and more.

Kunu is a local drink made from millet while zobo is a drink made from roselle leaves.

Tiger nut drink is also known as kunun aya. It is a very nutritious and refreshing drink. The Kunun aya business is as lucrative as the zobo drink business, if not more.

One unique thing about selling Kunu and other beverages is that the business can be run from home full time or part time depending on the choice and the customers.

Operating at this level, vendors target learned areas, where people enjoy drinks.

As before, where the sale of Kunu, Ginger and Zobo drinks was restricted to street vendors, shopping malls such as Shoprite, H-medix and other stores are springing up in different parts of the country, especially in scholarly areas. most major cities also feature these drinks.

Business location

Ms Anita Bells from Kaduna State told business starter that one can choose to be parked at a place where buyers come to you, while traveling salespeople move from place to place in search of buyers.

With advances in technology, which have facilitated mobility and trade, these beverages which are restricted to certain locations and geographic areas could now be sold in any locality.

Profits in business

The 43-year-old businesswoman, while telling business starter said she earns an average of N55,000 per month selling Kunu, ginger and zobo drinks.

How she started the business

She recalled how she started the business in 2017 with only 2,000 Naira but expanded her business this year with a 40,000 Naira loan she received from the National Directorate of Employment (NDE).

“I now sell other soft drinks with my kunu and zobo, I have an average sale of 4,000 naira per day even though I don’t have a store yet.

“As you can see, customers come to my stand for a drink because of the large crowd; so the business is less stressful,” she said.

She said she was able to pay her bills and help her family through the business.

She praised NDE for supporting small businesses and expressed hope to one day have a store with the help of management.

She called on women to refrain from idleness and start a business no matter what, as according to her, success is a gradual process.

The potentials of Kunu drinks

A study was conducted to assess the potential of combined processes of pasteurization and a chemical (sodium benzoate) for the preservation of kunun-zaki under ambient and refrigerated storage conditions. In the traditional preparation of kunun-zaki, the proportion of spices influenced the acceptability of the food product.

Studies on pH and microbiological changes during storage of kunun-zaki kept under the two storage conditions indicated that products under refrigeration temperature exhibited more fairly stable pH (4.5 to 4.9) throughout. the 21 day storage period.

Kunun-zaki under room temperature storage had higher microbial loads with the appearance of coliforms and yeasts and molds on the 10th day. However, the appearance of these organisms was not found in products stored in the refrigerator. The sensory evaluation test indicated that kunun-zaki under refrigeration temperature storage was still acceptable to consumers even up to the 21st day.

This study revealed a new possibility of improving the shelf life of kunun-zaki (generally 24-36 h), without affecting its organoleptic properties for three weeks or more, with combined processes of pasteurization and additives such as sodium benzoate.

The history of the Kunu drink

It’s not a new drink but it’s been around for ages. Due to the recent increase in awareness, it is now becoming very popular. Kunun aya is produced from a mixture of ground tiger nuts (also called ground almonds), dates and coconut water.

They are not only found in Nigeria, but are seen in other countries in the form of grass or nuts. They are eaten as a nut in North Africa and as a chufa drink in Spain. In Nigeria, they are consumed both as drinks and as nuts.

Different tribes have different names for it. These seeds are called Aya in Hausa country, the Yoruba call it ofio, the Igbos call it Imumu, in Calabar Isip Isong.

Tiger nuts are not really nuts in the proper sense but tubers, they share the same chemical composition and the same characteristics as tubers and walnuts.

The flakes obtained during the processing of the drink can be dried and used in the manufacture of gluten-free flour for baking or used as additional fiber when making smoothies (porridge, cereals, etc.)

Ingredients for Kunu Aya Drinks

Tiger nuts on their own have several benefits, but we’ll see how to combine other nuts to make them more nutritious and beneficial to health. Ingredients/materials for Tiger Nut Drink (kunu Aya).

Aya (tiger nut)

Debino (Dates)

Coconut (optional)

Muslin (for sifting)

Water, bowl, grinder and container


Soak Aya in water for about an hour or overnight depending on the case, pour them inside the mortar and rub them a little with a pestle as you would with beans to remove any available dirt. Break the dates into pieces and soak them in water to soften them.

Break the coconut and cut them into small pieces. Wash everything very well out of the water, put them all together in a big bowl and grind them with a grinder machine, you can use commercial grinders if you don’t have one. It is not advisable to use a blender unless you want to condemn it.