Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, is also the most populous in the continent. With such a large market, thousands of consumer goods compete to gain the attention of consumers.

A few of such brands have become so dominant that they have become generic names for such items. These brands enjoy what is known in business as a first-mover advantage.

In some cases, these brands have become household names such that many people do not know the actual names for the product themselves.

Some were not the pioneer products but they have been able to dominate the Nigerian market with their names.

Here’s a list of 10 of such products.
Indomie

The generic name for this product is noodle. However, this product was the first brand in Nigeria in 1995.

Indomie is a product of the Indonesian company Indofood in partnership with the Tolaram Group in Nigeria.

It was introduced in 1988 to Nigeria through export, and in 1995 the company opened its first production factory in the country.

Indomie (Photo Credit: Indomie website)

Indomie accounts for 74 per cent of Nigeria’s noodles market. Today, although there are several other noodle products, many Nigerians refer to them as “Indomie”.

Jeep

Jeep is produced by American Bantam Car Company. It was introduced in 1940. This vehicle is called a “Sports utility vehicle”.

But to an average Nigerian, any sports utility vehicle from any automobile brand, whether Toyota, Honda or Ford, remains a “jeep.”

Jeep Cherokee (Photo Credit: auto-data.net)

The Jeep Cherokee is a line of SUVs manufactured and marketed by Jeep over five generations.

Jeep has used the nameplate in some capacity since 1974.



Close Up

This product was introduced in 1967 by the company Unilever.

The generic name of this is “toothpaste” but a lot of Nigerians now call all toothpastes “Close up”.

For 51 years, it has become difficult to differentiate between the brand products from other competitors, as the product has become a trademark for toothpastes in Nigeria. Other brands are Macleans, Dabour, OralB and more.

Vaseline

This is an American brand of petroleum jelly owned by transnational company Unilever.

Vaseline was made by the Chesebrough Manufacturing Company until the company was purchased by Unilever in 1987.

Vaseline (Photo Credit: Insider)

Despite having other brands like Baby and Toddler, Fred and Flo, Dettol anti bacterial skin jelly, most Nigerians know all petroleum jelly vaseline.

Omo

OMO, an acronym that stands for Old Mother Owl, is a brand of detergent that dates back to nearly a century. It first came to Nigeria in 1962.

This detergent produced by Unilever has become a global brand and the household name for detergents across the country.

There are other brands such as Klin, Ariel amongst others yet many consumers refer to them as OMO.

Pampers

Pampers is a brand of baby and toddler products produced and marketed by Procter & Gamble. It was founded in 1961.

The early 1990s also saw the introduction of gender-specific diapers in the Pampers brand; the product returned to unisex diapers towards the end of the decade.

Omo detergent (Photo Credit: Shop On Click)

It came into Nigeria in 2000 and has dominated the diapers market since. It was the first diaper brand produced and marketed in Nigeria. Whether it is molfix or Huggies, Nigerians mostly know diapers as Pampers.

Maggi

This is a brand of “bullion cubes” in Nigeria. It was founded in 1872, by a Swiss entrepreneur called Julius Maggi.

It first appeared in the Nigerian market and kitchen in 1918, that is four years after the 1914 amalgamation of the southern and northern protectorates of Nigeria.

Maggi Star Seasoning (Photo Credit: Bliss Explorer)

Maggi seasoning cubes took its name from Julius Maggi. Other brands are Knorr, Royco, Terra, MrChef but many users know Maggi as the generic name.

Gala

Gala is made by UAC Foods. It was the first sausage roll sold in large quantities in Nigeria. Other products have since come out but Nigerians call all of them Gala — perhaps the name sausage roll is long to pronounce.

Gala (Photo Credit: AbuleOja)

To differentiate Gala from other brands, buyers and sellers would simply ask vendors for “Original Gala.”

Dettol

This antiseptic is marketed in Nigeria and produced and marketed by Reckitt Benckiser.

It led the market so much that Nigerians use the brand name as the generic identity for any antiseptic.

Dettol has been in use in the country for over 50 years.

Hypo

This is a chlorinated bleaching liquid used for laundry and disinfecting surfaces. It apparently derives its name from the product’s main chemical component: hypochlorite.

Hypo is produced by the consumer goods company Multipro Enterprise Limited (MPEL). This product has not been around in Nigeria for too long, yet it has since become the face of that market segment.

Hypo (Photo Credit: OList)

Before it came, the main bleaching liquid in the country was JIK, which many commonly called “bleach”.

Hypo appears to have since taken over the market, and it has now become the generic name of all bleaching liquid.

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