If you’ve been a regular visitor to any shoprite store either at the palms or in surulere, then you must be familiar with the number of people queuing up just to buy a loaf or two of bread.
At the surulere shoprite, the que often extends from the point of sale down to the other end of the hallway where they stack up alcoholic drinks. The queue can have has much as 40 people at any given time. This makes me wonder what this says about Lagosians. Is there something special about the shoprite bread or is that we are just a bread crazy society? I have tasted the shoprite bread on a number of occasions and I must confess is taste really nice. But is it enough to have all the long queues that is evidently present on a daily basis and round the clock?
This is not the first time we have been caught up in the bread frenzy. Back in the 80’s the UAC and the UTC breads rained supreme. In the 90’s came the advent of a different kind of bread popularly called Ghana Bread. This was overtaken by the ever ubiquitous and affordable Agege Bread. Off course there are so many other brands out there with a similar cult following but I have never seen so much queue and fascination for bread in Lagos. A closer look will reveal a distinct and pretty obvious difference.
Consumers have often displayed an obsession for seeing whatever it is that is going into their stomach made right in front of them, even if it means them waiting in line. For example, suya, barbecue, asun, fast food, mama put, point and kill fish, roasted yam or plantain, acara, moi moi, etc. People have always stayed in line while these foods are made right in front of them. The aroma, freshness and sizzling hot nature of the end product goes a long way in increasing appetite and making the wait worth it.
It’s a similar situation with the Shoprite bread. As you wait in line for your bread, you can see it being freshly baked from the oven a few meters away from you. The smell is awesomely addictive and the output sizzling hot. Just the way people love their suya or asun or moimoi. It’s basically the same marketing formula as the others. You cant go wrong especially if the master baker has got his mix right.
Bread is such a n important staple food in Nigeria, it makes up breakfast for almost every household 90% of the time. Costing between N150 to N250 a loaf, its relatively within reach. All you need to do is make sweet bread and people will patronize you. You just can’t go wrong if your bread is well made. With the shoprite model, you just keep smiling away to the bank. And with shoprite seemingly spreading round Lagos don’t be surprised if you find yourself in the next long queue.
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