SABmiller eyes up African beer market growth

Adam Hignett
SABMiller owns dozens of global beer brands including Peroni (Source: Getty)
Affordable brands and more disposable income were the key to success said SABMiller yesterday, as it claimed the African market was coming of age.

The multinational beverage comp­any said the continent was showing great promise as a market for beer and SABMiller was best-placed to capitalise on the opportunity.

The firm said the average beer consumption per head in Africa was only nine litres, compared with a global average of 45.

This is set to change, as rising GDP leads to higher levels of disposable income and the middle class grows.

“Consumer access to affordable, formal alcohol and developing brands that tap into local pride and unlock the aspirations of the growing middle class who are seeking more premium brands will be the key drivers of top-line growth for our business across Africa,” said Mark Bowman, managing director of SABMiller Africa, adding: “The informal market continues to dwarf formal alcohol in Africa.

“While homemade or illicit alcohol poses a potential health risk to consumers, it is considerably cheaper so our challenge is to ensure that we provide price-sensitive consumers with affordable, high quality alternatives.”

The company is seeking to grow market share by continuing to develop new cheaper brands such as Chibuku Super and Impala, while maintaining moderate pricing levels.

By doing this it is targeting 10 per cent plus revenue growth in the medium term. But beer has a long way to go before becoming the beverage of choice in Africa, accounting for only 10 per cent of alcoholic consumption.

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