Business Hilights
Tracking Nigeria's Headline Business News Online

La Casera offers real apple content trusted by consumers—CEO, Okereke

…Says PET bottles now drive big chunk of the market

The Managing Director, The La Casera Company Plc, (TLCC) makers of La Casera Apple drink, Mr Chinedum Okereke, has given fresh insights on the secrets of the jumping fortunes of the company in the African soft drink sub sector.
Explaining more on the stiff competition in the market today, he revealed that the group in 2018, saw a slow but steady monthly improvement in our market share, noting that “We ended last year with a decent market share and have very aggressive plans for this year”.
“We believe that consumers should feel our presence the market strongly this year. Our growth is improving and we are very happy about it, because our improvement has been above our expectations.
While arguing that “The Nigerian soft drink market is very clustered,” Okereke revealed that “We have about four players in the apple category and people are making all kinds of claims but we are not offering concentrates or extracts, but real apple content which consumers will quickly discover when they taste it”.
According to him, “We want to continue to maintain our leadership position in that category. For us, being consistent with our commitment in terms of liquid chemistry and liquid premium vale to consumers is very important to us. So, we are at that point of leadership and differentiation where a taste will convince any consumer that we offer real apple.

La Casera Chinedum-Okereke
Managing Director, The La Casera Company Plc, (TLCC) makers of La Casera Apple drink, Mr Chinedum Okereke

Okereke, with over 28 years of allied management experience in the sector, averred that the market has big players and has witnessed quite some growths in the last couple of years even though in 2016 and 2017, there was a decline in its growth.
However, he was quick to reveal that in 2018, “there was a nine per cent growth in the market,” stressing that “Another interesting dynamic is that we have begun to see a very strong shift from traditional returnable glass bottles (RGBs) to PET bottles”.
“You will recall in the last 60 years, RGBs have been in Nigeria. But we have seen a very significant shift in Nigeria where people have moved away from RGBs to PET bottles, which today, drive a big chunk of the market.
On the company’s plans for consumers this year, he disclosed that “One thing is very sure, we will continue to give our consumers and partners the desired attention and experience they deserve from a premium brand like ours and are ready to excite the market and take what belongs to us”.
“In 2019, we want to ensure that we drive commercial aggressiveness, by ensuring that we have all our brands available, affordable and accessible to all our consumers. We can only urge our trade partners and consumers to just enjoy the brand as we take them through the 2019 experience.
“We have a lot of plans as a business, and will deploy them in the course of the year. Of course, when a brand is experiencing growth, one needs to ensure that the brand is available at the right place, at the right price and time and we have strong indicators to track this.
Business Hilights recalls that ever since the La Casera Apple drink hit the Nigerian fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) market, its market share trajectory has been looking up with momentary rebranding tactics.