Despite hardship, consumption of foreign wines by Nigerians hits 7-year high

The jolly nature of Nigerians as seen in the importation of assorted wine brands into the country has jumped to its highest level.

Data from Euromonitor International a market research company shows wine consumption in Nigeria rose to 33.1 million in 2021 the highest level since 2015.

Similar data from Comité Champagne, a trade association that tracks the volume and value of exports from France shows Nigeria’s champagne import volume increased by 83.8 per cent to 559,088 in 2021 from 304,199 in 2020.

It noted that Nigeria is the third biggest champagne market in Africa and the 32th in the world, and that the drink is largely associated with luxury and a go-to for celebrations.

The trade company’s assertion of the Nigerian wine market is evident in lyrics of songs and social media photographs of youngsters at nightclubs clutching wine bottles and women with glasses full of the sparkling drink.

“Champagne has its own demography on the higher end of things – it’s not even about the middle class, it’s about the elite,” said Spiros Malandrakis, a senior analyst at Euromonitor.

“People may find it surprising that Nigeria is one of the fastest-growing countries for wine consumption, but it has an extremely extravagant elite, with Nollywood and the oil industry.”

Nigeria’s high spending on assorted drinks is a complete stark contrast to reality of the economic situation in the country.

Sluggish growth, low human capital, labour market weaknesses, and exposure to shocks are all evident in the everyday life of Nigerians.

The inflation figure for March is at 15.92 per cent while the unemployment figure is at 33 per cent.

The World Bank in a recent report revealed that over seven million more Nigerians fell into the poverty net in 2021.

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