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These Seasoning cubes are setting the Nigerian food market on fire

Over the years, food seasoning has formed a very important aspect of cooking.



Seasoning cubes, knorr, maggi

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.

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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.

She said:

“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%.

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.

Fikayo has a degree in computer science with economics from Obafemi Awolowo University. ITIL v3 in IT service management. An alumnus of Daystar Leadership Academy. Prior to joining Nairametrics had stinct in Project management, Telecommunications among others. Also training in Consulting and Investment banking from Edubridge Academy. He has very keen interest in Politics, Agri-business, private equity and global economics. He loves travelling and watching football. You can contact him via

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Business News

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 governor issues new guidelines for lockdown, consider full reopening of its economy

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.

READ ALSO: Lagos discloses strategies to best manage revenue in COVID-19 era, reduces land use charge

“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.

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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.

READ ALSO: Lagos Multi-billion naira rice mill nears completion

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.






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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.



COVID-19: FCMB reschedule operations

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).

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Western diplomats warn of disease explosion, poor handling by government

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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.



READ ALSO: Bill Gates says Trump’s WHO funding suspension is dangerous

DateConfirmed caseNew casesTotal deathsNew deathsTotal recoveryActive casesCritical cases
June 6, 2020122333893429382680657
June 5, 20201184432833310369678157
June 4, 2020115163503238353576467
June 3, 2020111663483151332975227
June 2, 20201081924131415323972667
June 1, 20201057841629912312271579
May 31, 20201016230728714300768687
May 30, 2020985555327312285667267
May 29, 202093023872612269763447
May 28, 202089151822595259260647
May 27, 202087333892545250159787
May 26, 2020834427624916238557107
May 25, 202080682292337231155247
May 24, 202078393132265226353607
May 23, 202075262652210217451317
May 22, 2020726124522110200750337
May 21, 2020701633921111190748987
May 20, 202066772842008184046377
May 19, 202064012261921173444757
May 18, 202061752161919164443407
May 17, 202059593881826159441837
May 16, 202056211761765147239737
May 15, 202054452881713132039544
May 14, 202051621931683118038154
May 13, 202049711841646107037374
May 12, 20204787146158695936704
May 11, 202046412421521090235894
May 10, 202043992481421777834794
May 9, 202041512391271174532784
May 8, 202039123861181067931154
May 7, 20203526381108460128184
May 6, 20203145195104553425071
May 5, 2020295014899548123704
May 4, 2020280224594641722912
May 3, 2020255817088240020702
May 2, 20202388220861735119522
May 1, 20202170238691035117512
April 30, 2020193220459731715562
April 29, 2020172819652730713692
April 28, 2020153219545425512322
April 27, 20201337644102559942
April 26, 20201273914152399942
April 25, 20201182873632229252
April 24, 202010951143312088552
April 23, 20209811083231977532
April 22, 2020873912931976482
April 21, 20207821172631975602
April 20, 2020665382311884662
April 19, 2020627862221704362
April 18, 2020541482021663562
April 17, 2020493511841593172
April 16, 2020442351311522772
April 15, 2020407341211282672
April 14, 202037330111992632
April 13, 202034320100912422
April 12, 20203235100852282
April 11, 202031813103702382
April 10, 20203051770582402
April 9, 20202881471512302
April 8, 20202742260442262
April 7, 20202541661442042
April 6, 2020238650351982
April 5, 20202321851331942
April 4, 2020214540251850
April 3, 20202092542251800
April 2, 20201841020201620
April 1, 2020174352091630
March 31, 202013982091280
March 30, 2020131202181210
March 29, 2020111221031070
March 28, 20208919103850
March 27, 2020705103660
March 26, 20206514102620
March 25, 2020517102480
March 24, 2020444102410
March 23, 20204010112370
March 22, 2020308002280
March 21, 20202210001210
March 20, 2020124001110
March 19, 20208000170
March 18, 20208500170
March 17, 20203100030
March 16, 20202000020
March 15, 20202000020
March 14, 20202000020
March 13, 20202000020
March 12, 20202000020
March 11, 20202000020
March 10, 20202000020
March 9, 20202100020
March 8, 20201000010
March 7, 20201000010
March 6, 20201000010
March 5, 20201000010
March 4, 20201000010
March 3, 20201000010
March 2, 20201000010
March 1, 20201000010
February 29, 20201000010
February 28, 20201100010

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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. 

READ ALSO: CBN releases new capital base, sanctions for Microfinance Banks in new draft guidelines

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.” 

READ MORE: COVID-19: Nigeria needs $50 billion to survive an impending recession

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. 


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