Over the years, food seasoning has formed a very important aspect of cooking. Even before the introduction of modern food seasonings in cube and powder forms, there have been several local seasonings, such as Iru, Ogiri, and Dawadawa— all of which still feature in most Nigerian cooking pots till today.
Food seasoning is important because with the right culinary expertise, especially when the right brand of seasoning that makes people salivate is used, the meal becomes something of an experience which the family relishes.
On this week’s edition of product review, a weekly analysis where Nairametrics features products contending for leadership and prominence in Nigeria’s consumer market, we bring to you the various seasoning brands and how these brands are competing for profitability in the market space.
Brands in the Nigerian market
Nigeria’s seasoning market parades some great brands, and leading the park are Maggi from the stables of Nestle Foods, then Knorr and Royco, produced by Unilever. These brands are leaders in their various market segments and none of them can be pushed aside in terms of brand equity, sales, consumer loyalty, and quality market offerings.
Smaller players include Doyin Group of Companies, manufacturers of Doyin seasoning cubes, and Prime seasoning cubes, and Daily Need Nigeria Limited, makers of Suppy cubes, which come in two brands of beef and chicken. Also, PZ Wilmar, a joint venture between PZ Cussons and Wilmar International, makers of Mamador and Devon King’s Oil, recently launched its Mamador seasoning cubes which comes in three variants: Classic, Beef, and Chicken, while Devon King’s seasoning cubes also come in Classic Tomato, Beef, and Chicken variants.
The battle between Maggi and Knorr
The two major brands in the food seasoning market in Nigeria today are Maggi and Knorr. Even with the introduction of new seasonings into the market, these two brands have continuously battled for the No.1 spot in Nigeria’s food seasoning market.
The Knorr brand was founded by Carl Heinrich Knorr, and in 1912 the first Knorr Bouillon cube was introduced. Since then, Knorr has been enjoyed in virtually most parts of the world. It is one of the world’s largest cooking brands sold in over 78 countries. The Knorr cubes, after being bought over from Cadbury Nigeria by Unilever, has remained a force to be reckoned with in the seasoning market. Over the years, the company has invested in machines and a new savory hall, in its bid to give consumers premium quality cubes.
On the other hand, Maggi is an international brand owned by Nestlé, founded in 1872, by a Swiss entrepreneur called Julius Maggi. According to the company, it sells over 100 million cubes in the Central West African region daily. The brand has occupied a big space in the hearts of consumers and it has become the generic name for seasoning cubes in the country.
The makers of Maggi, in an ongoing effort to constantly improve the brand and make it tastier, healthier, more affordable with better nutritional value, and more appealing to customers, launched a new food seasoning cube, the “Maggi Naija Pot” into the market. It recently released a video ad which shows a young woman switching roles from making presentations in the boardroom to cooking in an ultra-modern kitchen which has sparked divergent opinions among Nigerians.
Onga’s fight for a space in the cube market
With the cube seasoning market growing daily, Promasidor has taken a bold step to dare dominant brands by creating the cube form of its Onga seasoning powder. The race for leadership in recent times has become stiffer among brands and every brand is tightening its belt to avoid a slide in market share with the entry of Onga cube.
Onga is arguably the leading brand in the seasoning powder segment, and it’s entrance into the cube market could disrupt the market share of leading brands. This might see some consumers switching brands to experience the new entrant.
What consumers are saying
Nairametrics spoke with a store owner, Mrs. Rose Njuma, at the Ipodo market in Ikeja who noted that the Knorr cube brand leads the pack presently, despite stiff competition in the market.
According to her:
“We have many brands of seasoning cubes in Nigeria today. As a trader, I discovered that over time, consumers have come to love Knorr cube and it has become their preferred brand.”
Another shop owner at the market, Ms. Joy, noted that Maggi Star and Knorr are the preferred brands of her customers.
“New products dey come out every time, but my customers dey always request for the popular brands.”
She also added that most of the brands are on the same price range but the new brands have promos with which they attract customers.
Mrs. Caroline, a housewife, revealed that she switched over to Knorr from Maggi due to the salty nature of Maggi. She added that Maggi made her miscalculate the amount of salt to add to her cooking.
These different seasoning brands are readily available at supermarkets, open markets and street shops. They are well packaged too, which some respondents say they like.
In a Twitter poll, Knorr got 58%, Maggi got 33%, while Royco got 5%.
— Nairametrics (@Nairametrics) November 5, 2018
The seasoning market is growing daily with new products making entry into the market. Leading brands must double down or they could lose positions to new entrants like the Onga, Mamador and Davon cubes which are poised to gain more market share.
