Nigeria’s growing wine market is daily attracting more international brands, especially from South Africa. Expectedly, this has led to stiff competition among wine makers and marketers. But the European and South African wine brands seem to be the leading players in the market.
For the South Africans, they are investing heavily in the market with the belief that they can make an impact and win over their European counterparts.
In another move to give consumers of wines another experience, Intercontinental Distillers Ltd has introduced Chapeau, another brand from South Africa into the market.
The new wine, which was said to be made from natural grapes, would, according to the Managing Director, IDL, Mr. Patrick Anegbe, give Nigerians a new experience and better state.
Anegbe said IDL had been able to introduce a good natural wine made from real grapes as against many other wines which are synthetic. He added that a lot of wines in the market were made of flavor, alcohol, sugar and addictive.
Brand Manager, Chapeau, Mrs. Chioma Alonge, emphasised the goodness in grape which is the main ingredient of Chapeau. She said: “Chapeau is made from real grapes which are good for human heart as they lower blood pressure. A glass of Chapeau is a glass of goodness which is good for the heart”
She further stated that Chapeau which literally means in French “I doff my hat” comes in three variants Merlot, Rose and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Speaking on what gave her the confidence that the product will succeed in Nigeria, Alonge emphasised the experience of the South Africans in wine making and the quality of what is coming from the company. “South Africa has been making wines for over 300 years and they are leaders in many markets. Before Chapeau, they have made waves with many brands and they are still doing so. Again, the market spread of IDL will be an added advantage. IDL has a good marketing network and this will help us to push the new product,” she said.
How it All Started
South African wine makers first started eyeing the Nigerian market after the global financial crises of 2008/2009 led to a fall in demand from their established markets in Asia and the Americas. They are also attracted by Nigeria’s growing wine culture, large population, and GDP growth rate which averaged seven per cent per annum in the last five years.
Most South African wine makers enter the Nigerian market through partnership with local distributors, major hotel chains as well as retail outlets. Some Nigerian entrepreneurs also order custom-made wines with their own chosen name brands from South African producers.
According to Alonge, the South African wine producers have had to adjust their products to suit the Nigerian palate, which is sweeter than average, and Nigerian foods which are spicier.