Nigeria, one of the world’s poorest and saddest countries is the second fastest growing champagne market in the world.
According to a report by Euromonitor International, Nigeria spends an average of N41.41 billion on champagne yearly.
The report indicates that between 2006 and 2011, it achieved a compound annual growth of 22 percent.
Total champagne consumption reached 752,879 bottles (75cl) in 2011, higher than consumption in Russia and Mexico; therefore, placing Nigeria among the top 20 champagne markets in the world.
In 2010, Nigeria consumed about 593,000 bottles, the highest consumption in Africa. The closest to this figure was South Africa, another country that has been identified as an emerging market for luxury goods, in addition to Nigeria. South Africa’s champagne consumption was 384,000 bottles in 2010.
“Nigerian champagne consumption is quite big,’’ says Charles Armand de Belenet, global marketing and communications director, at Pernod’s GH Mumm and Perrier Jouet Champagne brands, saying “we are building our network here and it is one of the most attractive places for us at the moment.”
It took the European markets by surprise that Nigeria could rank that high in global champagne consumption. Looking at the list of the markets expected to post the strongest gains in total champagne volumes over 2011-2016, France tops the list followed by United Kingdom. Brazil and China are not missing out so are the United States and the upbeat Australian market.
Nigeria’s place in the global consumer market for champagne may have come to stay. The Rose varietals and vintage have been in demand in Nigeria, hence, analysts believe this will increasingly inform the industry direction in 2013.
A visit to the Tiamiyu Savage office of Ekulo Wine World shows that a bottle of Rose champagne is sold for N77, 000, while Demi-set brand is N55, 000 per bottle. Krug and Crystal brands fall among the most expensive, with a bottle going for N165, 000 and N275, 000, respectively.
It is not only European wine producers that are looking into the Nigerian market, distillers from South Africa are also catching in. Wines of South Africa (WOSA), an association of South Africa’s wine exporters, has also seen Nigeria as a promising market.
According to the Euromonitor International data, wine consumption in Nigeria grew from 18.8 million litres in 2006 to 44.3 million litres in 2011. This is expected to increase by 80.4 percent, that is, 79.9 million litres by 2016.
Considering the poverty level in this country and the fact that these wines are imported, this report saddens me beyond measure.