Nigerians forego staple foods as inflation bites

The recent rise in food prices has caused many Nigerians to rethink the way they consume food. Some have adjusted it based on their budget realities while others have completely overhauled their diets to suit their income.

Food items such as turkey, fish, beef, sausages, milk and other sources of animal protein are rapidly being exempted from family diets due to their soaring prices.

A Twitter user expressed his disdain for the current situation and how he is coping with it.

“It’s crazy how food inflation in Nigeria just forces you to give up certain foods and get on with your life. I didn’t buy turkey as it costs 3200 naira per kg. I stopped buying sardine when it became N380. he said.

Others expressed the anxiety they feel every time they go to the markets as food prices always exceed their budget.

“Inflation forced me to stop buying noodles, yams, sardines, spaghetti, eggs, etc. The list is endless. Sometimes I’m even afraid to go to the market. said Twitter user @fynest_fine.

The table below shows the increase in average food prices according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

Citing reports from the BNS on some food prices, FBN Quest capital, an investment firm, noted that the 43 food products studied rose by around 28.8% on average annually. From month to month, the average price increase was 2.5%.

Popular food franchise Chicken Republic recently added a new “Egg star” combo to its menu. This new combo contains rice or spaghetti, with stew and a boiled egg and is priced at N500. This came as a surprise to Nigerians as the franchise is known to be a strictly chicken menu.

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In 2020, their “spaghetti refuel with spicy pepper sauce and delicious chicken” was N500, the same price as the “Egg star” menu in 2022. This menu belongs to the franchise’s affordable daily meal, which is makes other affordable meals but the “Egg Star” is their most affordable. This is how everyone can afford a meal and they can stay in business.

“Inflation is at work here. Business owners must constantly improvise. Either they increase the price of their merchandise or they substitute. Imagine the cost of chicken 2 years ago vs what is available now,” @owolabibosun tweeted on the matter.

People are now coping with rising food inflation by foregoing a particular food for a cheaper one or skipping one meal a day to stick to their budget.

Glory Fadipe, Head of Research at FCMB, in a conversation with BusinessDay said, “Many families skip meals or eat lesser portions, they get the cheapest products, regardless of quality, they have to just break even and nothing can be done about it.”

She talked about how certain foods quickly become meals that are eaten once in a while.

“Staples now become unique things on the blue moon. Chicken, fish like Titus are now expensive,” Fadipe said.

“Even for ordinary mortals, commodities have become expensive. I don’t even buy snails anymore and I earn so much.

One of the causes of rising food prices, as noted in the FBNQuest report, is increased insecurity in the northern states of Nigeria, where many agricultural commodities originate.

The report found that another major factor is the price pass-through effect of imported food due to the Russian-Ukrainian war, which is felt globally due to rising fuel prices. and raw materials. This is likely to be felt more in the months to come if the war persists. Food import inflation rose about 8 basis points to 17.56%.

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