NBL exports – taking pure Namibian beer to the world
Namibia Breweries Limited has over the past few years, made major inroads into the export market and is now exporting to 21 countries in Africa as well as Europe, New Zealand and Australia.
Thomas Hochreiter, manager of Export/Global Partnerships, elaborates: “Our biggest market, as most people know, is still South Africa and about 50% of our volume is sent there. We have made major inroads into that market over the years and are confident that we can increase our market share even further in the years to come.
“Our second biggest market in Africa is Botswana and although they have recently introduced a 40% sin tax, our brands still remain popular. It is a pleasure doing business there as they are transparent, open and honest and sales are good.”
Each market presents its own challenges and Namibia Breweries Limited is now conducting research about the new markets to ensure that all unique features and selling points will be considered when targeting a specific market.
“Consumers in Uganda and Cameroon for example, are health conscious and have an appetite for low alcohol beer, which is why they enjoy our Reinheitsgebot beer. In the UK, we position ourselves amongst the adventurous crowd as a unique Namibian product, thereby selling our brands amongst many others in the supermarket shelves world-beer category,” Hochreiter said.
Numerous challenges need to be overcome when talking about export such as import duties, alcohol levies, independent audits, foreign currency exchange fluctuations, health laws and local legislation, transport, cross border processes and documentation.
“In Africa, unfortunately, we sometimes get confronted with corruption and as we do not respond to that at all, we have to take the longer and more difficult path resulting in slower sales development,” Hochreiter said.
Regarding the future Hochreiter said that NBL is by no means sitting still and is currently researching numerous new markets.
“This is an ongoing process and sometimes a door closes and it takes us some time to open it again. That is why we always have a number of markets on the back burner as one of them is bound to open up in the near future. We are extremely energised about the possibilities on the African continent. “Economies are growing and this opens up new avenues for us. We will grow with a number of new and emerging markets in Africa, such as Zambia, and we are excited about it,” he concluded.