Companies producing cooking oils have always launched campaigns that focused on telling consumers how healthy the oil brands are for the family. Seems like they may have to rethink their strategies because the ‘middle class’ suddenly finds themselves in a situation where they must consider price first.
As the rising inflation continues to bite harder, Nigerians are beginning to switch to cheaper FMCG goods for their monthly home essentials. A question from the Ify Mogekwu @ifys.kitchen had a lot of Nigerians baring their minds on what changes they have made and to what brands.
Here are some of the most common FMCG goods that Nigerians are switching to :
Toiletries: From Always to pocket-friendly options like Molped and Softcare
Touted as the most popular menstrual sanitary pad, Always has been around for so long that many users never thought to look for an alternative. However, the price increase is causing users to look for cheaper alternatives that can do the same job. Currently, a Value Pack of Always Ultra Super (containing 14 pads sells for ₦3700), providing just enough use for 2-3 days.
A pack of Molped (with 16 pads) retails for ₦1550, sufficient for 3 days use. Softcare, seems to provide the most value at ₦1250 for a big pack of 25 pads and 5 panty liners, enough to cover 5 days of use.
Among the newly preferred are menstrual cups, which are not only eco-friendly, but also reusable and cheaper over time. So a single purchase of ₦4000-6000 gives 1 menstrual cup that can be used from 18 to 36 months depending on the brand.
Always is from Procter & Gamble, Molped is a product of Hayat Kimya Limited, while Softcare is from Softcare Africa Limited. While P&G is clearly the most popular of the brands, consumers are showing that they want products that can give them value at lesser prices, even if it comes from a brand they never heard about.
Cleaning: From Ariel and Sunlight to WAW, Viva, Nittol, Good Mama
When it comes to washing soaps, consumers are also opting for cheaper products without compromising on value. According to the users, if it lathers well, washes well, has a good fragrance, and also has fantastic pricing, it can become their favourite overnight.
They are moving away from Ariel which retails 800g for ₦2200, Ultra clean Ariel 900g sells for ₦2900. Another equally popular choice that is being ignored now is the Sunlight as 900g around 1600 and above. The now preferred options are Waw Color Detergent 800g which sells for ₦1100, Good Mama Floral 850g for ₦1000, Nittol Anti Odour Detergent 900g for ₦1,000, and Viva plus 900g for ₦1300.
Toothpaste: Leaving a product for another from the same company
When consumers ditch a product, it is often not because of any grouse against the producers of the FMCG goods. They just want value at a more affordable price. That is why we see consumers saying they switched from Oral B Pro-Health 75 ml selling at ₦1,255 to go for Oracare Extra Fresh Gel 90g for ₦440, literarily cutting down cost by 66%. Some are also going for Dabur Herbal Toothpaste 160G for a bargain price of ₦600.
From Titus sardine to Omega, Milo, Napa: fish is fish after all…
When it comes to Sardines, Titus is easily the oldest and most popular but price has pushed Nigerian users to explore other brands in recent times. Where a 125g tin of Titus sardine sells anywhere between ₦1000 to ₦1300 depending on the vendor, Milo sardine 125g goes for 900-950, Napa Valley 125g sells between ₦800-N900, while Omega Sardine sells cheapest at ₦500 for the same 125g.
While the users have not said much about the taste and experience, one of them said her family has not noticed any difference in their meals, meaning that there may not be any significant difference in the value offered. Since prices of FMCG goods hardly go down despite the fixed nature of some people’s incomes, it does seem like some of these changes will be permanent.
Cooking oil: It’s price over everything else…
Brands producing cooking oil have always launched campaigns that focused on telling consumers how healthy the oil would be for the family. Seems like they may have to rethink their strategies because the ‘middle class’ suddenly finds themselves in a situation where they must consider price first when purchasing FMCG goods.
Consumers are leaving products like the Wesson Canola Oil 4.73 Litre that sells for ₦26,500, for Laziz Pure Vegetable Oil 5 Litre at ₦12,780; King’s Vegetable Oil 5 Litre at ₦11,000; Grand Pure Soya Oil 5 Litre for ₦10,180.00; Power Vegetable Oil 4.5 Litre at ₦9,150; and Mamador Pure Vegetable Oil 3.5 Litre at ₦8,545.
