Fan Milk has created 25,000 jobs in West Africa

From a humble beginning in the 1960s, Danish-owned Fan Milk has developed to be one of the leading brands within fresh dairy products, ice cream and frozen yoghurt in West Africa. Fan Milk employs more than 25,000 people.

Every day thousands of people in seven West African countries buy ice cream, yoghurt and chocolate milk from the characteristic blue bicycle vendors from Fan Milk that set out in large groups from Fan Milk’s depots every morning. 

It all began back in the 1960s when a Danish businessman came to Ghana and realised that the country held the potential for a sustainable business within dairy products. However, it was not that easy. It took more than two decades with several set-backs due to political, commercial and financial challenges to make it a success.

Product development is the key to success

One of the reasons for the success is product development. Each of Fan Milk’s products based on imported milk powder has been carefully developed to meet the taste and need of the consumers, and what is just as important: the products are packed and sold in units that people in West African countries can afford.

Another key element for the success is distribution. To reach the many consumers, Fan Milk has developed a unique distribution system, where individual vendors are selling Fan Milks products directly on the streets. These vendors are independent agents, who use a bicycle or a push cart with an integrated cool box provided by Fan Milk.

Present in seven African countries

Fan Milk has continuously expanded its business in West Africa and today the company is present in Ghana, Nigeria, Togo, Côte d’Ivoire, Benin and Burkina Faso. The company employs directly or indirectly more than 25,000 people, and thus Fan Milk also has a major commercial and economic impact in the countries.

At the beginning of 2014, Fan Milk was sold to Abraaj Group and Danone, and the head office moved from Denmark to Ghana.

IFU has contributed to the success

IFU has continuously been financially committed to Fan Milk. The first investment was in Togo, and subsequently IFU contributed share capital and loans to the expansion in Ghana, Liberia, Ivory Coast and Nigeria.

- Fan Milk is one of our best investments in Africa, because it is both cost-effective and has a high development impact. Consequently, Fan Milk is a perfect match with our fundamental values, says Morten Christiansen, Senior Vice President of IFU.

Danish partner Fan Milk International
Period 1999-
Country and region Côte d'Ivoire, Nigeria
IFU's share participation DKK 40.1 m
IFU's loan DKK 49.4m
Expected total investment DKK 157m
Direct employment 7,553
Contact person
Hans-Jørgen Nyegaard

Hans-Jørgen Nyegaard

Investment Director
Tel.: +45 33 63 75 25
Mob.: +45 22 68 75 25
hjn@ifu.dk

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