Ever sat in a Johnny Rockets and craved jollof rice with your cheeseburger? If so, then Nigeria is the place where all your dreams have already come true.
Thanks to the upward mobility of Nigerians, some of America’s favorite global food brands are tasting success with chain restaurants across the country. The Associated Press writes:
“The end of military rule in 1999 saw the country's economy slowly open up, with new professional jobs being added in banks and the rapidly growing mobile phone market. That gave birth to Nigeria's rapidly growing middle class, whose members ... represent nearly a quarter of the country's population, according to a September 2011 study by investment firm Renaissance Capital.
Over time, those figures started to attract businesses who previously hadn't been working in Nigeria. In retail, South African firms have flocked into Nigeria, finding places in the new malls being opened around Lagos. MassMart Holdings Ltd., of which Wal-Mart Stores Inc. of Bentonville, Arkansas, owns a controlling stake, has its Game department there. Supermarket chain Shoprite Holdings Ltd., considered a budget grocer at home in South Africa, draws a more-upscale crowd in Nigeria, where most still shop for food in open-air markets.
The market has drawn U.S. restaurant chains as well. KFC, owned by Louisville, Kentucky-based Yum Brands Inc., has seen a rapid expansion across Nigeria, with 17 restaurants opening across southwest Nigeria. Domino's Pizza Inc. of Ann Arbor, Michigan, recently had a franchisee open two locations in Lagos as well. Even ice cream seller Cold Stone Creamery of Scottsdale, Arizona, has opened to offer scoops and waffle cones to take the edge off of Nigeria's sweltering heat.”
Read the full story here.
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(Photo: AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)