Cornflakes is one of the most popular breakfast cereals eaten in the world, and for many people across all ages, it has become an integral part of their morning routines. The home-made cereal, created by John Harvey Kellogg in 1894, was initially marketed as a “healthy, ready-to-eat anti-masturbatory morning meal.”
The growing demand for cereal breakfast
In Nigeria, the race for market share in the cereal breakfast category is gathering more intensity. Although the recent economic contraction in the country, which meant low purchasing power for consumers, impacted negatively on the bottom line of companies in the FMCG sector, with improved economic indices, the demand is on the increase again.
This has further been strengthened by the growing class of professionals who prefer daily breakfast cereals over more time-consuming traditional breakfast meals such as “pap” (a hot cornmeal).
Also, the ever-increasing child population in the country contributes to the surge in demand for cereal meals, as children are the major targets for the breakfast cereals.
How notable brands have fared
In 2017, breakfast cereals recorded 11% current value growth, as demand increased among the growing urban population that desires convenient breakfast. This is not surprising, especially considering that several cornflakes brands have made an entrance into the Nigerian space.
As expected, these brands are all trying their best to gain market supremacy in the face of fierce competition.
Currently, there are two leading brands in the Nigerian market namely NASCO and Kellogg’s; others are Supreme, Good Morning, Infinity Brands, just to mention a few.
The NASCO brand was launched in 1983 and introduced to the Nigerian market in 1985. It is the first indigenous cereal brand in the country. The company on its part has introduced a variety of cornflakes into the market such as the frosted flakes and the corn flakes vanilla brands.
A poll conducted by Nairametrics showed that the NASCO brand enjoys a lot of goodwill in the market, considering the fact that it has been around for some time and is “proudly Nigerian”.
However, feedback from consumers shows that more still needs to be done. Several consumers complained bitterly about the decline in value of NASCO cornflakes and reduction of contents in the various packs. Some also lamented that the NASCO flakes are usually burnt and tasteless, unlike the NASCO flakes of old
They queried the drop in value to its consumers who have remained loyal to the brand over the years.
I love competition. Nothing else bitch-slaps sense into lazy brands like loss of revenue. Nasco has also rolled out a pocket friendly smaller pack. Let the games continue.
— Subomi (@subomiplumptre) May 19, 2018
Competition is inevitable in the long or short run. It will be better if the latter found loop holes and work in using those loop holes in their advantage that will shaken their end of the year or quarterly finance report then we will have a better nasco product.
— Ekemini (@EkeminiIdo) May 19, 2018
Kellogg’s Corn Flakes
Closely followed in the race for market share is Kellogg’s. The brand is an American brand which has been around since the 19th century. Apart from corn flakes, the company makes other cereal breakfast products such as Coco Pops, Frosties, and Crunchy nuts.
Kellogg’s has continued to benefit from its strong brand name, wide product range, and store visibility. Less than 10 years after entering the Nigerian market, it has given NASCO, which used to be a dominant brand, a ‘fight’ for market share.
In 2015 the acquisition of a 50% stake in Nigerian-based Multipro Enterprise Ltd (Multipro), the highly successful food distribution company owned by Tolaram Group, further improved Kellogg Co’s accessibility in Nigeria’s market.
Currently, there are two varieties of the Kellogg’s corn flakes in the market: the imported and the locally made Kellogg’s Cornflakes. Many consumers have continued to question the rationale behind this move by the company.
According to the Nairametrics poll, many of the consumers complained of the taste of the locally made Kellogg’s, against the imported one. They complained that the taste is a big disappointment, as it is thick and stodgy, unlike the normal cornflakes which is light and crunchy. However, they expressed satisfaction with the attractive packaging pack.
I must say kudos to FG for bringing Kelloggs to our doorstep. But franky speaking without any bias, the made in Nigeria Kelloggs is nothing to write home about especially the acclaimed "frosties"😂😂😂😂😂😂! Nasco cornflakes tastes even better.🙌 The quality should be checked.
— EnKayEssien (@enkayllicious) May 31, 2018
I cant eat this Keloggs cornflakes…ewww should have bought my NASCO jeje o. Sighs. Keloggs sucks.
— Director X (@ManiOfficial_Ng) June 2, 2018
If anybody is coming to Nigeria from UK, just buy me Kellogg’s Fruit n Fibre. Abomination is the one that is currently being produced in Nigeria. Might as well be eating nasco cornflakes.
— The Crazy Smurf (@TheToluAdeyi) May 30, 2018
The company also has different sizes and price regimes which makes it affordable for medium – high-income earners. The smallest price for the locally manufactured Kellogg’s comes at N50 price.
There’s a lot of economic implications that come into play. Kellogg’s cornflakes can sell for $10-$20 per pack in US and sell for 2000NGN in Nigeria. There’s a maximum amount the Nigerian market can pay. I don’t think the average Nigerian will pay 7k for cornflakes.
— Ebuka Okwuokenye (@EbukaOkwuokenye) June 5, 2018
In a bid to further deepen its market penetration, Multipro entered into a partnership agreement with Arla Foods, makers of Dano powdered milk brand. This means that it will offer Kellogg’s breakfast cereals as a joint pack with Dano powdered milk.
Advice for the ‘Struggling kings’
No doubt, Nigeria has a large market for corn flakes with a population of over 165 million people and an estimated growth rate of 5.7% per annum, as well as an average economic growth rate of 3.5% per annum in the past 5 years.
Many consumers describe the two major players as “struggling kings” and advised the producers to focus more on delivering tasty products with high nutritional contents to their consumers.
They also advised producers to implement a backward integration plan that will see companies support local farmers in the country for the production of local maize/corn which is the major ingredient for making corn flakes. As for the other small players in the market, more still needs to be done by them to win the hearts of consumers in the country.
A Twitter poll conducted by Nairametrics shows that consumers prefer the NASCO cornflakes brands, with 50% of the voters choosing NASCO to other brands. Closely following is Kellogg’s with 42% of the votes, while others like the Good Morning brand got a meager 6% and the Infinity brand got 2%.
This result shows that NASCO is the leading brand in the country, however, there is the need for improvement as the position is currently threatened by the arrival of Kellogg’s brands into the Nigerian market.