In recent years, the Nigerian market has become saturated with various brands of instant noodles. The World Instant Noodles Association ranks Nigeria as the eleventh country with the highest consumption rate of instant noodles in 2016. This is not surprising, especially considering that about sixteen different instant noodles brands are readily available across the country. Some of these brands include Mimee, Honeywell Noodles, Chikki, Indomie and Supreme Noodles, etc. Without a doubt, these brands are all trying their best to maintain market supremacy in the face of fierce competition. The question then remains- which brand leads?
For many years, the Indomie brand dominated and controlled about 100% of market share. This was until after about twelve years when the other brands emerged one after the other and sought their own shares of the market. Today, the ensuing competition has availed consumers the opportunity to choose alternative brands, especially so when prices and quality of some brands are not satisfactory.
Meanwhile, to find out whether Indomie is still the market leader, we compared it with Supreme Noodles due to their closely shared similarities.
About Indomie and Supreme Noodles
Indomie is the first instant noodles brand in Nigeria. The product hit the Nigerian market in 1995 following the incorporation of De-United Foods Industries, a collaborative venture between Salim Group of Indonesia and Tolaram Group of Singapore. Over the years, the company has gone through various transformations, but the Indomie brand, its unique characteristics, and market dominance remain the same if not stronger.
Supreme Noodles, on the other hand, is relatively new in the market. It is not clear when the brand was first introduced into the Nigerian market, as all efforts to confirm this from the manufacturer (Primera Food) proved abortive. But according to some vendors of the product, it came into the market between late 2016 and early 2017. During this time, the FOREX crisis in the country had caused the prices of virtually all the other competing brands to skyrocket, giving Supreme Noodles the needed opportunity to present itself as the much-needed substitute.
Similarities between Indomie and Supreme Noodles
One of the reasons why we chose to compare Indomie Noodles with Supreme Noodles is because of the striking resemblance between the two brands. This resemblance is most noticeable in the packaging. Having been in the market for the past two decades, it is safe to say that Indomie is the one being copied by Supreme. Virtually everything about the packaging is copied: its mostly yellow colour, the text fonts, the strategic location of the brand name on the package, etc.
The reason why Supreme Noodles may want to imitate Indomie? This much is clear— to leverage on the brand loyalty Indomie has achieved over the years. According to Mama Lateef who has a neighbourhood provision store in the Iyana-Ipaja area of Lagos, some noodles consumers often get deceived by Supreme Noodles’ packaging and so buy it thinking that they have bought the actual Indomie.
Meanwhile, out of all the noodles brands in Nigeria, Indomie is the only one to have achieved market loyalty. And while this works for them, it also poses some disadvantages.
“Almost all the customers that come here to buy noodles tell me they want to buy ‘Indomie’.” Mama Lateef said. “To them, they are all Indomie. And so when you give them any brand of noodles, they really don’t care. It’s only a few customers who actually specify which one they want.”
But despite the likelihood that Supreme Noodles might be taking advantage of its competitor’s brand loyalty status, the truth remains that Indomie continues to maintain market leadership. As an attendant at Justrite (a supermarket at Iyana-Ipaja) said, Indomie is still preferred a lot by consumers when judging from the volume of sales recorded daily.
We sell different brands of noodles. But in all sincerity, I can tell you that indomie is still the market leader. In fact, you shouldn’t even be comparing indomie with Supreme noodles. I’m sorry to say, but Supreme is insignificant compared to Indomie in terms of competition.-Anonymous attendant at Justrite
A Twitter poll conducted by Nairametrics supports the assertion that Indomie noodles maintain market supremacy even though Supreme Noodles remains significantly relevant. In the poll conducted on our website, 48% of respondents said that they have never heard about the brand and they do not care about it, while 25% have heard about it yet believe that Indomie leads the market. Meanwhile, only 9% of the respondents love the brand, and 18% would not mind trying it out.
Indomie, on the other hand, has glowing statistics. A FinIntell survey revealed that Indomie ranked best in almost all the indices of customer satisfaction in the Nigerian noodles market space. According to the survey, Indomie is the most delicious noodles in Nigeria by 53.30%. The closest ranked brand is by 14.80%. Indomie is also ranked the best quantity noodles brand (57.30%). In the same vein, it is the best packaged (58.10%), and the best advertised by 49.59%.
