Multinational brewers look to tap Africa’s $13bn beer market


Despite its worst slowdown in over two decades, the continent remains key to growth.

Premium SABMiller, whose brands include Hansa, was acquired by Anheuser-Busch InBev last year for £79bn as it looked to secure a foothold in Africa.

As Nigeria plunged deeper into economic crisis last year, billboards popped up across Lagos, its largest city, promoting Johnnie Walker whisky along with a reassuring message: “Storms Never Last”.

The sentiment resonates as multinational drinks companies battle for share in Africa’s biggest markets amid the worst economic slowdown on the continent in more than two decades. And Diageo, owner of Johnnie Walker and the world’s largest distiller, will hope that its tagline rings true in Africa’s roughly $13bn beer market. Analysts say that despite the downturn sparked by low commodities prices, brewers are eager to push further into the region as traditional markets slow. Africa is the world’s fastest-growing beer market, with research group Plato Logic forecasting volume growth of 4.5 per cent this year compared with 1.4 per cent per cent globally. (Read more)