While international beer brands tend to hold the limelight in SA, a new initiative by South African Breweries (SAB) is set to change that by bringing the focus back to Africa’s beer-making landscape by launching a special eight-pack of iconic beers from different countries across Africa.
As part of this initiative, SAB has partnered with Stop Hunger Now SA (SHNSA) – an international, non-governmental organisation which packs and distributes meals to people living in poverty. For every pack sold, three students will receive a nutritious, wholesome meal.
“Our goal is to provide 1-million meals for students by 2018, and to do this every year,” said Ricardo Tadeu, Zone President of Africa: Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) and SAB. “But beyond that, we will be supporting agricultural development in the different countries as each beer will be sourced locally, with the key ingredients grown by local farmers.”
“We’re bringing a taste of Africa to South Africa and the world and at the same time, we are making a tangible difference in society. Beer drinkers can enjoy the best of Africa and help us make the world a better place.”
Saira Khan, Chief Executive Officer of SHNSA, said malnutrition and hunger killed more people annually than HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. “In South Africa alone, 3.165-million children suffer from household hunger and malnutrition while globally, supplies of food exceed demand.”
Khan added that a pilot study within the universities supported by SHNSA revealed that 40% of students failed due to hunger, which was alarming. “Initiatives such as Beers for Africa which pledge to support students really do enable them to obtain an education and thus move out of poverty. SHNSA provides a sustainable solution to combat hunger and poverty,” she said.
The first edition of the ‘Beers for Africa’ pack will showcase Castle Lager (South Africa), St Louis (Botswana), Maluti Premium Lager (Lesotho), 2M (Mozambique), Laurentina Preta (Mozambique), Manica (Mozambique), Kilimanjaro Premium Lager (Tanzania) and Zambezi Premium Lager (Zimbabwe).
Other editions will follow in the coming years, with different beers from different countries being included in the Beers for Africa packs, although Castle Lager will remain an anchor beer in all of the packs.
The new 8-pack of beers is part of SAB’s approach to innovating and offering consumers more choice, while the partnership with SHNSA is a critical element of the Better World sustainability programme, both of which are fundamental elements of the company’s strategy.
“The eight-pack will enable South Africa and African countries, and ultimately many countries abroad, to taste African beers. As an example, in the United States, the number of imported brands makes up about 10% of the beer market, and this equals the size of the South African beer market. The potential is enormous and as a result, my vision is that we will be able to provide meals for students and support farmers across Africa,” said Tadeu.
The Beers for Africa pack will be launched as a pilot project and be available initially in South Africa in key outlets across the country for a limited period of time. The plan is to make it available in duty free outlets at airports next year, after which it will potentially be exported to the US and other countries in the future.