Nkulenu Industries, is a leading company in the food processing industry in Ghana, was established in 1942 by Dr. Mrs. Esther Ocloo (Nee Nkulenu) to create employment for her self, because after leaving Achimota College, there was no job opening due to the aftermath of the Second World War. Ms. Esther Nkulenu invested a sum of six shillings out of ten shillings pocket money given to her by an Aunt the Late Miss. Josephine Nkulenu (Mrs. Mensah) who looked after her in College, into oranges, sugar, firewood and used jam jars, to produce twelve jars of marmalade. Knowledge she acquired at her former College farm where marmalade and orange squash were produced to feed the students. On pricing the marmalade, she decided on a 100 percent markup, and priced a jar at one shilling. She had no difficulty in selling her marmalade due to the shortage created by the war on imported brands.
This encouraged her to add orange squash under the brand name “NKULENU” which has survived up to the present. The successes of the venture enabled her to save money and proceed to the United Kingdom where she was admitted to the Bristol University, Long Ashton Research Station where further knowledge was acquired in food science and on modern food processing techniques.
This newly acquired knowledge enabled her to introduce new products and improve on the quality of the marmalade and the fruit juices when she returned home. The present facility in Madina a suburb of Accra was constructed in 1962.
With new machinery and adequate production space, production increased. From increased profits, funds were invested into various researches, which led to canning of almost all Ghanaian vegetables and foods. The most successful one is the “Palm Soup Base” for preparing palm soup and stews, which was developed in 1970 and launched on the world, market in 1972. (New York and London) The first processed indigenous food from Africa to be officially certified acceptable in the USA and Europe. This product won the 14th National Gold Award for Export Achievement in 2002.
Another successful product developed is bottled Palm Wine, a feat yet to be copied by the competition.