By Tinuade Adeshiyan
Alomo Bitters, a herbal alcoholic drink produced by Kasapreko Ltd., a Ghanaian-owned company based in Ghana, sold 13.9 million bottles in the Nigerian market in 2018.
The Nigerian Sales Representative, Kasapreko Ltd., Mr John Adesoye, told NAN on Friday in Lagos that 580,000 cartons of the product were sold in Nigeria in 2018.
According to Adesoye, when the 580,000 cartons sold in 2018 are calculated, it amounts to 13,920,000 bottles sold.
The product which sells for between N150, N250 and N850 comes in 100ml, 200ml and 750ml bottles, and are called Kasapreko Alomo, Kalahari K20 and Alomo Sachet.
NAN reports that Alomo Bitters got to the Nigeria market in 2014.
The drink, which is mostly taken by men to enhance their sexual performance and virility, is also acclaimed to have plants and herbs that are good for blood circulation, with anti-malaria and anti-fever properties.
The sales representative said that Alomo Bitters’ popularity and high demand led to counterfeiting of the product which halted the company’s proposal of establishing a $50 million plant in Nigeria.
To conquer adulteration of the product, Adesoye disclosed that the company had to rebrand the product by displaying a hologram seal on the bottle.
He said that though the adulteration of the product delayed the establishment of a plant in Nigeria, it, however, did not stop its lovers from consuming it.
“To stop the fake product from circulating in the market and harming consumers, our company came up with rebranding.
“The rebranding of the product is to stop the fake from circulating the Nigeria market and as well differentiating the original from the fake.’’
However, some medical experts caution that bitters generally should be consumed moderately as some of the health claims are untrue.
The experts warned that bitters could end up damaging one’s health.
Dr David Ajoh said that the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) would not approve bitters that had not been tested.
He warned people against taking bitters not certified by NAFDAC.
Also, Mrs Bukola Smith, a Nutritionist, said people should be careful with drinking bitters as majority were not hygienically packaged and not certified.
“Most bitter brands are not safe. Some have high alcohol content and can be dangerous to one’s health,” Smith said.