A few weeks ago, I sat down with Nadine Mabiola, the founder and CEO of the Kinshasa, DR Congo based food brand Le Choix de Nadine for an extensive interview. No holds barred: we travelled across her three professional careers, across three continents, and went through the multiple booms and busts that marked her entrepreneurial journey.
Le Choix de Nadine is a food company that’s growing steadily. Currently consisting of three product lines, it sources and produces everything locally with a true lifelong passion for healthy food. Also, it has recently acquired solid support from international investors. So it may well be soon available outside of DR Congo, where it is available at select eateries, fine bakeries and upscale supermarkets. As I am writing this, local consumers want more and more local food brands and are willing to spend more on products that meet international quality standards. That’s precisely what Le Choix de Nadine has become.
I randomly discovered Le Choix de Nadine at a supermarket in a middle-class neighbourhood in Kinshasa. I bought two jars of fruit jam, travelled with them to Europe, where I delighted guests at tea time. They couldn’t believe it was coming from a country never associated with high-quality, highly-finished food products.
Kenya will have 72 malls and Morocco about 40 in just a few years! If there are just a handful of places on earth, where malls are set for growth, then Africa is among them.
In what many observers call the “mall craze”, almost every capital city has or will have numerous of mega-malls and secondary cities are now planning to host malls.
The African consumer story is too big to miss: galvanized by Africa’s macro-economics, brands, retailers and developers favour a build-first-ask-questions-later approach.
There is just one problem: where are the shoppers?
A finding of my field-research in South Africa, Morocco, Kenya, and DR Congo, is that there are at least three reasons why Africans don’t fall in love with huge shiny malls at every corner.
Read my new piece ‘3 Reasons Why Africans Don’t Spend at Malls: a Lesson for Winning Consumers’ here.