In conclusion, it is clear from all indications that Indomie does not only rank better when compared with Supreme Noodles, it is also the market leader in the noodles sub-category. Notwithstanding, the relevance of brands like Supreme Noodles should never be underestimated. If not for anything else, the competition posed by lesser known brands of noodles in Nigeria is helping to regulate the prices, just as much as the brand’s presence in the market boosts economic development by offering employment opportunities to many.
COVID -19 saving Nigerians millions in wedding and burial costs
As long as the pandemic persists, the ‘new normal’ is for ceremonies to remain subdued.
It was a sunny Saturday in May and like it had been for the better part of 8 weeks, the new normal was in force in Nosa’s household. The lockdown induced COVID-19 meant that all the hustle and bustle of giving attention to side hustles on weekends had all evaporated. Now he spent more time with his kids watching TV and playing video games. Whilst he has had to endure multiple weekends of lost revenue, staying indoors meant that his personal finance was still intact. But things would change dramatically this weekend.
Nosa got a call that he had just lost his aged mother to a brief illness. He had been battling with a terminal illness for years, but things seemed to be under control so her death came as a surprise. Even as he grappled with the thought of losing his mother, Nosa knew that he had to start making preparations for the expenses that are bound to come with burials in an African setting.
Thanks to the pandemic, and rules that came with it, Nosa ended up spending much less than he would have for his mother’s burial with most of the funds going towards mortuary expenses, transport and the direct cost of the actual burial itself.
READ ALSO: Post COVID-19: The Challenges Ahead
“This COVID-19 is bad but it has saved me millions of naira that I would have spent in this burial,” he remarked.
“I wanted to give my mom a befitting burial but these are hard times and I may have borrowed money just to fund this. But with COVID-19 and social distancing in place I did not have to do any of this,” Nosa informs our reporter.
Nosa’s gains translate to massive losses for a whole chain of service providers in the event management industry. Similar occurrences over the last few months have resulted in the loss of revenue for such businesses.
Events in Nigeria often cost anywhere between half a million naira to over N100 million depending on the financial muscle of those spending. Burials, weddings, naming ceremonies and birthday parties, make a burgeoning industry that spans several sectors of the economy.
From mortuaries to casket makers, event planners, event Halls rentals, professional mourners, caterers, confectionaries, party rentals, photographers, video editors, tailors, newspapers , etc, its an entire value chain of businesses that provide one service or the other for this industry.
Each of these events cost millions of naira to organize hosting as many people as the budget can support. According to a CNN article quoting a report from TNS Global, Nigerians spend as much as $9,460 for a wedding ceremony. The report also indicates the party industry could be worth as high as $17 million based on statistics in 2017.
The math can be easily deducted. Assuming 50,000 ceremonies every weekend at an average cost of N1 million that is a N50 billion per weekend or N2.7 trillion ($6.75 billion) per annum. GDP data from the National Bureau of Statistics indicates sectors that support the ceremonies market in Nigeria, telecoms, transportation, Arts and Entertainment is worth a combined N18.4 trillion.
Chuks, a Partner at a top consulting firm in Nigeria admits were it not for the pandemic his wedding could have cost him about N15 million personally and another N20 million spent by family, friends, colleagues and well-wishers. He is in his forties and his wedding had been much anticipated. He went ahead with his wedding last weekend with less than a dozen people in attendance and over 140 others logging on via Zoom. He claims while he ended up not spending millions on food, drinks, wedding halls and other logistic costs, he still achieved his goal of getting married.
Necessity they say is the mother of invention and has millions stay locked in their homes, they have resorted to apps such as Zoom, Instagram Live, Microsoft Teams to hold virtual events. These days Zoom themed parties now have their own rules and conventions. Friends from all parts of the world log in with each person taking turns to say nice things about the celebrants. Games are conducted to spice up the event and stories told by the celebrant. Music is also played by the Zoom host with participants dancing and having fun.
“It is like watching a live movie and also being part of it as the audience and participant” a wedding planner informed Nairametrics. Whilst one cannot underrate the connection physical socializing brings, virtual meetings are gradually becoming a lifestyle and the longer social distancing continues its cultural significance will only continue to increase.
Aderonke Adebamibola, CEO of Unik Ushering Agency, an Event management firm, confirmed to Nairametrics that business has really slowed down in the last few months. “Even though the NCDC has now given rules to guide weddings and other events, the budget now is way less than it used to be due to the cap on numbers of guests” she explained.
Now, most events are kept within the premises of family residences, depriving hall rentals, the money they could have made from leasing out their halls. Venue decorators also have much less on their hands to do, as they no longer have to decorate big halls.
