November food news feature image
Food News

November Food News: Fighting food inflation at the end of the year

On the November episode of Food News, we bring you up to speed about food inflation in Nigeria and how to save yourself from it, especially in 2024.

Our focus for the November food news is the practical ways to solve food inflation during the festive season and in 2024. Other stories that’ll tickle your fancy include:

  • PricePally had an August visitor as the Lagos State Commissioner of Agriculture (Ms. Abisola Olusanya) visited the PricePally fulfillment center 
  • More money to serve you as PricePally raises $1.3 million for expansion
  • Stewflation bites harder as tomatoes and bread become the new gold. But we have a solution for you

Food inflation: Tomatoes and bread are the new gold—But there’s a fix

In not-so-exciting news, bread and tomatoes (a main stew ingredient) are reaching gold-level pricing. The October report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed that bread prices rose by 52.69% in one year. The Premium Breadmakers Association of Nigeria (PBAN) attributed the price hike to the following factors:

  • The inability to access foreign currency
  • The high costs of baking ingredients and diesel 
  • Scarce foreign currency 

Like in the first quarter of 2023, tomato (and food) prices soared again as Christmas draws near. The average cost of tomatoes increased from #565.69 in September 2023 to #675.91 in October 2023, a 19.48% increase within 31 days. The NBS food inflation report corroborates Pricepally’s 2023 Stew Index Report, which revealed that tomato prices grew 76% between 2021 and 2023.

Rising food inflation is the theme of 2023, and it’s showing no fatigue at the end of the year. KPMG—an accounting firm—estimates that Nigeria’s headline inflation will reach 30% in December 2023. For context, core inflation (or non-food inflation) was 26.72% in September 2023, while food inflation stood at 30.64% for the same period. 

The grim outlook about food prices is why Luther Lawoyin (PricePally CEO and co-founder) and Toluwalase Kadiri (the lead analyst and editor of the Stew Index Report), in conjunction with finance and agricultural experts, discussed practical steps to hedge against inflation on Twitter Spaces. Our main speakers include: 

  • Kalu Aja (financial educator)
  • Emeka Obia (marketing and business leader)
  • Esther Adegunle (Associate Director, DAI)
  • Oyegoke Funmi (Communications and Family Farming Officer, Lagos Food Bank Initiative)
  • Olubunmi Otufowora (founder of Boomsky Smoothies)
  • Tokunbo Afikuyomi (senior economist, Stears)
  • Razaq Fatai (Research and Advisory Lead, Vestance Limited)
  • Michael Akinsete (co-founder and chief marketing officer, Ecotutu)
  • Remi Ademiju (Executive Director, SME100 Africa)

Over 1,000 people joined us on the Spaces, and you can listen to the recording in case you missed it. The highlights of the conversation are listed below: 

  • Food inflation will continue to rise in December and early 2024. However, buying food in bulk will help you save more money.
  • Favorable policies, such as improving road networks and increasing funding for farmers, will improve food availability and security in Nigeria.
  • Beyond national agricultural policies, region-based solutions will improve food production, as they’ll address specific issues affecting farmers and consumers.

PricePally in November: The Commissioner’s Visit and a Seed Raise 

Do you remember the fulfillment center we launched a few months ago? On October 26, 2023, the Lagos State Commissioner of Agriculture, Abisola Olusanya, visited us there. The commissioner waxed lyrical about PricePally’s infrastructure, staffing, and procurement process. “This facility [PricePally fulfillment center] is mind-blowing!” and what I expected is a complete departure from what I’ve seen here today.”

The Honorable Commissioner also commended PricePally’s staff strength, the scope of operations, and the humility of the senior management to create a thriving environment that solves unemployment issues while providing value to people. Ms. Abisola spent the rest of her visit observing the daily operations before taking pictures with the team. Watch this video to catch the highlights of the commissioner’s tour. 

PricePally’s mission to provide affordable, high-quality food and household supplies received a $1.3 million boost in November. PricePally plans to use the funds to spread its food commerce tentacles to other Nigerian cities in the next few months. So, watch out, because we’re coming to a city near you.