Throwing a crisp and refreshing gauntlet at the feet of rival SABMiller this month are Heineken, which as you probably know brought Sol beer to the Beloved Country, as part of a strategy to tap into the thirst of local punters for premium brewski’s, while sticking it to rival SABMiller. South Africans, you see, even in these straitened times, are not averse to investing in the cool and amber stuff, having spent R103billion on beer last year, up 9.1% from 2014. And 39% of us, which seems an awful lot, drink the premium stuff on a regular basis, according to Heineken country head and probable Dutchman Ruud van den Eijnden. Heineken, you will recall, took full control of its beer operations in SA in April after dissolving its partnership with Diageo. It now holds a 10% share of the market, and is chipping steadily away at SAB’s 80% share, a legacy of a time when The Big Feller was the only legal brewer in the country.
Comment: Diversity in any market is a good thing, and more so when it’s the bold and bubbly stuff were talking about.