ETHIOPIA – Heineken Ethiopia is partnering with local entrepreneurs to help refurbish their stores, including offering refrigerators for their products and paying their first year rent while having them exclusively sell its signature drinks under uniform like stores named ‘251’.

The company has so far rebranded about 50 of these stores in the capital and is expected to add more than 100 across the nation.

Being one of Ethiopia’s biggest beer breweries with brands such as its signature Heineken, Walia, Harar, Bedele and the low-alcohol Buckler – the new partnership is aimed to help promote its products in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

This comes as the company temporary suspends the sale off its newly launched Heineken draft beer. According to sources, the suspension is temporary and it is to allow it to navigate the new business environment that has been hit hard by the virus, reports Ethiopian Reporter.

In general, the Ethiopian beer sector has been hit with the addition of a sudden excise tax that has forced the price of a bottle of beer to jump on an average of 8 Birr.

For Heineken, this has crippled its chances at expansion with a belated plan to build a factory and employ hundreds of additional people.

This is in addition to the ban on broadcasting advertisement of alcoholic drinks by the government, from 6:00 AM in the morning to 9:00 PM in the evening, effected last year.

With brewery plants in Harar, Bedele and Kilinto, Heineken recently donated 4.5 million Birr (US$135,000) to help the Ethiopian National Resource Mobilization Committee effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

They also set-up hand washing stations in densely populated areas, such as Mercato and Megenagna.

Globally, Heineken N.V. has donated 15 Million Euros (US$16.1m) to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Society to support their relief efforts towards the most vulnerable people and communities affected by COVID -19 especially those in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Also, Heineken Africa Foundation has decided to replace its regular grants and projects this year with a plan to spend up to 5 million euros (US$5.3m) in partnership with various NGOs in Africa to significantly upscale and accelerate its WASH program, which focuses on providing access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene.

Liked this article? Subscribe to Food Business Africa News, our regular email newsletters with the latest news insights from Africa and the World’s food and agro industry. SUBSCRIBE HERE