Nigeria’s FoodCo joins the online supermarket rush

Nigerian supermarket chain FoodCo has joined the Covid-19-inspired rush into sub-Saharan e-commerce. Rather than using a third-party, the chain has also launched its own delivery service, promising delivery in Ibadan and the Lagos suburb of Lekki within two hours.

Founded in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State in the southwest of the country, during the 1980s, FoodCo now operates almost a dozen supermarkets in its home town and opened its first outlet in Lagos last year. Most of these have a sales area of between 1,000m2 and 2,000m2. Some of its larger stores operate quick service restaurants and entertainment centres under the Foodco Fast Food banner. It also manufactures packaged food (bakery products and ice cream) under the Sunfresh brand.

The Sagaci Research View: With lockdown and curfew measures now being eased in many African countries, including Nigeria, will consumers continue to shop online? A lot depends on execution – the chains that have invested significant time and resources into getting things right will be well placed to earn their loyalty, while panic-inspired “me too” entrants (of which there have more than a few) will likely find themselves left in the dust.