AB InBev counts on rise in beer de­mand

Vol­ume growth is ex­pected

The Star Late Edition - - COMPANIES - Siseko Njobeni

MULTI­NA­TIONAL bev­er­age and brew­ing com­pany An­heuser-Busch Inbev (AB InBev) is gear­ing it­self for in­creased beer de­mand from African coun­tries, ac­cord­ing to Ri­cardo Tadeu, the zone pres­i­dent of Africa: AB InBev and South African Brew­eries (SAB).

Tadeu was speak­ing on the side­lines of SAB’s launch of an eight-pack of beers from dif­fer­ent African coun­tries in Johannesburg. The eight-pack would be ex­ported to global mar­kets such as the US and China.

“What we want from Africa is (beer) vol­ume growth that is above the world av­er­age. We be­lieve that, in terms of GDP, the economies of African coun­tries are go­ing to grow at an av­er­age higher than the av­er­age of the world. We ex­pect higher eco­nomic growth,” said Tadeu.

He said Africa had a youth­ful pop­u­la­tion. “We will have much more peo­ple com­ing into le­gal drink­ing age in the com­ing years,” he said.

“But it is not a straight line. There is some volatil­ity ex­pected, but for some­one who works with beer, this is the best place to be. That is for sure,” he said. Pen­e­trate He said AB InBev would use SABMiller’s ex­ist­ing lo­gis­tics to pen­e­trate the African mar­ket.

Tadeu said AB InBev had started im­ple­ment­ing some of the pub­lic in­ter­est com­mit­ments it made as part of the deal to ac­quire SABMiller. He cited in­vest­ments in agri­cul­ture among the ini­tia­tives the com­pany has com­menced im­ple­ment­ing.

“We have cre­ated an agrobusi­ness unit that will fo­cus on dif­fer­ences pro­grammes. We have a com­mit­ment of sus­tain­ing a num­ber of jobs in the next five years.

“There was a com­mit­ment in terms of com­pe­ti­tion… mak­ing sure our fridges had space for craft beer when­ever the tav­ern did not have spe­cific beer for dif­fer­ent brands. All of those things have been im­ple­mented al­ready. “

When it rec­om­mended the ap­proval of the AB InBev-SAB Miller merger, the Com­pe­ti­tion Com­mis­sion ex­pressed its con­cern about the ef­fect of the deal on craft brew­ers. AB InBev un­der­took to the com­mis­sion that re­tail out­lets and tav­erns which were solely sup­plied by it with bev­er­age cool­ers or re­frig­er­a­tors were free to pro­vide at least 10 per­cent of the ca­pac­ity of one such bev­er­age cooler or re­frig­er­a­tor in such re­tail out­lets or tav­erns, to the beer prod­ucts of small beer pro­duc­ers.

“The good thing is that we do not think that those com­mit­ments are a prob­lem. We think that they come as op­por­tu­ni­ties for us as well. For in­stance in the case of agri­cul­ture, to- day some of our raw ma­te­rial is im­ported and that comes with a higher cost.

“If we can de­velop lo­cal agri­cul­ture and be­come 100 per­cent lo­cally sourced, that would have a ben­e­fit for us on the pro­duc­tion cost side. So that will be an in­vest­ment but we will also be ben­e­fi­cia­ries,” he said.

He said the merger did not re­sult in the paral­y­sis that some­times came with ma­jor merg­ers and in­te­gra­tions.

“That did not hap­pen.”

100% The goal of AB InBev to be lo­cally sourced

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

Ri­cardo Tadeu, the zone pres­i­dent of AB InBev Africa and SAB, shows two of the brands from its eight-pack of African beers.

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