This article was adapted from a Twitter thread on the same subject.
This is a good article about Nigeria's attempt to develop a local coffee culture: https://t.co/NeRwPfFlYj— Michael Wright (@OilSlickCoffee) August 15, 2022
The original article titled “How is coffee consumption changing in Nigeria?” was published by Perfect Daily Grind and the article discusses what coffee culture currently looks like in Nigeria, where the local industry would like to see it go, and how they are trying to take it there.
Existing coffee culture in Nigeria
According to the article, coffee consumption in Nigeria is, in general, relatively low and is largely focused on instant coffee. One reason this is significant is that instant coffee is largely produced wth the lowest grade coffee; commodity grade. This coffee is very often the cheapest coffee a farmer has and therefore the one generating the least amount of revenue.
It is also estimated that between 90-95% of the coffee consumed in Nigeria is imported. There are many coffee-producing countries, such as Colombia and Mexico, who forbid importing coffee. This is an understandably protectionist measure. Indonesia does not forbid importing coffee and that means that Indonesians can drink cheaper coffee produced in Brazil than what is produced in Indonesia. That doesn’t help to encourage local consumption.
Lagos Coffee Festival (LaCoFe)
The LaCoFe event was developed with a theme of “Coffee, Culture, and Community.” From Bellafricana:
Exhibitors, partners and stakeholders will showcase and engage the richness, uniqueness and versatility of the Nigerian coffee value chain through carefully curated events. There will be a guided tour to a coffee roastery in Lagos, live art performances, book readings & an exposé into all the ways in which coffee is consumed in Lagos and Nigeria.
This is very similar to a successful program developed by Colombia called Toma Café which encouraged coffee consumption any time of the day, not just the morning, and also highlighted diverse coffee drink recipes.(Rafael, 2019)
The Toma Café program increased volume by a reported 36% in seven years. This increase in consumption was stimulated by a campaign set to increase the promotion, education, research and innovation in local coffee. “It was about glorifying tradition and propelling modernity” (Sierra, 2019)
Local consumption creates a virtuous cycle
By consuming a something produced locally, more money flows within the country as opposed to flowing out, as is the case when purchasing imported coffee.
It also helps create pride in local craftsmanship. Consumers are proud to drink a coffee made locally and producers are proud their fellow countrymen find value in their product. In this way, it helps perpetuate cultural identity.
Local consumption supports local farmers
Getting local markets developed that can compete with export markets is a great way to support local farmers and help lift them out of poverty. We’ve seen programs like this work and for that reason, I am hopeful for the program in Nigeria.
You can hear more about the original article in episode 4 of my podcast:
This week I discuss a program to develop local consumption in Nigeria and compare it to a successful program in Colombia.
- Rafael, V. E. (2019). Markets in Producing Countries. In Re:co Podcast. https://sca.coffee/sca-news/podcast/72/reco-podcast-vera-espindola-rafael-on-markets-in-producing-countries-s4-ep-2
- Sierra, A. M. (2019). The Colombian Toma Café Case. In Innovation and Integrative Marketing, the Engine For a Sustainable Market Growth. http://www.ico.org/documents/cy2018-19/Presentations/promotion-item-4-toma-cafe-case.pdf