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Brands We Love: Dala Foods

For the variety of indigenous foods that it boasts, Nigeria’s packaged foods industry puts out only a fraction of what it can. The sector is growing, but it’s barely representative of the rich culinary heritage of the country’s many ethnicities.

Dala Foods is one of a handful of companies working to plug this deficit.  They are a tea and instant food production company based in Kano, and they’ve been supplying Nigeria’s biggest cities with famed drink gruels, tea, and supplements derived from locally grown grains.


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The company was incorporated in 1980 by Alhaji Safiyanu Madugu. It began operations a year later, as a tea blending and packaging venture, supplying and marketing their product within and around the Kano area. Thanks to the popularity of the brand in the region, they were able to scale operations, and spread their tentacles further afield.

Closer to the present, they have forayed into the production of grain-based meals, besides the tea and indigenous beverages that earned them their current reputation.

Dala Foods Products

Dala’s flagship tea product is its City Tea, a beverage made of locally sourced ingredients. This was the company’s sole involvement for its first two decades. Later on, it branched out into the processing and packaging of crushed grains for traditional food drinks.

Some of those drinks include the Instant Kunun Tsamiya, made of tamarind and millet, and the Diet Kunun, for consumers who want an extra-healthy version of the drink. There’s also the Instant Fura, a mixture of millet granules and yogurt.

The key appeal of Dala’s Kunun product is the ease and speed with which it can be prepared. The traditional Kunun drink takes hours to make. Dala’s packaged product cuts that down to just a few minutes.

Another consumable from the Dala Brand is the Biski, a locally made couscous (the couscous dish is popular in the Maghreb and Sahel regions of Africa). 


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These items are supplied to hotels, airlines, and other establishments, as well as to retail points in more than 20 states in Nigeria.   

Dala Foods manufactures Action Meal, a food supplement for malnourished people. The supplement follows a formula designed by the Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria, and is made available to aid agencies and other institutions on demand.

Awards and Recognitions

Dala Foods won its first notable award in 1989 when it received a gold medal at the international trade fair in Leipzig, Germany. It has picked up several more, including the Global Food Industry Award from the International Union of Food Science in Shanghai, China (2008); and a Fastest Growing Company award from the Tony Elumelu Foundation (2013).

Featured image source: Finelib


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Ikenna Nwachukwu

Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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