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The Manufacture, Wholesale and Retail of Beverages in South Africa
The South African liquor industry was valued at an estimated R96.5bn in the 2014/2015 financial year. A study commissioned by the Industry Association Responsible for Responsible Alcohol Use published in 2015 found that approximately 90,000 people were directly employed in the industry and more than 500,000 employment opportunities could be directly or indirectly traced back to the production and sale of liquor.
A Nation of Beer Drinkers
South Africa remains a nation of beer drinkers with beer representing 77.7% of all alcohol consumed in 2015 in terms of volume, and 54.6% in terms of value. Beer sales of 3.1 billion litres were worth R52.7bn. These figures exclude the home-brewed sorghum beer manufactured by informal beverage producers and sold at informal and often unlicensed taverns and shebeens, which is estimated to account for two-thirds of all sorghum beer consumed.
Challenging trading conditions in a depressed economy mean that on the whole, per capita consumption of alcohol decreased by 1% between 2014 and 2015. Consumers are under pressure due to high unemployment levels at around 25%, high food inflation, transport and electricity increases and limited growth in income. High debt levels further reduce disposable income, thus affecting sales of alcohol, especially premium brands. For these reasons, manufacturers are turning their attention to the export market in Africa and to the growing market for beer in the emerging economies of China, the Philippines, Thailand and Brazil.
The Liquor Industry investigates the manufacture, wholesale and retail of alcoholic beverages, focusing on recent developments and factors influencing the success of the formal sector. The report profiles 35 role players, including market leader SABMiller whose merger with Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) should be finalised before the end of 2016. Also profiled are the country’s leading spirits and wine producers as well as retailers and distributors of local and imported brands.