A Russia based company, Kinglace Ice Cream has initiated a new branch in Nigeria for market expansion plans of five years and to create 1000 employment opportunities for young Nigerians.
Speaking to Orimix Times at the official launch of Kinglace and Burger King, in Lagos, a shareholder of the firm, Roman Lola, explained its relationship with the iconic American brand, Burger King, said, Iceberry are shareholders of the Allied Food and Confectionary Services Limited, which are franchisees of Burger King in Nigeria.
Lola said the brand which has been working on starting operations in Nigeria for the last two years has so far invested several million dollars to set up operations in the country and its investment in the market in the next couple of years will reach tens of millions of U.S dollars.
According to him, Kinglace ice cream, produced by the oldest ice cream manufacturers in Russia, Iceberry and distributed by Wow Creamery has launched in Nigeria and plans to expand operations within the next five years.
He noted the Iceberry brand has taken the lead in the production of ice cream by producing over 90,000 tons of ice cream per year, with a range of 250 products in Russia and exports to CIS countries, China and Africa, giving consumers a platform to experience the greatly admired Russian Ice cream.
The brand plans to open 60 cafes over the next five years with plans to create over 1,000 jobs as a result of the demand seen in Nigeria.
Lola who described the product said: “Our ice cream is quite good and affordable. When kids want to go for ice cream, they go with the family, so the family can enjoy burgers and ice cream. It brings synergy to both businesses.” he explained.
“So far, the Nigerian consumers have taken our products quite well. People like the taste. We are very good at making dairy. Our ice cream is made from fresh milk. We have a long history of making ice cream, Russian ice cream has been considered to be the best and I think Nigerians will love it and appreciate it.
“It is a demanding business because of the quality and quantity of the products we produce. We have some distribution centres and several trucks with drivers. In a few years, we should have employed up to 1000 people across the 60 branches,” Lola said.
Speaking also at the launch, the Marketing Coordinator, Kinglace Ice cream, Buzugbe Victoria, said it’s high time for Nigerian consumers to have real ice cream that is of the best quality and price, she also seemed very excited about reviews of the products so far from the consumers, it’s been described as that ice cream with great texture, extra creamy and doesn’t melt so fast. The consumers are also very excited about the various flavours and she can’t wait to include more offerings to the range of products they currently offer.
Victoria explained that the brand has a lot of varieties for consumers ranging from the 22 ice cream flavours to the delicious muffins, cookies, cake slices, Italian coffee and assorted teas.
The Group Managing Director, Wow Creamery Nigeria & Allied Food & Confectionery Services Limited, Franchisee of Burger King in Nigeria, Antoine Zammarieh said the newly launched Kinglace Ice cream and Burger King Nigeria is a fruit of hard work, dedication and perseverance.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Mission in Nigeria hails growing U.S.-Nigeria commercial ties as American brands and franchises expand to Nigeria, bringing jobs and investment.
Delivering remarks during the grand opening of Burger King’s first outlet in Nigeria, U.S. Mission Commercial Counselor Jennifer Woods welcomed the arrival of the iconic U.S. brand in the country. She highlighted the impact new businesses have on the economy, especially a well-known name like Burger King in an emerging market such as Nigeria.
“With Africa’s largest economy and a sizable youth population that is connected to the world, U.S. brands must consider Nigeria a critical market,” Woods said. “And while these companies will benefit from expansion into Nigeria, so, too, will Nigeria benefit from their presence.”
Woods explained that the addition of another American franchise – one that emphasizes a culture of excellence – will help provide job opportunities as the business expands to new locations across the country. She lauded the high level of consumer interest and enthusiasm for the iconic American quick-service restaurant since opening its doors in early November.
“The enthusiasm has been overwhelming, and this speaks volumes of the strength of American brands, and on a deeper level, the connection between our two countries,” she added.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honorable Femi Gbajabiamila, congratulated Burger King and its local partners on the exciting business venture, describing it as one more sign of the benefits of a close U.S.-Nigeria bilateral relationship. “We expect Burger King to roll out outlets in hundreds across the country,” Gbajabiamila added.
Burger King partnered with local firm Allied Food & Confectionary Services Limited to make the long-awaited market entry. Allied Food & Confectionary Services Limited Group Managing Director Antoine Zammarieh has extensive experience bringing U.S. quick-service restaurants to Nigeria and was key to making the franchise a reality in Nigeria. “Opportunities don’t happen. You create them,” Zammarieh noted.
Present at the grand opening ceremony were managers from Burger King’s global team including Robert Lu, General Manager for Burger King UK, Middle East, and Africa, and Almu Miguel-Romero, Area Franchise Lead for Sub-Saharan Africa.
Burger King’s market entry was supported by the Commercial Service (CS) of the U.S. Mission. CS assists American companies to find Nigerian partners who are interested in U.S. goods and services, including franchising. CS supports American businesses coming to trade shows in Nigeria, sends Nigerian delegations to U.S. trade shows, and facilitates connections between Nigerians and U.S. products, services, and partners.