Why some businesses in Lagos may not be allowed to open in 2 weeks
Business owners and managers who wish to commence operations must put in place the appropriate facilities and working environment to help contain the spread of the COVID-19.
Lagos state government has stated that businesses may not be allowed to open after 2 weeks unless they successfully obtain the provisional clearance certificate as directed.
The provisional clearance certificate is the final clearance given to businesses under the Register-to-open initiative, certifying that they have fulfilled all conditions as required and may now be allowed to commence operations in line with the given safety guidelines.
According to a tweet at the official twitter handle of the Lagos state government, business owners and managers who wish to commence operations must put in place the appropriate facilities and working environment to help contain the spread of the COVID-19.
“Appropriate screening equipment for COVID-19, such as contactless temperature checkers must be available for entrants into the facility; separate ingress and egress points must be conducted in a staggered and orderly manner,” the Director-General, Lagos State Safety Commission, Mr. Lanre Mojola said in the tweet.
Mojola added that relaxation centres such as bars, nightclubs, spas, gyms, cinemas and parks are to remained closed until further directives are given to them, after subsequent review of the situation.
However, social clubs with registered trustees will be permitted to open in two weeks’ time upon obtaining provisional clearance certificate, Mojola stated.
The Director-General continued that social clubs with registered trustees will be permitted to open in two weeks’ time upon obtaining provisional clearance certificate through the registration portal https://t.co/dnk2g74y8y.@jidesanwoolu @safety_lasg #ForAGreaterLagos #CovidLASG
— The Lagos State Govt (@followlasg) June 6, 2020
He stated that eateries and restaurants outside hotels are only permitted to offer take-out services as no dining activity will be tolerated.
Mojola emphasized that registration for the mandatory ‘Register-To-Open’ policy is at zero cost, easy and user friendly, urging that businesses that are yet to obtain the safety compliance certificates should ensure registration on the portal as stipulated and await their clearance.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 6th of June 2020, 389 new confirmed cases and 9 deaths were recorded in Nigeria bringing the total confirmed cases recorded in the country to 12,233.
The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to rise as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 12,233 confirmed cases.
On the 6th of June 2020, 389 new confirmed cases and 9 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.
To date, 12233 cases have been confirmed, 3826 cases have been discharged and 342 deaths have been recorded in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory having carried out 74,999 tests.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 6th June 2020
- Total Number of Cases – 12,233
- Total Number Discharged – 3,826
- Total Deaths – 342
- Total Tests Carried out – 74,999
The 389 new cases were reported from 23 states- Lagos (66), FCT (50), Delta (32), Oyo (31), Borno (26), Rivers (24), Edo (23), Ebonyi (23), Anambra(17), Gombe (17), Nasarawa (14), Imo (12), Kano (12), Sokoto (12), Jigawa (8), Ogun (7), Bauchi (5), Kebbi (2), Kaduna (2), Katsina (2), Ondo (2), Abia (1), Niger (1).
The latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 5729, followed by Kano (997), Abuja at 912, Katsina, and Edo (387), Oyo (365), Borno (348), Kaduna (337), Ogun (336), Rivers (332), Jigawa (290), Bauchi (286), Gombe (201).
Delta State has recorded 148 cases, Sokoto and Kwara (127), Plateau (113), Nasarawa (104), Ebonyi (103), Zamfara (76), Imo (59), Yobe (52), Osun (49), Akwa Ibom (45), Adamawa and Niger (42), Ondo (40), Kebbi (35), Bayelsa and Enugu (30), Anambra (29), Ekiti (25), Taraba (18), Abia (16), Benue (13), while Kogi state has recorded only 3 cases.
Lock Down and Curfew
In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.
The movement restriction, which was extended by another two-weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, President Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.
