Africa, Business

SABMiller launches ‘entry-level’ cassava beer

By Theresa Mallinson 2 November 2011

SABMiller is hoping to attract aspirant consumers, with its new cassava beer, Impala Cervejas. It's brewed in Mozambique, and currently available only in the north of that country, but will potentially be rolled out elsewhere on the continent if it proves a success. By THERESA MALLINSON.

SABMiller on Tuesday launched the first cassava-based beer in Africa. (Well, it’s the first commercially-produced such beer; Africans have been using the plant to make home brew for generations).

The launch took place in Johannesburg, although the beer will initially be marketed in northern Mozambique, where it is produced by SABMiller subsidiary, Cervejas de Mocambique. Although cassava is a staple food in some regions of Africa, including Mozambique, according to SABMiller its new project will not lead to food shortages.

The new beer is called Impala Cervejas, and according to BBC journalist Milton Nkosi, tastes “somewhat bitter, somewhat tangy, not sweet”.

Bringing Impala to market was somewhat delayed, after SABMiller’s original project was moved from Angola to Mozambique and, in addition, it faced several supply and harvesting hurdles.

But now that Impala has finally launched, SABMiller is excited about its prospects, particularly since the beer will sell for only 75% of the price of other local commercial beers. “What we’re trying to do is at a 75% price point, to attract consumers up from the illicit spirits or the home brews that they would tend to be consuming,” said Mark Bowman, the managing director for SABMiller Africa. “They’re poor consumers generally. This is a rurally oriented product. We want people to gravitate into what is highly aspirational for them, but to some extent unaffordable, with an entry-level beer.”

That means you can get an 550ml Impala Cervejas in Mozambique for 25 meticals (R7.50). We’ll drink to that. DM

Photo: Reuters.


While we have your attention...

An increasingly rare commodity, quality independent journalism costs money - though not nearly as much as its absence.

Every article, every day, is our contribution to Defending Truth in South Africa. If you would like to join us on this mission, you could do much worse than support Daily Maverick's quest by becoming a Maverick Insider.

Click here to become a Maverick Insider and get a closer look at the Truth.


Project David Mabuza’s Long Walk to Rehabilitation

By Stephen Grootes

One of the largest carp ever caught on record was done so using the ashes of the fisherman's deceased friend.