AJEAST Challenges CSD Market Dominance in N5 billion Investment, Launches Big Cola Range

L-R: Roberto Inga, Production Manager; Theo Williams, Country Manager; Noel Relojo, Head, Finance & Administration; and Michael Daniels, Marketing Manager; all of AJEAST, Nigeria at the official Trade Launch of the BIG Cola, BIG Orange and BIG Lemon brand of non-alcoholic brand of beverage drinks at the company’s factory in Agbara Industrial Estate, Ogun State on Saturday.
In a somewhat affront challenge of the cola market dominance in the Nigeria market, AJEAST Nigeria Limited (AJE Group worldwide) has unveiled its range of carbonated soft drink parading the Big Cola, Big Lemon and Big Orange. This disposition seeks to make nonsense of marketing rule 101: "never challenge the market leader head long".
In a market dominated by Coca-Cola and its arch-rival, 7Up and the respective range of products including Coca-cola and Pepsi flagship brands, the coming of AJEAST is a direct challenge of the market leadership.  This  is too obvious as the new range parades exactly what could be seen as alternatives to the world No 1 CSD – Cola Cola in Nigeria.
The affront and disposition of the new entrant suggests the new brand is poised for war or rather its never affraid of taking on the challenge of ekking out a sizeable chunk of the market share for itself. The Country Manager for the brand did not hide his readiness to take-on the market leader.  
The new entrant runs with the brand promise “Think Big”, as part of this aspirational vision, the brand prides itself as a proud partner of the famous English FA cup and the Spanish giants, Barcelona FC. In packaging, it breaks parity in size, the conventional size pack of the brand is a notch ahead of the completion with an addition 15cl liquid content while it also sells at a price point lower in the market.   
Developing ‘More Value for Less’
“Our discerning consumers strive for a quality tasting cola drink that they can be proud of with More value for Less money spent, which represents who they are and where they are going. BIG COLA is made from our unique signature making process that has over the years, won the hearts of many” stated the Country Manager for Big Cola, Theo Williams. 
He adds that the ‘Think Big’ brand, will have a recommended retail price of N90.00 per 650ml bottle. This truly is giving the consumers ‘More value for Less’. BIG truly is, democratizing soft drinks consumption in our great country Nigeria, where everyone can afford to enjoy a BIG COLA because it is affordable.
Speaking on the launch of BIG COLA, Mr. Williams explains that the company is committed to its goal of producing high quality products for the region. “The long awaited entry of BIG Cola, Lemon and Orange is sure to generate waves of excitement in the Nigerian market”. 
BIG COLA is made from state-of-the arts production lines which according to the country Manager ensures and guarantees the highest hygienic and quality standards obtainable. The brand available in PET bottles only will be available in 360ml, 650ml and the 2Lt pack sizes. 
For the new brand to gain traction among consumers and in the market,  a communications campaign  including an aggressive ‘Think BIG’ sampling promotional campaign is planned  “to avail our discerning consumers a first hand experience of the uniquely rich taste of BIG brand flavours. The ‘Think BIG’ promotional campaign will be at a retail point’ reveals Head of Marketing, Michael Daniels. 
 “BIG COLA is produced with the consumer in mind, and because we believe they are aspirational, we have developed the ‘Think BIG’ brand just for them. It is a great tasting carbonated soft drink with an equally great heritage”.
The investment which is in the region of N5 billion started in Nigeria in 2012 and promises to introduce a new brand every quarter starting 2016. 
AJE Group is the 3rd largest producer of carbonated soft drinks in the world, and the 10th largest producer of soft drink by volume, worldwide. Now a multi-national business with operations spanning Latin America, Asia and Africa, the brand started 27 years in a garage in Peru as a family business.
The fore-going reveals good aspirations for the owners of the brand but will this new entrant inflict any serious dent on the market leaders - Coca-Cola and 7up? This is left to be seen. However, suffice to say that as much as "Big" could be productive in this market entry campaign, it could as well be counter-productive. The critical game plan for Big-Cola should be how fast it could put in place a fool proof network of impenetrable distribution channels for its product range. Secondly, taking up on the Coca-Colas of this world would definitely need a tighter marketing and marketing communication.