Africa will be one of the most important beer markets to drive future growth of ABInBev’s business in the coming years, and therefore the company is willing to invest even more on the continent in the years to come, the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Carlos Brito, said this Wednesday while responding to reporters’ questions at a media briefing in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Key to the success will be Nigeria, which is the most populous country on the continent with about 190 million aged under 30 — and the population expected to grow to 410 million by 2050. But not only population is growing but also consumption per capita is expected to rise much more. Nigerians consume on average about 9 liters of beer per year compared to 57 liters in South Africa.
AB InBev has recently opened a new USD 250 million brewery near Lagos, Nigeria (inside beer, 19.2.2019). The brewery will be extended in stages and will cost about USD 400 million when full capacity is reached. “Nigeria (is) becoming a more and more important market as we grow in that market,” Brito said. “I mean we’re growing double digits, we didn’t grow in the past as fast because we were lacking capacity and now that we have capacity, strong brands and (a) great group of people we’re challenging the status quo there,” hereby referring to Nigeria’s beer market leader Heineken, which operates 11 breweries across the country.
Last year, AB InBev also announced to build new breweries in Tanzania (inside.beer, 20.03.2018) and Mozambique (inside.beer, 10.12.2018), which are said to cost USD 100 million and USD 180 million respectively. In addition, the company upgraded its two former SAB-breweries in Alrode and Rosslyn in South Africa for about USD 200 million (inside.beer, 11.7.2017)
The growth potential of the African beer market was cited by AB InBev as a major factor in the decision to buy Johannesburg-based SAB Miller in 2016. (inside.beer, 28.9.2016) “We are very excited about building in Africa,” Brito already said earlier. “Where others see risk we see opportunity.”