Nigeria has the potential to be the fastest growing large African economy, with a projected annual GDP growth rate of 4.2% in the period 2016-2050. This will push it up the GDP rankings to become the 14th largest economy in the world by 2050, according to IMF and PwC estimates.
The population, currently around 198 million, is expected to double over the next 30 years, at a population growth rate averaging around 2.3% a year. For what has been a young country, Nigeria is now entering a period of strong growth in the working age population.
Economists believe that by diversifying from the oil sector, Nigeria is set to see growth in a large consumer market. Nigeria’s growing economy also means that the middle-income, middle class sector is set to expand beyond 40 million.
Food and Beverage sector
Food retailing in Nigeria has traditionally taken place in open markets, and these are still used by three quarters of the population. Kiosks are another popular food outlet, with over 60% of people using them perhaps as often as 20 times a month, accounting for 12% of spend.
Modern retailing methods have become increasingly popular, and more than half of consumers will shop in a supermarket or hypermarket. These outlets accounted for 26% of spend in 2017, according to Nielsen Nigeria Shopper Trends 2017.
Even so, Nigerians are not yet having a weekly main shop – only around a fifth of visits to food retail outlets is a regular restocking of the pantry. Supermarkets are popular for bulk buys which are considered cheaper in the long run.
Nigerians enjoy the grocery shopping experience – 90% reported they do, according to Nielsen – and almost as many (87%) said they “always prefer to shop in a well organised store with a pleasant ambience.” Satisfaction with customer service is equally as important.
Price is a key issue for consumers, with 95% saying they notice price changes. And a Nielsen survey of seven countries found that 37% of respondents said affordability of brands was the most important factor in influencing their decision to buy.
With an average food spend per person per year around $220, low-income consumers dominate, which should provide FMCG companies with a good range of opportunities.
Spending on food In Nigeria was estimated at almost US$44 billion in 2017. This accounted for 75% of grocery sales, which have had a CAGR of 9.2% between 2013 and 2017, according to Marketresearch.com. Modern grocery retailing is continuing to expand, as consumers seek comfort and convenience when shopping for food. Market reports note the move away from unpackaged to packaged goods and Nigeria’s nominal per capita spending on consumer-packaged goods (CPG) is one of the largest in Africa.
However, supermarket chains are still very fragmented and relatively small. In 2016, the largest supermarket chain only had 34 stores and most chains were local, with only a few having stores in a number of cities.
Among the international chains that have entered Nigeria are Shoprite which had 20 stores in 2016, and Massmart, part of the WalMart group, Shoprite operates locally with Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Ltd, and had a 2% market share in 2016, while Artee Industries Ltd is the local partner for the Spa brand.
Nigeria is the leading consumer of rice in Africa and the second largest globally, and while it is one of the largest producers of rice in Africa, it is also the largest importer of rice. Nigeria is also the largest producer of cassava, yam and cowpea in the world. Other significant crops include groundnut, palm oil and cocoa.
Fisheries is a significant sector, accounting for 3-4% of the GDP, according to the UN’s FAO, but 60% of the fish consumed is imported.
Domestic production of livestock is considered far below the needs of the country meaning there is a significant import business for meat and animal products.
In 2016, it was reported that Nigeria spent $2.8bn importing just four ingredients: rice, wheat, sugar and fish.