What is the market size for African consumer products?

Jun 06, 2022|Michael Famoroti

This is the most important question for any Africa-focused business. Whatever you’re selling, whether it’s ice cream or steel beams, haircuts or cashew nuts, as long as you’re selling to consumers, you want to know the size of the African consumer market.

When we looked at whether Nigerian startups are overvalued, we first considered the Nigerian market size.


Key takeaways:

  • Understanding the size of the African consumer market is crucial for many reasons, particularly for business owners looking to assess which market is most attractive for their products

  • There are different dimensions to use in assessing the size of any market—gender, age, income groups, and even over time

  • This allows us to move away from assessing the consumer class as a homogenous group, and instead take into account how spending patterns differ across the different categories


There is no single way of estimating market size, but the most accurate methods try and measure spending power. Remember, the market for a product is made up of people willing and able to purchase a product, so the best way of estimating marketing size is probably by tracking consumer spending.

Unfortunately, there is very little consumer spending data on Nigeria or Africa.

Stears Business has shared a few in the past, including a breakdown of per capita expenditure across Nigerian states. Today, we bring disaggregated data on African spending, meaning we can look at spending across regions, genders, income classes, and age.

When you’re done reading, you should have a data-backed view of the market size for various consumer products in Africa. Do you sell products to women above the age of 50? Do you provide services to male adolescents? Are you launching a startup selling a premium good?

Dive in here to see how many customers you have on the continent.

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