After buying out Diageo and taking full control of its South African operation in April Heineken is now ready to battle for the South African market. The Dutch brewer intents to conquer the market with the rest of its premium product portfolio which will be added to the already established brands Heineken, Amstel, and Windhoek. The latter is a brand of Namibia Breweries Limited in which Heineken owns indirectly 29.9%.
In order to increase its market share of currently 10% and in accordance with its premium brand strategy Heineken brought this month its Mexican beer Sol to South Africa. “South Africans love premium beers, with 39 percent drinking them on a regular basis,” country head Ruud van den Eijnden was quoted in an interview this week. “SABMiller is already a formidable competitor,” he said. “Its new parent company has even more financial firepower than SAB, so in that sense I think competition will intensify.” Nevertheless van den Eijnden is convinced to stand the fight because he added more than 280 people to the local sales force this year, thus doubling the number in the sales team.