This report focuses on the South African liquor industry, including manufacture, wholesale and retail. It includes comprehensive information on the state of the industry, local and international corporate actions, regulations, product innovation and distribution and marketing trends. There are profiles of 50 companies including the major global and local alcohol beverages companies such as South African Breweries, DGB, Diageo and Heineken, wine farms such as Simonsig, Lanzerac, Vergelegen and Backsberg and major liquor retailers such as Spar.
South Africa’s liquor industry is considered mature and dominated by large global companies. The top liquor players, those which produce and distribute beer wine and spirits, all have strong brands, which gives them pricing power, which is enhanced through premiumisation. The top five companies, AB InBev, Distell, Heineken, Diageo and Namibian Breweries, collectively have a significant percentage of the local legal retail liquor market.
Premiumisation through marketing or the creation of new premium variants is resulting in sales and profitability increasing faster than volume. New products, including craft products, zero alcohol, zero calorie and zero carbohydrate sparkling water beverages infused with cannabis derivatives are increasing. But the more than 215 craft breweries accounted for less than 1% of the local beer market. The beer segment continues to dominate the market compared to wine and spirits. The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition estimates that only 20% of informal liquor traders have applied for a licence.
The wine industry has a much lower level of concentration than other liquor segments. South Africa is seen as a ‘new world’ wine producer along with countries such as Australia, Chile and Argentina. Over the ten years from 2008 to 2018, the number of wine producers declined by 33.6% and wine cellars declined by 7.7%, as drought and declining yields in the Western Cape increasingly render local growers and wine producers in the region unsustainable. Export sales volumes have declined but not export revenue, indicating positive international demand and acceptance of local wine.