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Fear of fake, substandard products driving growth of supermarket chains

By Margaret Mwantok
23 October 2018   |   4:03 am
As Nigeria’s retail sector continues to evolve, the supermarket chain is growing at a fast pace due largely to consumers’ fear of purchasing fake and substandard products.

Ade Sun-Bashorun

• FoodCo contributes to community development
As Nigeria’s retail sector continues to evolve, the supermarket chain is growing at a fast pace due largely to consumers’ fear of purchasing fake and substandard products. Other factors such as convenience, affordability, enhanced shopping experience, quality control assurance, changing purchase habits and Nigeria’s bourgeoning middle-class population have been identified as some of the reasons why the retail supermarket culture is making its way back as a mainstream consumer market in Nigeria.

In a recent visit to Ibadan, capital of Oyo State, The Guardian confirmed the popularity of the retail supermarket trend in the city as demonstrated by the customers who trooped out in their numbers to witness the opening of FoodCo supermarket in the Akobo area of the city. Interestingly, the new outlet is the seventh by the consumer goods retail chain in the state. The crowd present at the launch didn’t only come to feast their eyes on the array of goods and services on display, but also seized the opportunity to take advantage of the various promos on offer.

FoodCo Nigeria Limited, a diversified consumer goods company with interests in retail, fast food and manufacturing, prides itself as the second largest supermarket chain in South-West Nigeria, outside of Lagos, and number one in Ibadan. The business, which started in 1981 as a fresh fruits store, has grown to become one of the biggest players in retail shopping in Nigeria, ranked among the top-10 supermarket retail chains in the country. In 1997, the business incorporated food restaurant section within the supermarket, the first in Ibadan, among other expansionist initiatives it embarked on in the 1990s.

While speaking on the success of the brand, its Executive Director, Ade Sun-Bashorun, said FoodCo is closely knit with the social life of Ibadan and shares a rich history with many of its customers spanning generations, noting, “The longevity of our business is in our excellent service delivery which has allowed us serve generations of our customers’ families. Some of our customers grew up shopping here with their parents and today their own children are also here socializing while shopping along the supermarket aisles or eating in the restaurant section.”

According to Bashorun, the brand’s presence in the state has not only impacted positively in the lives of its customers but also on the economy of Ibadan: “We have a deep history with over three hundred suppliers who are largely local manufacturers and importers of a variety of products that are not produced locally.