Beer witnessed a significant recovery in total volume terms in 2021, primarily due to the easing of COVID-19 restrictions on alcohol sales in terms of both duration and severity. This allowed on-trade establishments to operate closer to normal market conditions, thereby being able to service the demand for beer, which did not decline throughout the pandemic (despite a drop in actual sales in 2020) and remained one of the most popular alcoholic drinks to consume during social occasions.
Craft beer continued to struggle in 2021 due to market uncertainty caused by COVID-19 restrictions and regulations, along with the price positioning of this segment. 2021 saw improvements in terms of consumer sentiment compared to 2020, but uncertainty remained, which directly impacted how consumers decided which beer brands to purchase.
Following unprecedented growth in 2020, non-alcoholic beer recorded a more subdued performance in 2021, based on two factors. First, much of non-alcoholic beer volume increases for 2020 were derived from the extended hard alcohol bans, whereby consumers eventually ran out of their stockpiled alcoholic drinks.
Despite beer being one of the most mature categories in South African alcoholic drinks, there is still much room for growth, as evident by increased interest in non-alcoholic and flavoured/mixed lager options. This indicates a consumer preference shift, where South Africans will increasingly move away from the standard beer flavour profile of heavy, bitter, and hoppy beer offerings.
With rising input and general costs, producers are expected to conduct greater research and development in areas which facilitate stable supplies of raw materials, especially core ingredients, to improve future cost planning. A recent example of this is the development by The South African Breweries of a drought-resistant barley.
Local beer is well-positioned to leverage affordable beer prices in South Africa, which are expected to continue into the forecast period. This is apparent from South Africa having one of the most affordable average beer prices in the world.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Beer industry in South Africa with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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An alcoholic drink usually brewed from malt, sugar, hops and water and fermented with yeast. Some beers are made by fermenting a cereal, especially barley, and therefore not flavoured by hops. Alcohol content for beer is varied – anything up to and over 14% ABV (alcohol by volume), although 3.5% to 5% is most common. Beer is the aggregation of lager, dark beer, stout and non/low alcohol beer.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Beer research and analysis database.
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