Deeskus, the speciality food supplier, is the latest product from the Nigerian-based internet and telecommunications company Nultan LLC. Initially launching in Maryland, Washington DC Metro Area and Virginia, Deeskus is an online grocery store that supplies the U.S.’s immigrant population with traditional and hard-to-find African foods.
African, Latino and Caribbean foods are booming in popularity and, while restaurants have the means to provide authentic dining experiences, recreating these dishes at home can be difficult. Large supermarkets do not sell the needed ingredients and specialty stores are often small and/or not local to the customers who need them.
With an African immigrant population of 1.6 million people, the U.S.’ African grocery market has an estimated worth of $500M alone. Combined with markets for Caribbean and Latino communities – as well as future planned expansion into Europe – Deeskus is essentially the sole supplier to an untapped and under-serviced, billion-dollar market. In turn, this will see Deeskus grow into a $100M company.
“Today present if you live in the U.S. and want to prepare traditional African, Latino or Caribbean food, your local grocery store could be hundreds of miles away,” said Mabel Imala, Co-founder and CEO of Nultan USA .“Either you wait for friends to visit from your home country, pay excessive fees for long distance delivery, or go without.”
That’s where Deeskus comes in. Pronounced “discuss,” this online grocery store is simple but effective. Deeskus delivers over 500 products to locations in Maryland and Virginia, as well as Washington DC, with free, same-day delivery on orders worth $30 or more. The service also does two-day priority shipping to all other locations in the U.S. Deeskus fills the gap in the market left by traditional American stores, and ethnic food suppliers that do not offer the same high quality, free delivery.
Imala added, “We plan to capitalize on the success of rivals like Instacart and Peapod by serving the populations they don’t. We are the Instacart for this minority population.”
Deeskus is entering the market as the food startup trend is on the rise. Companies like Blue Apron and Instacart are now billion dollar industries, and niche food delivery services like Munchery and Maple are exploding.
With Deeskus, customers do not have to pay to shop on the website (there are no members’ fees) and interested business owners like store owners can also sign up to be a partner store for free.
Deeskus has formed working relationships with grocery firms specializing in African, Latino and Mexican foods; it is these firms who will provide the supplies for customer orders. Similarly, by working closely with independent delivery drivers, Deeskus has contracted couriers to deliver goods to customer homes or businesses on the same day an order is placed.
Ingredients such as Egusi, for the very popular Nigerian Egusi Soup, as well as the accompanying foods to these such as Semolina, Pounded Yam and healthier versions such as Plaintain Fufu are available for purchase on Deeskus.com
Deeskus is the latest venture from parent company Nultan. Founder Imala created the company after a successful career working for food giant Nestle.