Pasta & cereals: A switch to new flavors
Pasta and cereals have always been easy and cheap options to run to in times of hunger, so one would not fault any consumer for looking for good bargains.
Golden Penny Pasta 500g pack sells for about ₦750 for a single unit, while Crown Pasta, a new entrant into the pasta market is selling its 500g pack for ₦300. That’s the same value for half the price.
In morning cereals, some consumers said they had ditched Kellogg’s for Nasco cornflakes. While Kellogg’s offers 300g for ₦1900, Nasco Cornflakes sells 350g for ₦1750. In the same way, some are trying out the new Amazing Day cereals, and leaving the popular Golden Morn behind.
Butter: Blueband to Golden Penny
Families are spending more to buy bread, due to the spike in the price of flour and sugar. However, no one wants to spend more on the spread than they have to. This is why some users say they are switching from their number one choice to other products.
It is because of this that some users have left the N1250 Blueband 250g, to go for Golden Penny which retails the same 250g for N500, and Mamador low-fat spread 250g at about N550. This simple switch cuts the cost into two for consumers.
Any Mayonnaise but Bama Mayonnaise
Mayonnaise is a recent FMCG good for Nigerians. Besides serving as a sweet spread alternative, mayonnaise comes in very handy in preparing some side dishes and dressing. But as the price continues to go up, consumers are taking their purchases elsewhere. Bama Mayonnaise 946ml sells for ₦3,255.00, and the 385ml tin for ₦1700, but with Jago offering the 887ml for the same ₦1,700, consumers now have a way to get double value for their money.
Whippy Real Mayonnaise also retails the 910g tin for ₦1,700.00 and the 460g for ₦950, the same price range as Laziz Mayonnaise that offers 473ml for ₦1050. The value gets even better for consumers that go for La Mayo, as they get a whopping 945ml for ₦1,550.
Top reasons why consumers are switching FMCG goods
Comments from a lot of consumers show that the changes were necessitated by the increasing price of items. However, the majority of them confirm that the switches have gone smoothly so far, and they have no reason to return to their initial products of choice.
Olaide Sanni said about her change of sanitary pads. “I switched from Always to Molped, and now I feel stupid to have stuck with always for so long. Molped is long and extremely soft and comfortable. Now, even if someone should dash me always pad, I’m not sure I’d take it”.
Ms. Adedamola Alaga shares a similar line of thought that the changes made so far have been good, and she has no reasons to go back. “from Indomitable to golden penny jollof and goat meat noodles, blue band to Mamador, Bama to Laziz mayonnaise, from Always to Molped pad” she listed.
Similarly Mrs. Uwana Innocent says that she doesn’t feel like she is missing anything. “I made so many switches; from Oral B to Oracare; from Morning Fresh to 2sure; from Dano full cream to Kerrygold Avantage; from Indomie to Chikki Chikki; from Jik and Harpic bottles to dozens of refill Hypo and Hypo toilet cleaners; from kings oil to Laziz oil or Power oil; and from Sunlight to Viva plus. So far, I don’t feel like I am missing anything yet, and no one in the house has even noticed that we switched brands. I am still looking for alternatives to other home essentials”.
As Adaeze Ibechukwu puts it, “the economy has made everyone wiser in their choices.” Ms Ibechukwu says she’s only made a few changes so far but the impact on her budget has made them worthwhile.
Olubunmi Ajayi says she switched “from Wesson cooking oil to Kings, from Indomie noodles to Golden Penny noodles, and from Bama mayonnaise to Lamayo” and the changes have mostly been influenced by price.
“I can switch to anything, as the funds dictate. I cannot kill myself”.
One prevailing thought through all the changes is that consumers care less about the brand name, and more about the price, and the value they can get from it. So, if a cheaper and less popular brand offers the same value cheaper, they’d go for it. It is about being loyal to their budgets, than being loyal to a brand.