I must admit I was surprised to read that Nigeria could be a hidden gem as far as new markets for wine are concerned. Business Daily reports that recent research conducted by Rabobank Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory group, on the global wine market titled “The Road Less Travelled,” has identified Nigeria alongside Mexico, Brazil and Poland as ‘Hidden Gems’ in a fast growing market class, waiting to be tapped by investors.
Abiola Rasaq, of Vetiva Capital, told Business Daily that Nigeria’s emergence as a fast growing market class is hinged on the fact that the middle class is increasingly taking to assorted brands of wine, and other luxury goods:
“The growth in the size of Nigeria’s middle class follows on the heels of the growth of the country’s national income. For instance, Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased five-fold, from $46 billion in 2000, to $247 billion in 2011, while GDP per capita has increased to about $1,600.
Similarly, the country’s population has increased by about 33% during the same period, rising from 119 million to the current estimated 160 million”.
As the most populous country in Africa, and the second largest economy in Sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria’s growing middle class and consumer spending have made it an attractive destination for investors with keen interest in emerging markets.
The Drinks Business reported earlier this year that the value of Nigeria’s wine industry is expected to reach US$370 million by 2015. Nigeria is the second largest economy in Africa and will be the world’s fourth most populous nation by 2050.
Jean-Marc Lacave, CEO of the Champagne House Veuve Clicquot believes that the Nigerian market will take off within 5 years:
“I bet that within 5 years we sell more bottles in Nigeria in Switzerland”
Veuve Cliquot is also closely monitoring Ghana, which has been boosted by its new economic ties with the United States.
“Both countries are experiencing strong growth in their consumption of premium spirits and champagne.”
This trend is confirmed by Garance Thiénot, Communications Director of the Thiénot Group who own the Champagne Houses Canard Duchêne, Thienot and Joseph Perrier, who announced that Champagne Thienot shipped 40,000 bottles of champagne to Nigeria. In 2011, Nigeria imported 688,000 bottles of champagne.
Unfortunately Nigeria has a bad reputation in the West for corruption and global email scams which is off-putting for wine producers and merchants who are concerned that doing business there could be a risky business.
However Nigerian wine imports have been growing at a compound annual rate of 16% in recent years and the country’s economy is bolstered by its large oil reserves.