The Chinese company which came into Nigeria in 1999 and arguably can take some credit for pioneering the concept of fruit-flavoured milk drinks in the country said that growth in the sub-sector is being driven by the nation’s rising population as every Nigerian in different demography is a potential user of the various dairy products.
The company’s Managing Director, Mr Alok Saxena, said that the company stepped in to fill a yawning gap in the Nigerian dairy sector, when all that had been available before the company’s arrival was home milk in tetra pack and evaporated/condensed milk in tin and powder.
The Lagos-based firm which recently added drinking yoghurt to its portfolio of brands said that its products are top notch and has grown goodwill among its teeming consumers due to its high quality and great taste.
Mr Saxena said that consumer/market demand propelled it to enter the yoghurt market with “Nutri-Yo” which is barely two months old. He noted that the new brand, which is suitable to modern lifestyle is low in fat, rich in protein with essential minerals such as calcium, sodium, carbohydrate and vitamins B6, B1, D and A.
Despite experiencing strong growth with its flagship Nutri-Milk flavoured drinks, the Managing Director admits that the low purchasing power in Nigeria still keeps yoghurt out of reach of many Nigerians, which does not encourage volume growth. He adds that businesses which lack capacity to sustain yoghurt drink in the market may see their brand fail before it gets to maturity stage.
Compared to carbonated soft drinks (CSDs), he said yoghurt drinks might be a bit slow moving due to the higher price point.
He said that if the growth of the Nigerian economy can match its population growth, the country would be an investor’s destination not only in West Africa, but on the continent.