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Nigeria’s champagne consumption drops for the third consecutive year

Nigeria’s champagne consumption drops for the third consecutive year

The volume of champagne consumed by Nigerians fell for the third consecutive year, an indication that appetite for the drink is gradually declining even as already squeezed consumers search for cheaper alternatives.

According to data compiled by Comité Champagne, a trade association that tracks volume and value of exports from France, Nigerian’s champagne imports dropped to 569,400 bottles in 2019 from 582, 243 bottles and 593,097 bottles in 2018 and 2017, respectively.

And from Business Day’s conversation with wine dealers, the import volumes are coming down on the back of weak consumer’s purchasing power.

“The champagne market used to boom before when there was money in the economy. People were using it as far as to bath with it but now that era has gone,” a top wine dealer said.

He further said that with champagne being more expensive, consumers were now going for wine as the price being cheaper, is making the wine market to grow.

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Generally, champagne brands are at the higher end of consumer lifestyle with the prices of its lowest brand averaging around N25, 000, since they are majorly imported from France. While a bottle of red wine can go as low as N500.

Having always been associated with luxury and has long been the go to drink to mark any happy occasion. Be it a promotion, a celebration or even a wedding.

Consumer experts said that due to the nature of the product being a luxury good, consumers have now shy away from it due to its expensive price and now go for cheaper ones.

“This simply explains the reality of the Nigerian consumer market. Pressured consumer pockets mean a cut down on consumption of luxury products. As I always say, Nigerians now buy price and not necessarily quality or favourites,” Ayorinde Akinloye, a consumer analyst at CSL Stockbrokers said to Businessday on phone.

Nigeria’s exit from recession in mid-2017 from 2016, has failed to lead to improvement in the living condition of Nigerians and also their purchasing power.

Around 82.9 million Nigerians are extremely poor, constituting 40.1 percent of the total population with real per capita expenditures below N137, 430 in 2019, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS)’S Poverty and Inequality report in May 2020. The World Bank predicted that there would be 95.7 million Nigerians living below the poverty line by 2022.

In 2014, the Goodluck Jonathan led administration unveiled plans to introduce luxury taxes as an initiative targeted at increasing government’s tax revenue. The taxes targeted luxury taxes on items such as private jets, luxury yachts, luxury cars, business class/first class tickets on airlines and other major items typically purchased by the rich.

And in 2018, Nigeria’s Minister of Finance Zainab Ahmed said that owners of yachts and private jets in the country will begin payment of luxury items from 2019.