The disposition of Nigerians towards wine consumption is growing as consumption in 2021 was 33.1 million litres, the highest since Euromonitor International, a London-based market research company started compiling the data in 2015.
According to Victor Ikem, a Lagos-based wine retailer, while Nigeria’s high inflationary pressures has made less people to consume champagne, more people shifted to consuming affordable quality wines retailed between N2,000-N5000.
“What we have observed in the market is that people are scaling down to affordable high quality wines that still give them the feeling and experience as if they were drinking champagne,” Ikem said.
Similarly, Euromonitor International also not noted in a report that many drinkers were seeking a healthier alternative to beer and spirits by shifting to wine. “There was a growing patronage of wine in Nigeria compared to the growth experienced in other alcoholic drinks categories.”
A BusinessDay survey across some retail stores in Lagos showed that champagne brands are at the higher end of consumer lifestyle with the prices of lowest brands averaging around N25,000 – N30,000, unlike a bottle of wine that is priced between N2, 000-N5, 000.
The high cost of champagne has skyrocketed over the past few years due to the high cost of Foreign Exchange and luxury tax placed on it. Before the surge in price, the champagne market used to boom before as Nigerians consumed more of it. But now, the import volumes are coming down on the basis of the shrinking consumers’ wallet.
Although, 2021 champagne consumption volumes are yet to be released, past data compiled by Comité Champagne, a trade association that tracks the volume and value of exported wines from France showed that it has been trending down to 304, 199 in 2020 from 593,097 in 2017.
“Wine is becoming more popular in Nigeria year on year, increasing volumes. Moreover, major companies such as Distell had double-digit growth in volume terms in Nigeria, with brands such as Chamdor (sparkling wine) and 4th Street (still wine) performing strongly,” said Christopher Day, a research analyst at Euromonitor International.
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However, wine consumption has been increasing since 2016; it declined marginally by 3.5 percent to 32 million litres in 2020 from 32.4 million in 2019 due to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions on social events.
Ayorinde Akinloye, Consumer analyst, United Capital Plc said, “The full reopening of the economy and strong consumption levels will continue to put wine ahead of champagne for consumers.”
Africa’s biggest economy’s attractive characteristics such as a large and increasing population of over 200 million, increasing health consciousness and upward social trends are assisting growth in wine exports to the country.
Usually, the country imports wine from countries like Spain, Italy, Brazil and South Africa. It is not locally produced in the country as it does not have favourable weather conditions and good soil for its production.
Red wine is generally preferred most by consumers since it is cheaper than white and rosé varieties. Many consumers are introduced to wine through the low-priced Don Simón and Baron de Valls (red wine brands).
According to health magazines and reports, a moderate amount of red wine has been linked to more health benefits than any other alcoholic beverage such as fighting free radicals, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke, increasing bone density and reducing cancer and risk of type two diabetes.
Analysts at Euromonitor expressed that the pressure on consumer spending power in the wake of economic recession is expected to maintain the preference for still red wine.
“As the economy improves and consumers return to celebrating special occasions and holiday seasons with extended family and friends, there is likely to be more interest in sparkling wine,” the analysts stated.