A billboard advertising Maggi a popular food seasoning is seen in Lagos on November 9, 2018. – A recent advertising video, showcasing a hard working mum who cooks for her family, posted on social media by Maggi has sparked a wave of protest over sexism in the west african nation. Credit -/AFP/Getty Images)

Classic Nigerian Brands We Still Love Today

Can you remember any of the popular consumer brands like Krest Bitter Lemon, Planta Margarine, Tandi, and Bongo Tea that delighted Nigerians years ago?

Most have not survived the many changes Nigeria has experienced over the years. From popular retail outlets like Kingsway Stores to soft drinks like Tandi Guarana, Nigerian brands have evolved and struggled to maintain their appeal to Nigerians. Today’s post on #WayBackWednesday focuses on two of the biggest brands that have held the interest of Nigerian consumers through the years. Strap yourself onto our time capsule and get ready for a short blitz through time.

Are you with me? Ready… Go!

The Chocolate King!

Over 50 years and still going strong!

Our first stop is Bournvita, the chocolate king! Originally founded in the ’50s to source cocoa beans from Nigeria, the Bournvita brand was introduced to the Nigerian market in 1960 as a chocolate beverage. Initially, the food drink was imported, then repacked locally at the company’s factory at Agidingbi in Ikeja Lagos.

By 1965, after having consolidated its stake in the Nigerian food-drink/beverage market, Cadbury Bournvita opened a 100% Nigerian operation becoming the first locally manufactured food drink in Nigeria. Over the years Cadbury has remained by Nigerians.

Washing Power ⚡

Omo detergent

Omo conquered the detergent niche of the Nigerian market as early as the ’70s at one point the brand became synonymous with detergents.

Launched in 1962 and manufactured from the Lever’s Brother’s factory in Aba, Omo is one of Nigeria’s most prestigious brands that has survived the changing landscape of Nigeria, plus an ever-increasing pool of competitors.

Omo’s cousin brand, Key soap did not enjoy the same fate as Omo. Key was a green bar soap that was popular until as recently as early to mid-2000s. Today Omo faces stiff competition from other brands like SoKlin, Ariel, and new entrants like Waw and Good Mama.

The Seasoning Queen 👑

Maggi cube | Image courtesy Nestle


Who doesn’t know this super brand? Maggi is probably the strongest brand in the food and nutrition space in Nigeria. Nestlé, the parent company began manufacturing Maggi in Nigeria in 1981, but it had been selling imported cubes in Nigeria prior to that. In fact, the rising demand for Maggi seasoning cubes in the ‘70s contributed to the decision to begin making the product in Nigeria.

Today maggi is synonymous with seasoning cubes. Regardless of stiff competition from other brands, Maggi has remained a strong leader in the seasoning cube niche, retailing millions of cubes every single day.

These are three of the biggest brands in Nigeria that have remained strong favorites with Nigerians for decades. There are a few more that we love and some that we’d love to see come back. 

Which brand do you think deserves a spot on our list? And which old brand would you love to see come back to the Nigerian market?

This articles was originally published on BB Buzz Magazine.

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