According to Adebamibola, every single business in the chain has been affected, from caterers to ushers.
“Now, we even have to convince them to use one or two ushers for their events because they believe they don’t need ushers for 20 or 30 guests. Caterers cannot even cook a half bag of rice now because of the number of guests. This means that they are also paid less for their services, even if they expend the same energy and time” she said.
The new normal in this industry means that the things that used to be prioritized are no longer priorities. Hand sanitisers, face masks and hand washing equipment are now compulsories in events, while the hand-shaking, and hugs that would have characterized such weddings.
Due to the nature of the industry, a large percentage of the staff are kept on contract basis, so the reduction has not really translated into lay-offs. However, the industry revenue has been badly hit. A contract staff with NPU Events, who preferred anonymity, noted that in the last three months, she has only been called twice for events.
Since this forms a major part of her income, it has caused a major dip in her resources. COVID-19 has brought unwanted hardship to the Nigerian economy with small businesses and workers in the informal sector suffering the most.
A recent World Bank report indicates the Nigerian economy might contract by as much as 3% in GDP growth rate this year. This informed government’s latest decision to inject about N2.3 trillion into the economy to spur economic growth. The funds will be targeted at small businesses through non-collateralized low-interest loans. Whilst all these initiatives are geared towards stimulating the economy, the spending power of Nigerians will remain pivotal and as long as the pandemic persists, ceremonies will remain subdued.
BHH Podcast: What 2020 holds for SMEs (2) – Ugodre
Business Half Hour (BHH) is a weekly podcast targeted at Startups and Entrepreneurs, who are redefining the Nigerian business scene through innovation.
Business Half Hour (BHH) is a weekly podcast targeted at Startups and Entrepreneurs, who are redefining the Nigerian business scene through innovation.
In this episode of #BHH, Ugodre gave an insight into how business climate would be for SMEs and an overall outlook on the global and national economy. Enjoy!
Ikeja Electric, GRA Ikeja residents sign contract to deliver 20 hours daily power supply
Ikeja Electric (IE) announced it has signed a Power Purchase Agreement with residents of Ikeja GRA to deliver “up to 24 hours of supply daily”. The company tweeted this on Friday revealing that it is in line with the company’s Bilateral Power Agreement.
However, the company representatives explain that it is a minimum of 20 hours of power supply for residents of the association. Ikeja GRA includes streets like Oduduwa, Isaac John, Joel Ogunaike, Fani Kayode, etc.
Ikeja Electric signs bilateral Power Agreement with Ikeja GRA.
…Residents to enjoy up to 24 hours of supply daily. pic.twitter.com/13ue5K1wqw
— Ikeja Electric (@IkejaElectric) October 11, 2019
In its previous Power Purchase deal with Magodo Residents, it stated that “with the agreement, IE will provide the residents with electricity supply beyond the existing standards, with guaranteed performance levels. In addition, there will also be access to dedicated Customer Care and Technical teams for prompt resolution of queries and/or technical issues within the estate.”
Also, the Chief Operating Officer, IE, Mrs. Folake Soetan expressed confidence in the success of the trend-setting agreement, which she noted was in line with the Federal Government’s willing seller, willing buyer policy.
What this means: The Power Purchase Agreement suggests residents of the Ikeja GRA will enjoy a steady power supply when compared to non-residents. However, they will have to pay tariffs much higher than is provided for in MYTO. Residents in Magodo who currently enjoy a similar arrangement informed Nairametrics that they pay higher tariffs but have enjoyed regular power supply and often go days without a power cut.
They also explain that even when the power cuts they get messages from Ikeja Electric explaining why the power was cut and indicating when it will return. We understand Ikeja Electric still relies on the grid to deliver this power as such power cuts will still be expected in the transmission and distribution end.
Backstory: In August, Ikeja Electric announced it signed a similar power purchase agreement with residents of Magodo, providing them a power supply of up to 20 hours daily. Residents of Magodo, have enjoyed steady power since then and are thought to be paying about N47 per kilowatt-hour of power compared to the MYTO tariff which is N23.10 for residential customers.
Sources with knowledge of the transaction indicate Ikeja Electric is likely to extend this arrangement to other estates within Lagos, in a move that disrupts the power sector dynamics. Residents in the Eko Franchise area seeking regular power supply have also demanded a similar deal and are ready to pay for a tariff that is higher than the MYTO approved tariff for general customers.
It is however not clear if the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC has approved this arrangement.