Following the COVID-19 epidemic, Nigeria’s macroeconomic ecology appeared to be on the mend, with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control recording low numbers on a daily basis (NCDC). The pandemic’s disruption has had a devastating impact on families, small businesses, craftsmen, and other disadvantaged Nigerians, with many losing their sources of income or livelihood.
Despite the fact that the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reported in February that the GDP grew at a rate of 3.4 percent, the highest since 2014, headline inflation has remained in the double digits, with commodity prices skyrocketing. Despite the fact that all of the country’s higher education institutions produce a large number of graduates each year, unemployment continues to rise.
The disposable income of the average citizen has been declining. Foreign exchange scarcity and fears about stability have exacerbated the situation, prompting some enterprises to cease or reduce their operations.
Businesses have had to adapt their strategies to fast-changing circumstances in order to stay afloat in the aftermath of COVID-19, as well as economic and socio-political upheavals that have disrupted the normal way of life. Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, the country’s top overall beverage firm, is not immune to the constraints imposed by the country’s difficult economic circumstances, as the last two years have proven to be a challenge for everybody.
The food and beverage business is one of the more established industries around the world, and it has seen changes in terms of product innovation and services. Companies are bringing new flavors on board to meet the expanding market problems, bearing in mind the health and wellness concerns of consumers, which is why the Nigerian market is bursting at the seams with new flavors offered by new entrants.
Alfred Olajide, Managing Director of Coca-Cola Nigeria, attributed the country’s dismal economic performance during the previous 24 months to a number of circumstances that forced the country to make critical judgments on the spot, forcing businesses to think on their feet and make challenging business decisions.
Coke with Meals, Fanta with Snacks, Sprite with anything Spicy, Juices and water for nutrition and hydration, and its premium brand, Schweppes for socializing occasions are just a few of the decisions made by the beverage leader in its quest to delight its consumers.
“With inflation comes an increase in the cost of production and living, and this is beyond our control,” Olajide remarked. We foresaw these trends and built additional value-based SKUs as a result of our insight. To accommodate to clients with limited purchasing power, we have produced smaller packaging for our product varieties over time.”
Olajide claims that during the last five to six years, he has witnessed the arrival of companies with aggressive launching tactics disrupting the industry and providing Nigerians with a plethora of options. New product launches to cater to changing consumer tastes, such as Schweppes Ginger and Zobo, 5 Alive Pulpy Lemon and Mango, and product reformations to provide superior taste, such as Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, which is being touted as the best coke ever with a challenge for people to try it first and not just take the slogan at face value, are examples of these strategies.
“Consumers want companies that support them and their challenges; brands that understand them; brands that sincerely want to make a difference in their lives,” he added.
Olajide believes that the company has improved as a result of the development, as they continue to reinvent themselves while remaining loyal to their core value of customer happiness in order to remain competitive and market leaders.
The Coca-Cola brand has had a significant impact on Nigeria, from employing thousands of Nigerians to creating shared opportunities in many communities through numerous sustainability projects that have empowered and produced income for millions of Nigerians. Coca-Cola has long been a leader in corporate sponsorship of football development in Nigeria. The Copa-Coca-Cola Under-15 Secondary School National Football Competition, which concluded in scholarships for winning school players as well as sponsorship of the finest players to international soccer camps, is proof of this.
“Football, Coca-Cola thinks, is a platform that brings people from all over the world together. Football is a popular sport in Nigeria, therefore the presence of the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour will provide an opportunity to elicit excitement for the next FIFA World Cup Competition as well as remember former World Cup events,” he said.
Despite the difficult macroeconomic and operating environment, he explained, the brand will continue to identify opportunities to make products that consumers love more affordable, support the events and activities that their customers enjoy, and launch innovative products that appeal to their tastes.
“There will also be a greater emphasis on lobbying and engagement in building a fair regulatory framework that takes into account the disruptive realities of the operating environment for the ultimate benefit of our consumers,” he added.
According to him, Coca-story Cola’s in Nigeria is one of hard work, invention, and tenacity, as well as inevitability, which is why Coca-Cola is known for its ubiquity and pedigree of being available up to the last mile.
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