Managing Director of Procter & Gamble Nigeria, Mr. George Nasser, has stated that the company is coping with recession in the country by localising its innovation to meet the yearnings of Nigerian consumers in these trying times.
From market realities, prices of P&G products that command reasonable market share in their various categories have increased astronomically in recent months. And this subsequently is believed to have had impact on the company’s income.
While speaking with MARKETING EDGE, Nasser admitted that the company lost some market shares in the tick of the recession as consumers search for cheaper products. But further explained that P&G has been able to recover by coming up with innovative products that meet consumers needs in smaller packs while maintaining the same global quality.
He stressed that the company will rather give the consumer a smaller pack option than tampering with the quality of its product in other to cut price. “Yes, for a short time we lost some volumes but we will not short change the consumer by selling 90g in a 140g pack. If you are using 140g Oral-B you will see that the paste inside is exactly the same quality and quantity specified on the pack. We don’t play with the value to reduce price.
“At times like this when things are tough, you either introduce smaller sizes to be more affordable or you offer a very big pack that offers more and save cost. For instance on Oral-B, those who cannot pay for the 140g, we introduced a 90g, specifically for the Nigerian market with the same quality. The Always Thick was also an innovation we had with Nigeria in mind. We have Always Ultra and Always Thick. The thicker one is less expensive than the Ultra. If the consumer cannot afford the Ultra but still want protection, they can go for the thicker one. We at P&G respect the consumer right; we don’t play with the consumer. If we change the size, we make it clear and communicate it,” he said.
Beyond the products, Nasser also revealed that the company is also navigating the hard times by reducing its dependence on importation. According to him, the company now does all its packaging locally. He said, “we are working very hard to localise our raw materials. We work with our suppliers, they brought the right machine and they produce in Nigeria instead of importing from china. Now, 100% of our packaging materials are local.”
P&G is the biggest US investors outside oil and energy in Nigeria. In 2015, the company launched its Pampers plant worth $300M in Agbara, Ogun State.