|Date||Confirmed case||New cases||Total deaths||New deaths||Total recovery||Active cases||Critical cases|
|June 6, 2020||12233||389||342||9||3826||8065||7|
|June 5, 2020||11844||328||333||10||3696||7815||7|
|June 4, 2020||11516||350||323||8||3535||7646||7|
|June 3, 2020||11166||348||315||1||3329||7522||7|
|June 2, 2020||10819||241||314||15||3239||7266||7|
|June 1, 2020||10578||416||299||12||3122||7157||9|
|May 31, 2020||10162||307||287||14||3007||6868||7|
|May 30, 2020||9855||553||273||12||2856||6726||7|
|May 29, 2020||9302||387||261||2||2697||6344||7|
|May 28, 2020||8915||182||259||5||2592||6064||7|
|May 27, 2020||8733||389||254||5||2501||5978||7|
|May 26, 2020||8344||276||249||16||2385||5710||7|
|May 25, 2020||8068||229||233||7||2311||5524||7|
|May 24, 2020||7839||313||226||5||2263||5360||7|
|May 23, 2020||7526||265||221||0||2174||5131||7|
|May 22, 2020||7261||245||221||10||2007||5033||7|
|May 21, 2020||7016||339||211||11||1907||4898||7|
|May 20, 2020||6677||284||200||8||1840||4637||7|
|May 19, 2020||6401||226||192||1||1734||4475||7|
|May 18, 2020||6175||216||191||9||1644||4340||7|
|May 17, 2020||5959||388||182||6||1594||4183||7|
|May 16, 2020||5621||176||176||5||1472||3973||7|
|May 15, 2020||5445||288||171||3||1320||3954||4|
|May 14, 2020||5162||193||168||3||1180||3815||4|
|May 13, 2020||4971||184||164||6||1070||3737||4|
|May 12, 2020||4787||146||158||6||959||3670||4|
|May 11, 2020||4641||242||152||10||902||3589||4|
|May 10, 2020||4399||248||142||17||778||3479||4|
|May 9, 2020||4151||239||127||11||745||3278||4|
|May 8, 2020||3912||386||118||10||679||3115||4|
|May 7, 2020||3526||381||108||4||601||2818||4|
|May 6, 2020||3145||195||104||5||534||2507||1|
|May 5, 2020||2950||148||99||5||481||2370||4|
|May 4, 2020||2802||245||94||6||417||2291||2|
|May 3, 2020||2558||170||88||2||400||2070||2|
|May 2, 2020||2388||220||86||17||351||1952||2|
|May 1, 2020||2170||238||69||10||351||1751||2|
|April 30, 2020||1932||204||59||7||317||1556||2|
|April 29, 2020||1728||196||52||7||307||1369||2|
|April 28, 2020||1532||195||45||4||255||1232||2|
|April 27, 2020||1337||64||41||0||255||994||2|
|April 26, 2020||1273||91||41||5||239||994||2|
|April 25, 2020||1182||87||36||3||222||925||2|
|April 24, 2020||1095||114||33||1||208||855||2|
|April 23, 2020||981||108||32||3||197||753||2|
|April 22, 2020||873||91||29||3||197||648||2|
|April 21, 2020||782||117||26||3||197||560||2|
|April 20, 2020||665||38||23||1||188||466||2|
|April 19, 2020||627||86||22||2||170||436||2|
|April 18, 2020||541||48||20||2||166||356||2|
|April 17, 2020||493||51||18||4||159||317||2|
|April 16, 2020||442||35||13||1||152||277||2|
|April 15, 2020||407||34||12||1||128||267||2|
|April 14, 2020||373||30||11||1||99||263||2|
|April 13, 2020||343||20||10||0||91||242||2|
|April 12, 2020||323||5||10||0||85||228||2|
|April 11, 2020||318||13||10||3||70||238||2|
|April 10, 2020||305||17||7||0||58||240||2|
|April 9, 2020||288||14||7||1||51||230||2|
|April 8, 2020||274||22||6||0||44||226||2|
|April 7, 2020||254||16||6||1||44||204||2|
|April 6, 2020||238||6||5||0||35||198||2|
|April 5, 2020||232||18||5||1||33||194||2|
|April 4, 2020||214||5||4||0||25||185||0|
|April 3, 2020||209||25||4||2||25||180||0|
|April 2, 2020||184||10||2||0||20||162||0|
|April 1, 2020||174||35||2||0||9||163||0|
|March 31, 2020||139||8||2||0||9||128||0|
|March 30, 2020||131||20||2||1||8||121||0|
|March 29, 2020||111||22||1||0||3||107||0|
|March 28, 2020||89||19||1||0||3||85||0|
|March 27, 2020||70||5||1||0||3||66||0|
|March 26, 2020||65||14||1||0||2||62||0|
|March 25, 2020||51||7||1||0||2||48||0|
|March 24, 2020||44||4||1||0||2||41||0|
|March 23, 2020||40||10||1||1||2||37||0|
|March 22, 2020||30||8||0||0||2||28||0|
|March 21, 2020||22||10||0||0||1||21||0|
|March 20, 2020||12||4||0||0||1||11||0|
|March 19, 2020||8||0||0||0||1||7||0|
|March 18, 2020||8||5||0||0||1||7||0|
|March 17, 2020||3||1||0||0||0||3||0|
|March 16, 2020||2||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 15, 2020||2||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 14, 2020||2||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 13, 2020||2||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 12, 2020||2||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 11, 2020||2||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 10, 2020||2||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 9, 2020||2||1||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 8, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|March 7, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|March 6, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|March 5, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|March 4, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|March 3, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|March 2, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|March 1, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|February 29, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|February 28, 2020||1||1||0||0||0||1||0|
Nigerians now seeing CBN Intervention funds as audio money
Despite the rhetoric, majority of Nigerians are still wary of the so called N1 trillion intervention fund.
