By Naijatruth 

The rising costs of drinks have hit the liquor and beverage sector hard, as bottling companies across the country have increased their prices by 100 per cent compared to last year.

This was revealed by some wholesalers and retailers who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Saturday. They said that the demand for their products had plummeted due to the high prices. NAN reports that a 50-cl pet bottle of various soft drink brands now goes for N300, up from N150 last year.

The same trend applies to alcoholic drinks, such as canned beer that now costs N700, instead of N400, and malt drink that sells for N400, instead of N250.

The intoxicant business has also suffered a 100 per cent hike in prices, from N350 to N600, within the same period.

Mrs Mercy Igalawuye, who runs a supermarket, said that her sales had fallen by 30 per cent because of the price changes.

She urged the government to take urgent steps to address the economic situation in the country and ease the inflationary pressure.

“The government should help us in any way they can, because we are only depending on God and the government.

“People are struggling to buy food and other basic things, let alone drinks that are considered luxury items. The government needs to act fast before things get worse for the people,” she said.

Mr Seun Asaolu, a vendor, said that the price fluctuations had affected his business negatively, leading to a 50 per cent drop in sales.

He said that he had to constantly check the prices to avoid running at a loss.

“I quoted a price for a client earlier this month for an event next month, but when I went to buy the drinks this week, the prices had gone up.

“This has created problems between me, the event planners, and the clients. We hope the economy stabilises soon, otherwise, the event industry will face serious challenges,” he said.

A distributor, Mrs Ngozi Ogbunachara, confirmed that the prices had risen, while the sales had declined, especially since the beginning of the year.

She said that the profit margin in the business was low because of the high cost price from the bottling companies.

She also said that the number of retailers who bought on credit had increased by 50 per cent compared to last year.

She appealed to the government to ensure that the prices of drinks, food items, consumables, and basic essentials are reduced.

Mrs Fikayo Obalolorun, a hawker, said that the hot weather had boosted her sales a little, compared to a few weeks ago, when the harmattan was severe.

She said that the best time to sell was between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

She said that she made an average of N6,000 in profit from the business each day, but that was not enough because people were not buying as much as before.

She also called on the government to find solutions to the economic problems affecting the country.

NAN also reports that headline inflation for January 2024 rose to 29.90 per cent, 0.98 per cent higher than 28.92 per cent recorded in December 2023. (NAN)

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