Brewers in Africa Part 3

Africa has been described as the fastest-growing beer market in the world. This is to the extent that reports also show that Multinational brewers look to tap Africa’s $13bn beer market (FT April 2017).

In this third instalment of my treatise, my focus is on trends in the sector taken from the purview of Rwanda.

In Brewers in Africa Part 1, I recall mentioning earlier that I would return to a particular subject matter in the hope that it would enable me resolve the matter prior to contacting these two brewers. Yes, that matter has to do with the dynamic of five Nations arranged in alphabetical order: Ghana, England, Ireland (Irish), Nigeria, and The Netherlands (Dutch).

In that post I pondered over three alliances thus:

  • Ireland, England and Nigeria (Guinness).
  • Ireland and Ghana (Guinness and Star Beer).
  • Nigeria and The Netherlands (Star Beer and Heineken).

It is interesting to note that the Nigerian Breweries Plc. (NB), is a subsidiary of Heineken, which I found a bit confusing. In Nigeria, the brand is a flagship of NB, a subsidiary of the Dutch beer behemoth, Heineken, but in Ghana it is brewed by Guinness — arguably a competition.

In my follow-on post, Brewers in Africa Part 2, my focus shifted to indigenous African Brewers (Hero Beer, Nigeria) seeking to engage their target audience through emotional rather than rational appeals — borrowing a leaf from the consumer behaviour, and/ or marketing communications lexicon. It also resonates with the growing exploits of an indigenous group in the Southeast of Nigeria, the Igbos, who, as the world now appreciates, are widely dispersed across Nigeria, Africa and farther afield.

It is based on both of the aforementioned that I return with this part, i.e., Brewers in Africa Part 3, where Heineken re-emerges albeit on a different kind of level. To my surprise, the Rwandan Brewer, Bralirwa Plc has been a subsidiary of the Heineken Group since the early 1970s, which holds 75% of its shares. Bralirwa Plc is also license holder of The Coca-Cola Company — bottling and marketing non-alcoholic beverages of the latter.

The Primus brand is arguably the most known beer on Rwandan market, playing in the lower mainstream segment. The brand has maintained a strong reputation for its quality and appealing taste, and as indicated in its brand tagline “ Primus, Yacu Iwacu”, it is well known for its national pride, togetherness and friendship proposition.

On its part, the Mützig brand has a wide assortment of line extensions across the Central African region, after being launched in the region in 1987. Mützig Class (the latest brand extension) was launched in the DRC, Congo Brazzaville and Côte d’Ivoire, before making its way to Rwanda in 2019.

In summing up, the threefold alliances, which I reflected upon in the first part of this treatise, this may well be extended to four, bringing in Rwanda, galvanised by the exploits of Heineken in Africa.

  • Ireland, England and Nigeria (Guinness).
  • Ireland and Ghana (Guinness and Star Beer).
  • Nigeria and The Netherlands (Star Beer, Nigerian Breweries, and Heineken).
  • Rwanda and The Netherlands (Primus, Mützig and Heineken).

By the way, did anyone notice the Star sign (logo) on Primus?

Cheers…

Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com.

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Nnamdi O. Madichie, PhD. Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (FCIM); Research Fellow Bloomsbury Institute London .

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Nnamdi O. Madichie

Nnamdi O. Madichie

Nnamdi O. Madichie, PhD. Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (FCIM); Research Fellow Bloomsbury Institute London .

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