It is very common now in Nigeria to see all kinds of products in 20g sachets or similar. Many retailers complained about the poor sales of products in larger volume packaging and the manufacturers responded with vigour, so, now we have milk, beverages, detergent, toothpaste, bleach in that piecemeal, accessible, low-price, convenient packaging format, designed to be quickly consumed and forgotten. This is the principal packaging format on Nigerian streets.

Already, small Mom and Pop shops have long been the favoured shop format. We seem to have that phobia for big and too well-organised shops where you can’t haggle and, besides, you get the occasional, desperately needed credit from the Cornershop too. We often perceive too-well organised as being too expensive because of the no-haggle factor, which is ironical as big shops buy in much larger quantities and should be able to sell at lower prices, because of quantity discounts from suppliers and other large-scale economics’ factors, but it doesn’t seem to matter to us, it’s all about perception.

In a country where most people live from moment-to-moment and from hand-to-mouth, sachets and small shops seem to be the most congruent options; consume now and pray for the next. Ultra-low income, inexistent disposable income, poor financial infrastructure, groceries in small sachets? That sounds very ‘poverty’ to me.