Brewers look to crack Africa’s $13bn beer market

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Africa is the world’s fastest-growing beer market, with research group Plato Logic forecasting volume growth of 4.5 percent this year compared with 1.4 percent globally. Image courtesy: Springleap
Africa is the world’s fastest-growing beer market, with research group Plato Logic forecasting volume growth of 4.5 percent this year compared with 1.4 percent globally. Image courtesy: Springleap

Multinational drinks companies are battling for their share in the biggest markets in Africa amid the worst economic slowdown on the continent in two decades.

As traditional markets slow, brewers are apparently eager to push further into the region and expand their brand presence.

The Financial Times reports that Africa is the world’s fastest-growing beer market, with research group Plato Logic forecasting volume growth of 4.5 percent this year compared with 1.4 percent globally.

The continent is thought to remain key in the long term because of its fast-growing, urbanising and young population.

Cheaper brews are apparently on the up, as a mis-forecast reveals that Africa’s middle class are expanding slower than expected.

Many premium brands are feeling the effects of the previous free-falling economy. As consumer incomes have been squeezed, these brands have been pushed out of reach of tens of millions of people.

“Low-cost beer is what people are drinking,” Adedayo Ayeni, an analyst at Renaissance Capital, told Financial Times.

Other market analysts agree, stating that amid the downturn, the continent has seen economy lager starting to boom.

Heineken, the world’s second-largest brewer, officially opened a $160 million brewery in Côte d’Ivoire this month to take advantage of the growing young market.

With many multinational brewers becoming increasingly interested in the continent’s exponential beer market, it is thought that this could lead to an era of colourful competition between sellers in Africa.