SOUTH AFRICA – United National Breweries, a South African subsidiary of the Zimbabwe-based beverage company Delta Corporation, is gearing up to inaugurate a sorghum beer plant before the end of this financial year.
The upcoming facility is slated to produce “Chibuku Super,” one of Delta Corp’s flagship sorghum beer brands that has been rapidly gaining favor among South African consumers.
Chibuku Super represents a forward-looking iteration of the Chibuku brand, boasting a notably enhanced profile compared to its predecessor while retaining the cherished traditional taste.
This beer contains 4% alcohol by volume and is packaged in 1.5-liter returnable bottles, along with 1.25-liter PET bottles.
The group reports that South Africans consumed 779,000 hectoliters of the opaque beer during this period, slightly down from 780,000 in the prior year.
The beverage giant is optimistic about the robust demand for sorghum beer south of the Limpopo River, especially now that the product is available in formal retail chains.
With local production, volume is projected to rise as the costs linked to importation diminish, making the beer more accessible to an even larger consumer base in South Africa.
In Zimbabwe, where Chibuku Super is already a household name, volumes increased by 4 percent to 2,173,000 hectoliters compared to 2,084,000 hectoliters in the comparable period.
To meet the escalating demand in Zimbabwe, Delta Corporation inaugurated a new Chibuku Super plant at the Harare Brewery in September.
Delta Corp, also a local brewing partner for the Belgium-based multinational brewer AB InBev, anticipates that the new Harare plant will contribute to volumes in the latter half of the year.
“This investment will help bridge supply gaps in both domestic and regional markets,” stated the producer of Zambezi lager.
Delta Corporation delivered a robust performance for the six months ending on September 30, 2023, experiencing volume growth across business units, which notably boosted revenue, profit, and foreign currency sales.
Lager beer volume surged by 13 percent compared to the same period last year, with the new packaging line launched in August aiding in stabilizing overall product supply, while sorghum beer volume increased by 4 percent year-over-year.
UNB South Africa, the recipient of the new sorghum beer plant, achieved a 2 percent volume growth in the second quarter and maintained similar figures to the prior year for the entire six-month period.