Nigerian Beverage and Liquor Dealers Groan Under Soaring Prices, Low Patronage

Nigerian Beverage and Liquor Dealers Groan Under Soaring Prices, Low Patronage

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Some wholesalers and retailers of liquor and beverages have decried the low level of patronage of their products amidst soaring costs, following price increments by bottling companies across the country.

The stakeholders in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Saturday, said there has been a 100 percent price increase when compared with the same period in 2023.

Already, notification of an upward price review has been issued by the bottling companies.

A 50cl pet bottle of different brands of soft drinks currently sells for N300 as against N150 in 2023.

Also, alcoholic beverages, including canned beer with current price pegged at N700 were previously N400, while a can of Malt drink increased to N400 from N250.

Similarly, the intoxicant business recorded almost 100 percent price increment from N350 to N600 during the period under review.

A supermarket operator told NAN that the sale of the items had dropped considerably by 30 percent in her store.

She charged the government to review the national economy holistically while addressing inflationary pressures across the country.

“Let the government look at areas where they can help, because the way it is, it’s only God and the government that can help us.

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“People can barely eat or afford basic things anymore not to talk of luxury like soft drinks. This is why it is important that government should intervene before things get totally out of hand for the masses,” she said.

A vendor also told NAN that the hike in the price of these products had been affecting daily sales negatively.

This development, he noted, had resulted in a drastic reduction in sales by about 50 percent.

“If a client pays for items this morning, by evening, we have to compare prices to be sure we are still on the same page, else we run at losses.

“I had quoted for a client earlier in the month for an event scheduled for next month and by the time I went to stock this week, the prices had gone up.

“So, this has been causing problems between event planners, vendors, and clients.

“We hope the economy stabilises soonest, otherwise, the event industry would face serious issues going forward,” he said.

A distributor affirmed that prices had indeed gone up, while sales dropped, particularly since the beginning of the year.

She said that the profit margin in the business was minimal as a result of the cost price received from the various bottling companies.

She added that the number of retailers on credit had increased by about 50 percent when compared to the same period of 2023.

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She appealed to the government to ensure that the cost of drinks, food items, consumables, and basic essentials critical to livelihood is reduced.

A hawker stated that the hot weather conditions had greatly impacted sales compared to a few weeks ago when Harmattan ravaged the city.

She said she made an average of N6,000 as profit from the business each day, even though people were not buying as much as before.

She also sought immediate solutions to economic challenges affecting the country.

Headline inflation for January 2024 rose to 29.90 percent; 0.98 percent higher than 28.92 percent recorded in December 2023.

Peter Uzoho

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