Low Patronage: Supermarts, Food Stores Shun Noodles, Embrace Spaghetti

July 1, 2024

Nigerians are known for their addictive nature to items that come with ease, which is usually called ‘awoof’ in pidgin.

The introduction of noodles in Nigeria made many abandon the likes of spaghetti and macaroni, which was less patronised then.

However, in the early 2020s, the prices of almost everything in the market increased, due to the after-effect of the outbreak of Covid-19.

As Nigerians struggled to survive, the Naira plummeted, following a continuous rise in inflation, which dealt with the price and quantity of noodles highly cherished by mostly children, and adults.

Many households saw this change and introduced spaghetti to their meal tables, whose price has also increased from N200 to N900 per pack, but the quantity remains the same.

Seeing the drop in patronage, some noodles-producing companies reduced their prices to encourage patronage, but we all know Nigerians for who they are.

Once they are accustomed to new and cheaper ways of life, they forget the old ways.

Economy&Lifestyle discovered that seeing this massive decline in patronage of noodles, most supermarkets and stores have stopped displaying noodles on their shelves.

Mrs. Doris Iduzogie, a wholesale noodles seller said: “Since the increments in the price of noodles, people have moved to spaghetti.

“Many complained of the quantity which also reduced as the price increased.

“Before I buy up to 500 cartons of different brands of noodles which I sell off in a week.
“But now, I hardly sell up to 100 cartons in a week.

“Seeing this, I reduced the quantity of my purchase to 300 cartons to avoid losses due to the expiration of the products.”

Noodle seller counts loss
Mr. George Uweni, a manager of a supermarket, said: “The last time we stocked noodles, we nearly ran into a loss.

“We recorded no sales in a week. It was surprising.

“All the customers were purchasing spaghetti and macaroni, whose sales were higher than we had ever recorded in the four years I have been here.

“When I inquired from the sales representative of the store, she told me, people were not comfortable with the price and quantity of noodles whose 70-gram size can hardly fill a toddler.

“Immediately the stocked ones finished, we stopped buying noodles for sale.

“We are still monitoring the market to see if we can start selling again.”

Mr. Cornelius Maduka, a businessman, was surprised when he visited four stores to purchase noodles but was told they don’t sell it.

“Few weeks ago, I visited a market in my area to buy noodles for my kids. We have stopped buying noodles since a carton of 70 gram noodles was sold for N9,000.

“But my kids were disturbing me that week and I decided to get half a carton.

“I entered up to four stores in the market but couldn’t get noodles because the owners stopped selling due to the high cost and low patronage.

“They were persuading me to buy spaghetti, noting that that was what people consume now.
“I left the market without noodles that day.

“My wife had to roam our street to get a few sachets to prepare just to satisfy the kids.
“That day I told my kids that it is spaghetti we will consume henceforth.”

Price changes
Economy&Lifestyle visit to the market revealed that the price of a 70 gram pack of noodles increased from N50 to N200 with the quantity not enough for a toddler to consume.

The price of a carton of 70 gram size noodles (40 sachets) has increased from N1,800 to N9,100 depending on the spice.

While that of 100 gram noodles (40 sachets) is now between N7,800 to N12,000 depending on the brand which was as low as N5,000 before.

A carton of 120 gram (40sachets) now cost N13,500 from N7,000 it was sold then.
A carton of 180 gram (24 sachets) now cost between N12,500 from N7,000 it was sold then.
A carton of 280 gram (16 sachets) now cost between N12,500 to N13,000 from N8,000 it was sold then.