Ghana’s Kasapreko Company has suspended its planned $50 million (about N8.2 billion) investment in Nigeria due to adulteration of its product, Alomo bitters.
The company’s Group Managing Director, Kwabena Adjei, disclosed this during the familiarization tour in its factory in Accra, Ghana, where he said that the company was on the verge of etsbalishing its manufacturing plant in Nigeria but put the investment on hold because of threats from adulteration which has reduced the brand equity of Alomo Bitters.
“We wanted to make a strong foot print in Nigeria and we have not cancelled the ambition but once we are able to get rid of those destroying the market and harming the lives of the people through faking of our product then we can decide to put the factory in place”, Adjei told reporters in Accra, Ghana.
The Group Managing Director who started the production of the bitters brand in his garage 25 years ago regretted that the faking of the product because of its success and health benefits has reduced the equity of the brand.
“If we don’t fight the fake, we are hurting the government because fakers don’t pay tax. We are harming the consumers because fakers don’t use good product. Some of these fake products have been tested in our laboratory and I tell you that the result is shocking and unhealthy to consumers”, he said.
Adjei who recognized Nigeria as a big market in Africa said the brand’s dominance of the market has been greatly diluted not by genuine competition but by fake market.
He, however, said that the company which is now exporting to European and Western countries and other African countries is presently collaborating with Nigeria’s regulatory agencies and distributors to tackle the fake market.
Adjei welcomed genuine competition in bitters market as it will create healthy market for consumers and employment for Africans but frowned against importation of herbal products when Africa is rich in herbs.
The Alomo founder is also considering partnering with a Nigerian firm to produce the product in Nigeria.
Nigeria is a big market for products and as analysts say “If you look at Africa, anyone who does not see the Nigerian market is really blind. You can’t miss Nigeria; it is a powerhouse in Africa. From the GDP stand point and population, Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa”
In order to still offer the quality product to Nigerians who have accepted the product and checkmate faking which is affecting the brand and has the potential of creating health consequence on consumers, Adjei and his team are introducing security seal on the Alomo brand.
“Two years ago we embarked on a journey to protect our brand and consumers. That journey took us to Germany where we partnered with a hologram company”.
According to him, the security will involve four levels all in an attempt to ensure that the consumer gets the right quality product. “We know that fakers will try to confuse the consumers with fake holographic seal but ours is so sophisticated and consumers will be able to identify the original from the fake” he said.