The St Louis Sugar Case Study

All we needed to knock out St Louis Sugar was for one of our politicians who mismanaged us into recession was to open up a sugar processing factory and create cube sugars in a durable and stylish gloss polythene pack of 5 cubes and then call it Sugar Daddy!
The good news about this recession is that it will create the kind of hunger that will wake up all brain dead businessmen. Someone who runs a supermarket just broke the news that St Louis sugar now has competition. Now, we are talking.  But before now, how did we get to that point where no one is packaging catfish in peppered sauce like Geisha and Titus Sardines. St Louis, after over 30 years of consistent presence in the Nigerian market without a single change in brand packaging or advertising, they wouldn’t even put a manufacturer’s address on the pack and still, we bought. We made normal look supernatural. We made people like St Louis Sugar go to sleep in a cash bullion van, laying on billions. Wake up businessmen, there are opportunities everywhere.
I rarely tweet, but on it, I’ve seen people ask “With No advert, No pack change, No promos. How can that sugar maintain market leadership unchallenged for almost 30 years’. The answer is that we don’t have to be technical about it. Businessmen were just sleeping. St Louis was just lucky it came when real entrepreneurs cared less to go head to head because infrastructures for industries had been taken over by churches and ballot boxes. Religion and politics became too lucrative for the best minds, so it killed the business, through death by corruption.
There’s really nothing to use as a good case study in a business class with St Louis sugar. There was really nothing spectacular about their strategy than the absence of competition and a good distribution network that kept it in our household till it gained a permanent mind-share. To think of it, they had bad paper packaging that melted once water spills on it (to think that it is always on the breakfast table alongside hot water and milk, or in the fridge), they never even made 20 Naira versions in a sachet to aid affordability of the emerging singles and middle/lower class. The name wasn’t even catchy. It was just one of those outliers at some point we knew they had to die. The 21st-century enterprise death will be powered by deafness to feedback… don’t be one of them.

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