When the COVID-19 pandemic came with all her fangs, world leaders swung into action with the creation of intervention funds and palliatives to ease the burden of the average citizen.
In Nigeria, asides the palliatives of foodstuff given by state and federal governments alike, drums were rolled when the Central Bank of Nigeria disclosed its support for critical sectors of the economy.
The apex bank first initiated a fund of N50 billion soft loan to small businesses. The N50 billion Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) was to serve as a stimulus package to support households and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) whose economic activities have been significantly disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The financial institution for the scheme is NIRSAL Microfinance Bank (NMFB) and the interest rate under the intervention was fixed at 5% per annum (all-inclusive) up to February 28, 2021, and thereafter, the interest on the facility shall revert to 9% per annum (all-inclusive) as from March 1, 2021.
Next, it increased its intervention by another N100 billion in loans to support health authorities to ensure laboratories, researchers, and innovators work with global scientists to patent and produce vaccines and test kits in Nigeria so as to prepare for possible crisis ahead.
Finally, it increased its intervention in boosting local manufacturing and import substitution by another N1 trillion across all critical sectors of the economy.
Despite the rhetoric, majority of Nigerians are still wary of the so called N1 trillion intervention fund. The CBN is yet to issue any policy guideline for its implementation and failed to provide further details in its monetary policy committee meeting held last week. This has led many to start to view these promises as “audio money” a social media term for financial promises that are never fulfilled.
The journey thus far
The Nigeria Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) Microfinance bank, on behalf of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has started the disbursement of the N50 billion Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) to the beneficiaries. As at April, it noted that it had received over 80,000 applications for the facility, out of which 40,000 of them were households.
As expected with such funding, the sentiments have been both positive and negative. While some have said they have gotten the funds, others have complained incessantly about the various challenges encountered in the process of obtaining or applying for the loans. Pockets of tweets revealed the general struggles of obtaining the loans. Several applicants have complained about not being able to open accounts or access the facilities and others have complained about making inquiries without responses.
Bola Murtala explained to Nairametrics that “I applied online around the 30th of April, filled out the forms, and submitted. After I got a reply in my email that my application has been received, but then I haven’t heard back from them since then. I wouldn’t know what’s going on but I have seen people who say they got an approval. How far it is true, I wouldn’t know.”
Another applicant, Okey Adinde, said “I applied and received a message telling me that I will be contacted if there was any other document required and if I didn’t send that document after 72 hours after the mail, my application will be declined. Since then, I have not heard from them.”
One Twitter user also complained about being asked to tender collaterals even though the loans do not require any.
Clearly, the program is not without its own hiccups. During an interview with Channels TV, the Managing Director of NIRSAL Microfinance Bank Plc, Abubakar Kure, explained that the nationwide lockdown and restrictions had a major challenge to the smooth processing of the facility. Yet, on the company’s website, it claims to have disbursed over N25 billion and going.
However, there are positive comments too:
Fidelis Ayebae, the chief executive officer of Fidson Healthcare Plc. explained that his company had received N2.5 billion from the central bank’s coronavirus intervention fund. Dollar scarcity and a weakening naira had heightened the inflation on inputs of many pharmaceutical firms in the country.
“You now have a situation where nobody is holding letters of credit, no manufacturer is getting anything from their suppliers abroad because even the ones that we owe, we are not able to pay,” said Ayebae, who also heads the 180-member pharmaceutical group of Nigeria’s manufacturers association.
In truth, sentiments on the program is still burdened with the same lack of faith and trust in systemic leadership and Nigerians have had their fair share of disappointments. Even as the CBN and NIRSAL have set off on a good note by augmenting businesses and individuals in key areas to withstand the impact of the pandemic, the need for transparency cannot be overemphasized.
By employing tighter systems, particularly in the area of customer relations, while also clearly disclosing its activities, the system will assuage the fears of Nigerians whose faiths have been battered by deceptive leadership amongst others.
It is only then that they’ll know for sure that the days of audio money are over and that its leaders can be trusted.