GFAR blog

YAP Proposal #354: Natural, healthy Roselle Drink (Amoloja Dolapo, Nigeria)


The non-alcoholic beverage industry is facing challenges. The volumes are falling, primarily in developed markets. Beverage Digest indicates a 3% fall in 2013 overall carbonated soft drinks (or CDS) volumes in the US, making it the ninth straight year that demand has declined.

One major reason is the shift in consumer preference towards healthier products. Carbonated soft drink makers have faced severe criticism from health officials, governments and communities alike for the ill-effects of high sugar content, artificial sweeteners, and other harmful ingredients in their products.

Consumers are also more conscious of the health risks associated with soft drinks such as obesity and nutritional deficiencies, especially in youth. As a result they are opting for other beverages that are non – carbonated and have fewer calories.

My name is Amoloja Dolapo, female, age 33. I am the Managing Director of Roselle4life Foods, from Lagos, Nigeria. I hold a Bsc in International Relations from Lead City University.

This project is about production and preservation of Roselle drink, traditionally called Sobo Drink.  It is a plant extract of Roselle calyces, mostly grown Africa.

Roselle Drink (Sobo Drink) is a popular drink in Africa, but the use of crude processing technology and poor packaging method by its producers is putting a limitation on its market potential.

I and my team have worked extensively on the production and preservation of the drink and have developed and perfected a processing technology for it to be available in a neat and well-packed form that complies with food regulatory standard.

Our major competitors are Coca Cola Company and 7Up bottling company. These two have dominated the non-alcoholic beverage industry in Nigeria and beyond for many years.

Our unique value propositions are these:

  1. Roselle Drink is a Natural Drink i.e. a plant extract of Roselle calyces.
  2. The drink is available in a clean, standard and well packaged form. Unlike other Sobo drinks, our drink has being trademarked to differentiate it from other Roselle drinks. The trademark name is Veggie Sobo Drink. The production process also has being prototyped and standardized.
  3. Our drink has a longer expiring date (6 months) unlike other local Roselle Drinks that last only one to two days before fermentation takes place.

The company’s target market/ customers are health conscious individuals, whether male and female, young or old who value natural drinks.

I’m motivated to embark on this project for these reasons:

  1. There is a growing demand for natural, healthy drinks in Africa.
  2. Clean, standard and well packaged Roselle Drinks are not common. Most of these drinks are locally produced and under poor conditions. There is therefore a need to produce a Roselle Drink approved by food regulatory board and competing effectively with other beverage drinks in the market.
  3. Most Roselle farmers are living below poverty. A lot of these calyces waste on the farm due to poor processing and packaging technology. Embarking on a project like this would add value to the crop and provide more income to individuals within the value chain (farmers, transporters, marketers, government, etc.)

I have 5 years’ experience in Roselle Drink production and I have undergone a certified training on it. My company has also begun production but much needs to be done in the area of machinery acquisition and marketing.

My budget for the $5,000 grant

First Disbursement:

Acquisition of pasteurizer: $1800
Raw Material Purchase: $400

Second Disbursement:

Factory Renovation:      $1500
Product Development:  $200

Third Disbursement:

Marketing and Business expansion: $1100

The occurrence of diseases of civilization like diabetes, cancer, hypertension, obesity, etc. can be drastically reduced if more natural, non-toxic foods and drinks are being produced.


Blogpost and picture submitted by Amoloja Dolapo (Nigeria) – roselle4lifefoods[at]

The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.

This post is published as proposal #354 of “YAP” – our “Youth Agripreneur Project”.

The first selection of the winners will be based on the number of comments, likes and views each proposal gets.

As a reader, you can support this speaker’s entry:

  • Leave a comment (question, suggestion,..) on this project in the comment field at the bottom of this page
  • Support the post by clicking the “Like” button below (only possible for those with a account)
  • Spread this post via your social media channels, using the hashtag: #GCARD3


Have a look at the other “YAP” proposals too!
As a donor, support young agripreneurs and sponsor this unique project. Check out the side column for our current sponsors.
“YAP” is part of the #GCARD3 process, the third Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development.

9 thoughts on “YAP Proposal #354: Natural, healthy Roselle Drink (Amoloja Dolapo, Nigeria)”

  1. Nice project, we need to develop a healthy local drink like this through locally sourced material

  2. Lovely idea. This will save lives. Thumbs up to you Dolapo Amoloja. May the Natural and healthy Roselle Drink that your company produce go around the world. God bless you.

  3. Dalopo,
    Am really excited for you guys and this is just the beginning. Zobo is a quality home made drink with all natural herbs, and I believe it’s the next big thing.


  4. Good concept and I hope the government will help develop this project furthermore.
    Kudos to the Amolojas

  5. my sister is on the path to greatness. i have tasted the drink and i can confirm that it is good and hygienic

  6. Great idea. With the recent drive for made in Nigeria products, this is a good initiative. This is a healthy drink and would be a perfect substitute for the sugar filled and highly sugar concentrated foreign made drinks in our Nigerian market. I hope the government takes this project seriously and supports this initiative.

  7. As matter of fact, I have been dreaming about something like this having the availabilty this raw material in my area, its really a perfect project u have embark on. may the Almihgy God make it easy for you. U can as well count 120% if U need its supply.

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