No doubt, the most popular food in Nigeria today is rice. Most Nigerians do not see Pasta as a major meal and some of those who prefer it over rice consumption complain about its sticky nature.
After months of profound research, the management of Dangote Flour, unveiled new improved pasta products called ‘Ecccellente’. The re-vamped Pasta is made from durum wheat, which is the highest quality wheat in the world, meaning that Dangote New Pasta product is highly nutritious, non-sticky and with great tasting.
Ultimately, the re-vamped Pasta, is expected to reduce the dependency on rice consumption by Nigerians as more people are expected to embrace the innovate product, thereby crashing the price of rice in the country.
Speaking at the grand customer launch event in Kano recently, the executive director, Sales & Marketing, Halima Dangote, said the improved products will delight consumers and distributors as it comes with a new taste and new pack.
She said the re-brand followed the research by the company which indicated that the customers and consumers will prefer improved non-sticky Pasta.
According to Halimat, it is a new improved pasta with durum wheat. We did a lot of tests and research and it took us 6 to 8 months to get the right combination in order to give consumers quality pasta with the best taste.
She asserted that, “Despite being indigenous product, it can compete favourably with imported pasta.” Halima expressed delight that the products have started to gain acceptability given the large turn-out of people at the re-launch.
She said it was an honor to be at the unveiling of the new products and marketing campaign, saying, “I cannot emphasize enough that our goal is to ensure that we produce the best product that will delight you, our distributors, wholesalers and retailers.”
She said some countries have already signaled interest to import the innovative products from the Dangote pasta.
The group chief executive officer, Thabo Mabe, said, “Now we have the most attractive packaging – please stock up, these will be flying off the shelf when consumers see it. Our new pricing list will also leave you smiling.”
He said the new improved spaghetti and macaroni has in them durum wheat which reduces stickiness and improves the taste and the new move will grow the share value of the Dangote Flour Mills Plc on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
The past month has been a month of positive news for both the Management of Dangote Flour and its shareholders. Aside the introduction of improved Pasta that is expected to compete effectively with rice consumption in Nigeria, the Management also exited the noodles business and sold its assets to Dufil Prima Foods, makers of Indomie noodles. This move, is also expected to boost the company’s turnover and profitability and ultimately benefits the company’s shareholders.
It would be recalled that the noodles business was part of the DFM, which the Dangote Group reacquired from Tiger Brands.
The group managing director/CEO, Dangote Flour Mills, Thabo Mabe, had hinted that the divestment was part of strategies of prioritizing core areas of flour and pasta production, where the company has substantial market share.
Experts said with the divestment, the Dangote Flour would now focus on its strengths in flour and pasta while leveraging on its advantages by improving in areas of quality, distribution and marketing.
The re-launched pasta product called ‘eccellente’ seems to be a game changer as some African countries have started making orders having tasted it.
Businessmen from Cameroon, Niger Republic and Ghana, according to Halima Dangote, have expressed their intention to commence the importation of the products into their various countries, describing the re-packaged spaghetti and macaroni as ‘irresistible’ and ‘enticing’.
She said the company was encouraged to improve the quality of the pasta after complaints that the product was sticky and easily gets perished when cooked. According to her, after a painstaking research, the company discovered that it needed an exotic durum to develop its quality to an international standard.
The ‘eccellente’ came in macaroni and spaghetti and in four different types, namely, Standard, Slim, Cavatto and Elbow.
Speaking at the event also, the deputy managing director/executive director, Supply Chain Alhaji Ahmed Yakassai said the improved product is a major development for consumers.
“Please go and tell others about all the positive changes that we have made in at Dangote Pasta. Please tell them that we now use durum wheat, which is the highest quality wheat in the world. So that means that our pasta is nutritious, non-sticky, and great tasting,” he said.
The Guest of Honour, Hajia Affia Dalhatu urged Nigerians to support the Dangote brand. “I believe in supporting Nigerian brands. Dangote has never failed to invest in Nigeria and to continue developing and placing our country on the global map. Even in the face of current economic challenges, they have gone ahead to improve the product and have added durum, a more expensive ingredient without a price increase,” she added.
Distributors and consumers who have tasted the products spoke glowingly of it. They said it is the best pasta product now in the country. The rebranded product was revealed with pyrotechnics and guests were served with the pasta delicacies.
Hajia Hannatu Usman, who owns eateries, assured that her customers will always ask for more. Guests who attended the ceremony had opportunity of having a taste of the pasta meal prepared by eateries like Dunkin pepper and M3 Kitchen Class, among others.
Apart from the taste, distributors and consumers also say the new innovative packaging is superb. Most of the customers who spoke to our correspondents at the launch ceremony expressed optimism that the product will compete with rice consumption in the country,
The rebranded product, which is introduced to compete with rice consumption, is expected to be the toasts of consumers’ very soon. “This new Pasta is very good. The taste is perfect. With the high cost of rice in Nigeria, I am sure most homes will abandon rice and opt for this Pasta now. The best alternative to rice has come” one of the customers who was at the launch ceremony said.
Statistics from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) estimates that rice demand in Nigeria reached 6.3 million MT in 2015, with only 2.3 million MT of that demand satisfied by local production. This local production shortfall leaves a gap of 4.0 million MT that is currently being filled through formal importation of rice or illegal imports over land borders.
By year-end 2017 Dangote Rice plans to produce 225,000 MT of parboiled, milled white rice. This will allow it to satisfy four per cent of the total market demand within 1 year.
Elder statesman and politician, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, who attended the relaunch of the pasta product, commended Aliko Dangote for the initiative, adding, “Aliko is quite innovative, I like what he is doing,” while urging Nigerian businessmen to copy him.