Nigeria’s soft drink market offers a blueprint for how to boost local production

By Temitayo Lawal
Posted on Friday, 22 July 2022 16:52

A man pushes a wheelbarrow loaded with some packages of soft drinks and bottled water at Wuse Market in Abuja, Nigeria, 26 January 2022. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

Nigeria's soft drink market is huge, ranked fifth largest in the world, according to Statista. The market has been dominated by the Nigerian Bottling Company Limited and Seven-Up Bottling Company, which have matched each other's products to maintain their duopoly: Coke vs Pepsi, Seven-Up vs Sprite and Fanta vs Mirinda.

However, the dynamics changed after La Casera introduced PET plastic bottles in 2001, which meant that instead of having to stick around to return glass bottles to retailers, drinks can now be consumed on the go.

As such, off-trade sales (from supermarkets, off-licences, online stores etc.) of soft drinks have risen from $713.6m in 2016 to $1.4bn in 2021, according to Euromonitor International.

That is why you’ll majorly see the big brands at places like restaurants, supermarkets, big parties where people can afford to buy