It is a mystery that St. Louis sugar doesn't advertise and remains the number one sugar brand in Nigeria.
There is no one that doesn't know St. Louis sugar. Packaged in a blue box, the sugar cubes have been providing Nigerians with sweetness for three decades. It's a Nigerian brand even if it is owned by a German company.
Coke, Indomie, Robb, Omo, Indomie are some of the cult brands in Nigeria. These brands are part of everyday Nigerian life and Nigerian culture having spent decades here. The main thing that separates St. Louis Sugar is that the brand does not advertise.
You will be hard pressed to see a St. Louis sugar billboard, TV advert or print advert. I don't think I have ever heard a St. Louis radio jingle before yet the brand is insanely popular. As a matter of fact, it is a monopoly.
There is Dangote sugar but who really buys it? Even with granulated sugar, St. Louis is still king. And with its firm grip on the sugar market in Nigeria, the brand doesn't advertise.
Coca-Cola which is the most famous brand in the world advertises. Milo does. Pepsi does. Omo, Indomie and others do. This year, Google started erecting billboards and ran radio and TV ads. No brand is too big to advertise, well except St. Louis.
The sugar brand is confident in its position that it doesn't bother to make noise on radio and TV. St. Louis sugar is just like garri. Koko Garri by D'banj came with all its fancy packaging but the average Nigerian still patronised the local garri.
St. Louis sugar's market share is too big for a new sugar company to pose a serious threat. Nigerians trust the St. Louis sugar brand. It has passed through two generations. It is part of us and our culture. Little boys use the blue boxes of the sugar brand as goal posts when playing table football.
For any new sugar, brand to try and change that it will have to invest heavily and play a long-term game instead of a quickie. Just ask the rivals of Indomie.