Sausage roll is a piece of sausage meat baked in a roll of spiced pastry or dough. It has become an on-the-go snack that most Nigerians have come to trust and rely on, especially when hungry and trapped in heavy traffic — a common experience in Lagos and other big cities.
Sausage roll made its entry into the Nigerian market with Gala, the first brand from the stables of UAC foods, in 1962. Since then, it has become the generic name for sausage roll in the country.
In the past, it was only available in Lagos and for those residents outside the state, it was a luxury and a must-buy whenever they went to Lagos. The love for Gala cut across all ages, and social classes, as adults and children relished the gift of Gala sausage roll from Lagos.
Over the years, there have been several new entrants into the sausage roll market, hence, challenging the dominance of UAC’s Gala. Regardless, Gala still enjoys a lot of patronage and goodwill.
Currently, several multinational brands are engaged in a battle to gain market share — brands such as Leventis Foods Limited (makers of Meaty sausage roll), Chi Limited (owners of SuperBite beef sausage roll and Beefy beef roll), Food Concept (owners of Yum Yum beef roll), and Rite Foods Limited (makers of Rite and Bigi beef rolls).
Interestingly, the availability of various product retail sizes across brands has bridged the affordability gap between the affluent and the indigent consumers, making the battle for greater market share stiffer, while reducing the impact of price differences.
One of the major players in the market is Leventis Foods Limited, a subsidiary of A.G. Leventis (Nigeria) Plc, and owners of the largest bakeries in the country.
The company recently embarked on an expansion drive of its production capacity with the construction of other lines to produce quality snacks and beef rolls. These include the “Meaty” sausage rolls, “Hotty” and “Mini Hotty” spicy rolls.
Also, United Africa Company (UAC Foods), makers of the popular Gala sausage roll, introduced a bigger package of the product into the Nigerian market. The new roll is twice the size of the regular sausage roll and it sells for twice the price of the former.
Another major player in the sausage roll market is Rite Foods, makers of the Bigi beef sausage roll, Rite sausage roll and the Rite Spicy brand.
The value proposition of these brands
The intense battle for market share has paved the way for targeting consumers on price, taste, beefy content, attractive packaging and availability to drive sales.
Bigi, produced by Rite Foods, is actually big in size, and its value proposition is the satisfaction of the hungry man, while SuperBite, produced by Chi, is very tasty and spicy. Also, Meaty fills the gap for consumers who are missing the original size of the beef inside the sausage roll.
It is also interesting to note that all these brands are affordable and come at the same price of N50. However, Gala sausage roll comes in two packages: Gala Mini and Gala Mega which go for N50 and N100 respectively. Thus, the target of Gala Mega would be the consumers who are willing to spend more for better satisfaction.
What consumers say
A survey of consumers’ choice by Nairametrics shows that a large number of consumers of sausage rolls love to snack on them while stuck in traffic, buy them as gifts for their children when going home after work, or use them as in-between-work meals. Most times, they are accompanied with soft drinks. Some consumers lamented about the reduction in the size of sausage inside the rolls.
A hawker around Bonny camp in Lagos, who gave his name as Mohammed, noted that some customers are selective in the brands of sausage rolls they buy.
In his words:
“I have to run and attend to my customers and I sell very fast during peak periods after work, especially inside hold-ups. Yum Yum roll sells very fast, but when not available, they request for Rite sausage roll, Superbite, and Gala.”
He also revealed that hawkers usually have various brands on display.
Another hawker around Ikeja Along railway area in Ikeja noted that most consumers prefer to snack on the sausage rolls with cold soft drinks; in fact, some buyers will not patronise you if you do not have the soft drinks to accompany them.
In her words:
“I sell it with soft drinks to make my sales faster. My customers just want a snack that can fill their stomachs till they get home, so they look out for the biggest on my display.”
Asked if the introduction of the bigger Gala size, which goes for N100, has increased her sales, she said:
“My customers don’t like the N100 own o! They tell me it is too expensive and that they like the N50 own. Gala no be food na! It is just a snack.”
Owner of a retail outlet in Ogba, identified as Mrs. Chikaodi also noted that most customers refer to all the brands as Gala. She, however, noted that the products move very fast, although the commission is not much.
She further revealed that she normally buys a dozen of each brand which costs N500 and sells at N50 each. This gives her a profit of N100 on a dozen.
Asked why she goes for the dozen pack, she said that the snacks have short “lifespans” of just 10 days, after which they expire and get rejected by her customers. She further revealed that the more brands you have in your store, the more sales you make.
Regulators NAFDAC and CPC
Regulatory agencies such as the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the Consumer Protection Commission (CPC) need to tackle the high prevalence of expired sausage rolls in the market and ensure that makers of these products adhere to the best production standards. A visit to some retail outlets within Lagos showed large quantities of expired products on sale for unsuspecting members of the public.
Nairametrics also conducted a poll on notable brands in the Nigerian market. 78% of the participants voted for Gala as their preferred brand, while others like SuperBite had 11%, Bigi had 7%, and Meaty had 4%.
Gala has become the generic name for all the sausage roll brands in the market and the goodwill enjoyed by Gala has also rubbed off on the acceptability of other brands in the market. No doubt the common language in the sausage roll market is Gala.