SAB predicts World Cup will boost beer sales by 4%

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The South African Breweries (SAB) has outlined details of its preparations to ensure the country is fully stocked and supplied with beer during the FIFA World Cup tournament.

With an estimated 450 000 visitors expected to visit the country during this period, and with an anticipated 4-6% increase in demand for beer over the five week World Cup period, the brewer is finalising detailed plans to make certain that the country is well stocked and supplied.

While it is anticipated that South Africans and foreigners will support the soccer matches at the official stadiums, the majority of people are expected to watch the games at home, in sports bars and taverns as well as in fan fests and viewing sites around the country.

SAB has seven breweries located around the country which are all near the host cities. Last year SAB brewed about 25-million hectolitres of beer, and company tends to see an increase in demand in the summer months (November, December, January) while the winter months (June, July, August) tend to be slower.

SAB has taken the incoming visitors and their thirst levels into consideration, and has built in additional stock for South Africans who will support the event and spend more time chilling around the event than they normally do in June and July.

As a result, SAB is confident it has more than enough capacity to host the additional visitors who are expected for the World Cup, as well as any increase in per capita consumption by South Africans.

In terms of its plans to ensure the country is well stocked, SAB will:

Increase its brewing in April and May ahead of the event to ensure there is reserve stock

Ensure that the taverns on route to and from the stadium are well-stocked

There will be refrigerated vans with stock on standby in key match areas to replenish fridges and ensure that thirsty fans can always get an ice cold beer

All seven breweries will be well equipped to manage any shortages

Dedicated telephone numbers will be set up whereby customers can dial in should they require emergency supplies

All of SAB's outlets will be servicing customers during the World Cup, which means there will be about 56 000 outlets around the country serving SAB products. This will not just be in the nine host cities, but across the country, including rural and metropolitan areas.

SAB 2010 marketing manager Alastair Hewitt says: "While it's difficult to predict how much extra beer will be consumed, we estimate at this stage that we will sell an additional 100 000 hectalitres of beer during the five-week World Cup period, which equates to about 20-million x 500ml beers or 30-million x 340ml beers. This is over and above normal consumption during the June/July period.

"Although we are expecting fewer visitors to South Africa than Germany did, we are expecting South Africans and tourists to get behind their team as well as African teams and enjoy themselves, and we are preparing for an increase in beer sales of about 4% - 6%. Our plans are in place to accommodate this increase, so football fans can relax, there will be plenty of beer," Hewitt continued.

SAB estimates that the company will be covering about four-million km in additional travel to service the event through its distribution network, with SAB's total distribution network covering approximately 35-million km in any given year.

Through its flagship brand, Castle Lager, which is the premier sponsor of Bafana Bafana, SAB will rally South Africans to get behind their national team in the run-up to the tournament and beyond. A series of Castle-owned initiatives will be unveiled in the lead up to the tournament, aimed at building national pride and bringing to life the spirit of the host country.

The first of these initiatives was Castle Superfans, which was launched in October 2009 and is aimed at rallying the nation to get behind Bafana Bafana on their journey to hosting the World Cup. In terms of this campaign, Castle Lager selected one Superfan from each Premier Soccer League (PSL) club and then took these fans to Germany to watch the team and to allow them to know each other - as they are arch rivals in the local league.

The fans returned home to star in a TV campaign showing how Castle Lager is the unique catalyst to bring 16 fans from rival clubs to unite behind Bafana Bafana. The Superfans have become an integral part of Castle Lager's campaign to support the national team and will be embarking on a roadshow in the coming months through taverns, shebeens and bars across the nation to give away Bafana gear and create excitement for consumers. They will be visible on TV, in outdoor, in outlets live and plugged and in stadia supporting Bafana.

"We are extremely excited about the opportunity that hosting the FIFA World Cup offers the country and we are looking forward to hosting the world on our home ground. We see ourselves as the unofficial national hosts to visitors and want them to experience South Africa as South Africans do, by introducing them to our customs our culture and our beer," concluded Hewitt.

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