Irish whiskey brand Element has entered Nigeria after signing a five-year deal to bring 15,000 bottles to the market.
New Era Spirits, the parent company of Element, said Nigeria was a ‘rapidly growing market’ for Irish whiskey with 390% growth between 2016 and 2021.
The brand’s co-founder, Fionn Cox, also has a personal tie to the region. Upon finishing his studies at University College Cork in Ireland, Cox worked as a brand ambassador for Jameson Irish whiskey, covering West Africa. Living in Ghana, he looked after the world’s biggest Irish whiskey brand in Nigeria, Cameroon and the Ivory Coast.
“Nigeria is often referred to as the ‘giant of Africa’ due to the emergence of its increasingly developing economy,” Cox said.
“With a more favourable economic climate, paired with one of the youngest populations in the world we have identified Nigeria as an area where a class of young professionals are likely to crop up, the very demographic Element Irish Whiskey is designed for.”
Cox said that the US represents the largest market for the category (42% of sales today) but non-traditional territories such as Africa and the Far East present “greater opportunities to premium brands” due to their emerging middle-class populations.
“Our target demographic (Gen X/Y) are the largest single group of consumers (29.5%), they have the highest percentage of female consumers (35%) and exhibit the fastest growth for new entrants of any demographic,” he added. “These consumers’ desires are not fulfilled by the current market offering.”
Since its launch in 2022, Element has entered seven markets.
The Element range includes two expressions: Fusion Series R/1.0 (€49.50/US$54) and Lore Single Malt R/1.0 (€65/US$71).
Launched in November 2022, Fusion Series R/1.0 is a blend of both single malt and single grain whiskeys which have been matured in a combination of ex-Bourbon, virgin American oak, oloroso Sherry and seasoned stout casks.
Released in May 2023, Lore Single Malt was finished in ex-Bourbon, Madeira and sweet Moscatel casks.