Scarlet Eagle hits the crowded bitters market with yet another product.
Haamah the bitters may have something different to offer in a world of me toos.
There is something about the Nigerian bitters market. Whoever it was that first introduced Africa’s first wildly successful bitters, Alomo, into the Nigerian market from Ghana must be wondering what it is his enterprise has spawned. It started like a small revolution, then exploded like an atomic bomb. Since Alomo bitters taught Nigerians about the new type of uniquely African bitters, nothing has been the same since then. Of course, Alomo was not the first bitters in this market. Once upon a time there was the none alcoholic Swedish bitters. But the high quality premium priced Swedish bitters was mostly for the privileged.
Kasapreko’s Alomo had huge success, chasing the once very popular none alcoholic Yoyo bitters, an indigenous Nigerian brand, to the fringes. It seems pretty clear that strong alcoholic content (apart from the ubiquitous herbs and roots) is the winning idea in the new wave of bitters brands that started sweeping the streets, garages and bars of Nigeria about a decade ago. Trust Nigeria’s aggressive manufacturing and marketing sector, Alomo has faced stiff competition from local wannabes. Guinness’ Origin now sits on top of the pile from several indications leveraging on its huge logistical capacities and massive manufacturing advantage. Even mighty Nigeria Breweries could not resist the call of the bitters, weighing in with Ace root.
This has not stopped or even slowed down fresh, nimble and very aggressive competition, including small players like Odogwu, Kampe from the stable of Ruzu bitters and recently General. In this latter category, Haamah has been showing up aggressively trying to build a decent market within the maddening crowd. Haamah is produced and marketed by Scarlet Eagle limited and benefits from the experience of some of Nigeria’s toughened marketing strategists with considerable experience in several multinationals. It is that experience that will hopefully, gradually push the product forward into the front row with consistent investment in product improvement, innovation in packaging and a well thought through distribution network.
A check of the market reveals that despite the proliferation of bitters products, the market still belongs to the players who understand the intricacies of in bar promos, presence marketing and efficient distribution strategies. The average consumer is not very discriminating and will go for what is available as long as it feels safe especially if it’s an outlet he trusts. The trick therefore rests powerfully in the ability to be in the right place in the right time.
I recently got a pack of the product and settled down with a few friends for the sampling. You may not be able to crown it king of the bitters but it definitely is different in terms of presentation, taste and overall feel. One of the comments consumers make when they take bitters is about how you manage to make herbal extracts look so smooth to the eye and to the taste. Haamah lacks that smooth deep dark color that raises that doubt. In the taste and in the look, you actually get the conviction that this drink is derived from pure African roots, as it states on the bottle. If the brand owners continue to harp on this, it may yet prove to be the winning edge in a market full of me toos. Well, can we get away without telling you the legendary promise of Nigerian bitters? This one, too, we are told improves not just male libido, but female libido! Now, that is something to take home to madam, right?
Haamah is a blend of extracts from Africanum, Mahogany, Bushwillow among others and of course alcohol and water. It is manufactured in Ogun state and duly registered by NAFDAC.