Street trading ban: Top brands that may disappear from Lagos roads

Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode

Since the Lagos State government pronounced the ban on street trading in Lagos and made its intention to commence  its enforcement on July 1, this year known, residents of the state have been ruminating  on the likely effects such policy would have on individuals and businesses within the metropolis, considered by many as the  commercial nerve-centre of the nation.

Besides the negative impact such policy is expected to have on those individuals, directly involved in the trade, market checks revealed that the policy, when eventually enforced, might affect the visibility and bottom-lines of some notable brands, that thrive best in this ‘peculiar’ market environment; a development that has been giving both manufacturers and consumers of such brands some sleepless nights since the policy pronouncement.

Such brands that have made their names and fortunes, meeting the needs of residents of the city, are being left with no other option than to re-strategise, to avert mitigate that the impact of such ban on their offerings.

For instance, one of such brands remains Gala Sausage Rolls. Besides providing a ready meal for Lagosians, trapped on the notorious Lagos traffic, not a few have attributed  whatever equity the brand must have garnered over the years, to its constant interface with the street.

‘This is not a product that is meant for the inner closet of a shop. It is meant to provide that ready meal for that hungry, impatient individual on the road. Gala and the residents of the city would miss each other, if the ban is eventually implemented,’ argued Ogunsakin, a consumer.

Perhaps other big brands in the nation’s soft drinks market that will be missed on the Lagos roads are Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola and the Big Cola, all in pet bottles.

While residents would miss Coca Cola and Pepsi, two soft drinks products that have gained the confidence of their consumers, through quality offerings over the decades, they would also miss the Big Cola, a relatively new soft drink, that brought the innovation of making consumers enjoy more value for the same old price.

Interestingly, the Orijin drink, both alcohol and non-alcoholic, from the stables of Guinness Nigeria plc would also be sorely missed, especially by Lagosians, who are beginning to familiarise themselves with the spectacle of seeing  such drinks, from a top brand, hawked in traffic.

The La Casera is also another soft drink that may recline in the memories of Nigerians if the ban on street trading in Lagos is enforced.

The drink, which prides itself as that which brought the ‘pet bottle innovation’ into that market segment, actually made huge fortunes on the street because of this simple innovation that brought convenience and ease of disposal for consumers in this segment. Not a few believe that whatever fortunes and equity the brand must have made over the years may be reversed by this present law.

The Eva Water from the stable of UAC Foods remains another premium brand that may have its market share and growth stunted if the ban stays. Though a little bit elitist, the decision of the table water to play on the streets has, no doubt, enhanced its bottom-line and deepen its market visibility; since many still prefer the drink to any other in that market segment.

Though while it has the shops and other markets to fall back on, many definitely see going off the streets as a big minus for this brand, especially at this time.