What Chicken Republic’s New Menu tells us about Nigeria’s Food Security.
In 2021, a plate of Refuel- Chicken Republic’s go-to meal, including — a portion-size of Beans and Rice and a piece of Chicken (usually a drumstick),- was sold for ₦600. The Refuel Max comprising the content above with a pet soda cost less than a thousand Naira.
A year later, the budget-friendly meal has gone up, totalling a 33% increase in price. While it is unclear that inflation and periodic hike in prices of food staples such as rice, tomatoes, vegetables, and protein over the years have led to this, what is clear is that food businesses are not exempt from the plaguing consequence of a downward economy.
About two weeks ago, the franchise introduced Egg star, its new menu, which included Spaghetti, Stew, and a piece of boiled egg. The announcement stirred up what the Bible would refer to as Lamentations in the court of public opinion. What seemed to be a creative attempt to bring a home-away-from-home experience to its consumers was perceived as a cry for help.
Chicken Republic’s Egg Star, which costs ₦500, seems fair, but it reveals that the price point could be the least of our problems. What creates urgency is the shocking reality of today’s standard of living compared to previous years. While this is unfounded and probably an idea by the franchise to incorporate more homemade dishes to serve their customers, what is clear is that this new development points to budget consideration.
Nigeria’s Food Security Challenge
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, About 19.4 million people will face food insecurity, and about 14.4 million people, including 385,000 IDPs in 21 states, are already in a food crisis till May 2022. In addition, food prices in Nigeria have risen to record levels in the last five years, and millions of Nigerians may no longer be able to afford to eat.
Let’s take Jollof rice, for example. The average cost of making a pot of Jollof rice for a family of five increased from ₦8007.50 in Q3 of 2021 to ₦8595 at the end of Q1 in 2022. In simpler terms, “many families will struggle to put this staple on their table.”
Reports also show the month-on-month increase of staple items such as rice and groundnut oil from October to December 2021 and a further rise in defining factors like transportation resulting from the fuel scarcity in February and March of 2022.
As seen in the preceding, it is evident that Chicken Republic’s New Menu is undoubtedly a ripple effect of the numerous factors plaguing the Nigerian food system.
Solving Nigeria’s Food Crisis
Chicken Republic’s issue isn’t over just price point but a steady reduction in Quality. Today, a local staple is gradually objectified as ‘luxury’ and only accessible to those above the poverty line. This begs the question of how Nigerians (consumers and businesses) can ensure access to affordable food without compromising quality.
By seeking out food sources that prioritize specific consumer need, offer bargains/wholesale deals, and makes food buying convenient. — Food supply sources like Pricepally could be a solution.
Farm to Home
Pricepally is primarily concerned with bridging the gap between Farmer and Consumer. As one of the few startups reported to thrive despite the harsh consequences of COVID-19, it is driven to solve the problem of inefficiency in the supply chain to make access to quality and affordable food easier.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations estimated in 2011 that over 37 percent of food produced in sub-Saharan Africa is lost between production and consumption.
This implies that efficient supply chain systems can significantly help address some of the food shortages and increase stability. This is because efficient supply chains will allow farmers to have ready off-takers for perishable produce without suffering wastage. Also, with better transport infrastructure and logistics, the challenges that we see in getting food across with fewer hassles and losses along the journey become heavily mitigated.
Everyone wins when Supply Chain becomes efficient and sustainable.
The Pricepally tech-enabled model encourages consumers to latch onto its organized products that supply quality food produce, save money, and assist in retaining profit and service quality all year and season.
Eliminating inefficient intermediaries is the goal of the startup. As a result, consumers get to save on logistics while being assured of value through Pricepally’s use of standardized measurements.
Pricepally is a food-tech startup bridging the gap between those who want access to the best quality and prices when it comes to food purchases. It’s very simple. You order products on the Pricepally app or pricepally.com, and we deliver them to you the next day.
Sign up, it’s free