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Nigeria: Coca-Cola unit triples e-commerce sales amid pandemic

Nigeria: Coca-Cola unit triples e-commerce sales amid pandemic

In Nigeria, the Coca-Cola unit reports on a threefold increase in e-commerce sales this year. Taking into account the lockdowns and strict health rules amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a change in consumer habits in Africa’s most populous country is evident.

The first only month of covid-19 was the pivot point, said the US beverage giant CEO Alfred Olajide. Coca Cola has more than tripled the e-commerce business that it has in our portfolio, Olajide added without revealing details.

Meantime, the US beverage company isn’t listed in Nigeria, an African country that is seen as a frontier for growth in e-commerce due to a largely youthful population. Pandemic has accelerated dramatically the e-commerce sector, especially among the young people from 18 to 30.

In its efforts to strengthen its position in Africa, Coca Cola is partnering with online shopping firms, including Jumia Technologies AG, a Berlin-based e-commerce platform that provides services in Lagos to push its products in the country, Bloomberg News has learned.

Coca Cola: Sales returning to the pre-pandemic figures

In Nigeria, high inflation rate and unemployment have eroded disposable income, however, people are buying carbonated beverages like Sprite, Fanta and Coca Cola. Thus, the US giant is starting to see sales return in 2021 and probably match the pre-pandemic era as the economy improves.

The foreign exchange shortage hampering industries in Africa’s biggest crude producer has not impacted operations as it gets most of its inputs locally including plastics, crowns, label and sugar, Olajide said. Moreover, concentrates imports are not that huge to cause a disruption to the business.

“What we do as an organization is to look for ways to continue to be more efficient,” Olajide said. “There is a lot recovery happening in the business and I will peg it to the fact that the country itself is improving.”