Nigeria’s huge wine market is valued at about N47.4 billion ($300 million) a year, and is projected to expand even further in the next few years, on the back of a burgeoning middle class. The middle class is increasingly taking to assorted brands of wine, and other luxury goods.
The growth in the size of Nigeria’s middle class follows on the heels of the growth of the country’s national income. For instance, Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased five-fold, from $46 billion in 2000, to $247 billion in 2011, while GDP per capita has increased to about $1,600.
Similarly, the country’s population has increased by about 33 percent during the same period, rising from 119 million to the current estimated 160 million.
Matome Mbatha, WOSA’s (Wines of South Africa) market manager for Africa and the Americas, disclosed this during a first business-to-business wine tasting showcase, which saw ten South African wine producers participating in the South Africa-Nigeria Week, held recently in Lagos.
Mbatha observed that South African wines currently account for about one-fifth of all wines sold in Nigeria, thanks to the efforts of individual wineries which have done well to identify the viability of the Nigerian wine market. This is the first time a cross-section of producers has collaborated in bringing their offerings to the country, identified as one of the world’s fastest-growing emerging markets.
“Exposure to wines made in Africa is exciting for Nigerians. We used the platform to highlight that our wines originate in ancient soils and that our wealth of biodiversity makes it possible to produce a vast array of wines and wine styles. Trade, media and consumers were so responsive to the wines on offer, that our intention is to arrange several more of these events to raise the profile of South Africa as a producer of prestige and premium wines in a thriving Nigerian market.”
Mbatha said it was critical that WOSA develops the presence of South African wines in Nigeria’s key metropolitan areas of Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Kaduna, Onitsha and Port Harcourt. “Not only European producers, but also those from Chile and Argentina are keen to capitalise on the country’s growth and we need to maintain the visibility of our wines.”
Neilsen, a leading global provider of information and insight into consumer behaviour, re-enforced this point, as he said Nigerian consumers spent more on consumer packaged goods, and assorted wines, than is the case in other African countries.
As the most populous country in Africa, and the second largest economy in Sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria’s growing middle class and consumer spending have made it an attractive destination to investors with keen interest in emerging markets.
Neilsen’s insight into the country’s market would further reinforce investors’ appetite, especially for those with interest in consumer packaged products.