Africa to be fastest growing beer market

24 March, 2014

Rapid economic development, expanding populations and rising wages will make Africa the fastest growing continent for beer, according to Rabobank.

The report Beer on the Frontier: Opportunities for Brewers in the African Continent states that because developed economies are still dealing with the fallout of the economic slowdown, and growth in the BRICs has slowed, brewers have turned to Africa.

Francois Sonneville, a Rabobank analyst, said: “Over the past few years, brewers from mature, stagnating beer markets have been investing in emerging markets.

“The favourite destinations have been the BRICs and Asia, but these countries mature growth rates are declining. Based on demographics and economic developments, we believe that Africa will be the continent to witness the fastest growth over the next five years.”
Rabobank said Africa is expected to see the largest increase of legal drinkers between 2013-2018, while the birth rate in Latin America and Asia will slow. Western Europe and North America have seen a historical decline in beer volumes.

Increases in wages in emerging markets have a significantly greater effect on the spending pattern for beer than they do in mature markets, the report found, giving the example that in Tanzania it takes the average worker just over five hours of labour to earn a beer, while in the US it takes just 15 minutes. 

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