UAC Nigeria’s restaurants division has opened a new Mr Bigg’s retail bakery in Amuwo Odofin (Lagos) with partner CEESAM International. It is part of a number of planned openings that will see UAC expand into the retail bakery sector.
UAC, which owns the Mr Biggs QSR brand, already has retail bakery outlets in Minna (north west of Abuja), Asaba (across the Niger from Onitsha), and Port Harcourt. It has store openings planned for Benin and Kaduna. The company also has an industrial bakery in Ikeja, Lagos, which serves outlets up to 10km away.
The move is a diversification for the veteran Nigerian company, whose leadership of the Nigerian casual dining sector is at risk of being eclipsed by Eat n Go, the fast growth Nigerian franchisee for Domino’s Pizza, Cold Stone Creamery and Pinkberry which recently opened its 150th outlet.
Mr Bigg’s is an established and much loved Nigerian brand. It is 49% owned by South African QSR operator Famous Brands. The addition of a retail bakery colocated with a Mr Bigg’s restaurant is designed to benefit from traffic to the site.
Because of the rising costs of food, especially rice, yam, beans, garri and other staple foods, many Nigerian consumers have bought bread as a cheap carbohydrate alternative. Even so, the price of bread continues to rise. Large loaves sold for N500 now cost N550, while medium sized loaves are now up from N300 to N350 and small loaves have risen in price from N100 to N150.
In May 2021, the Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria (AMBCN) directed members nationwide to increase prices of baked products by 30% as the cost of flour has skyrocketed. In September 2020, the Premium Bread Makers Association of Nigeria (PBAN) and the Association of Master Bakers & Caterers of Nigeria (AMBCN) called on the Nigerian government to control flour, margarine and oil prices, describing it as a “near wipeout of the bread-making industry in Nigeria.”