Nando’s enlists Spicy P for spicy sauce

From Shopper Marketing Report: The chain taps Pascal Siakam to build recognition for the restaurant and its CPG offerings.


Spicy P Bottles x Peppers

Nando’s is wagering that Pascal Siakam will help sell hot sauce. The family casual restaurant chain is suiting up with the Toronto Raptors all-star (nicknamed “Spicy P”) for a limited-edition bottle of peri peri sauce, the peppery Portuguese-by-way-of-Mozambique capsicum condiment the restaurant is known for, to be sold in stores.

In a statement announcing the launch of the two “Spicy P(eri-eri)” limited-time flavours, the company says the Raptor forward shares the brand’s “fiery spirit, steady hustle and heat.”

The Raptor sauce collaboration includes bottle design elements that touch on Siakam’s Cameroonian background, and include the country’s “star of unity” that appears on its flag.

“It’s been really exciting for us as people who work in consumer-packaged goods,” says Keri Ann Meslar, Nando Grocery’s North American director of brand and marketing. “We can geek out about in-trade marketing opportunities,” she says.

The bottle design features a Siakam fade away jumper and layup, and also a weaving pattern and spots that represent the soil where the Nando brand’s chilies are grown. There’s Siakam’s heart logo derived from his initials and also a green call-out to support the baller’s favorite charity, Right to Play, a non-profit organization that protects, educates and empowers children to rise above the impacts of poverty, war and disease, by harnessing the power of play. For the duration of the collaboration, a portion of proceeds go to the charity. At shelf-level (and above) there are shipper displays and cut-outs that are nearly life-sized.


“We thought it’d be lighthearted and fun, and have fans feel closer to him with standee in grocery store,” says Meslar, who adds that it’s a fun way to engage people and to see their reactions on social media. She says the affiliation with the Raptor star is a great way to introduce both peri peri sauce and the Nando’s restaurant brand to consumers who enjoy “flavor and spice.”

“It’s a different way for people to access the brand,” Meslar says. “We see it as a different channel to make it accessible. It’s not realistic to eat out every night, but you will see people putting sauce on breakfast, or with pizza or on chicken.”

Nando's x Spicy P 2

Founded in South Africa in 1987, and with a presence in Canada since the 90s, the chain offers up flame-grilled chicken with peri peri sauce, and also has a North American grocery business, selling its peri peri hot, medium and garlic sauces through major retailers.

In the U.K., Australia and South Africa, Meslar says, Nando’s is the number one selling hot sauce in the category, driven largely by the number of locations in those markets (there are 280 locations in the U.K., 270 in Australia, and more than 100 in South Africa). In Canada, there are currently 50 Nando’s locations across B.C., Alberta and Ontario, and the brand is the number three selling hot sauce. Meslar says many people are surprised to hear it’s doing so well against the likes of better-known brands like Frank’s RedHot and Tabasco. In 2017, the brand launched “This is Peri-Peri,” aimed at educating the market about what the product actually is.

In North America, the sauces are much more widely available than the restaurants (the brand has a marginal presence in the United States – 48 locations – mostly in the Northeast). Meslar says that in North American markets, there are people who go to the restaurants and don’t realize they can buy the sauce there – and, on the flip side, those who see it in grocery banners and don’t know Nando’s is a family casual restaurant too.

According to Meslar, Nando’s has a close relationship with lots of retailers, but in Canada, Sobeys wanted to get exclusivity upfront for a couple of weeks, because of the banner’s Raptor sponsorship in the GTA. The Spicy P(ERi-PERi) was made available in Nando’s restaurants and in Sobeys on Feb. 13 and will come to additional grocery stores on March 4.