Anheuser-Busch InBev, makers of global beer brand, Budweiser, has agreed to a $100 million partnership with medical cannabis company Tilray to research marijuana-infused drinks for the Canadian market.
AB InBev and Tilray in announced on Wednesday that each company will commit a $50 million investment to the project.
Both companies will study non-alcoholic beverages containing cannabidiol, or CBD and THC in a bid to manufacture cannabis-infused beer.
CBD has been said to have calming and healing effects, and THC, a compound in the plant is known for its psychoactive effects.
In October, Canada legalized recreational marijuana leading to increased interest from beer and tobacco companies to capitalise on opportunities within the market.
An Igbo ‘red cap’ chief is a walking insignia of authority, tradition, and culture, same as a group of ‘red cap’ chiefs symbolise an entire institution of leadership, achievement, authority, and power in Igbo tradition.
With the recent knighting of Hero lager by the Obi of Onitsha as “Mmanya ejiri mara Igbo,” the premium beer brand will now be seen in the same light as a red cap chief though out the entire South Eastern region in Nigeria. The knighting is a proof of how much Hero lager has repositioned its front and heightened its authority within the region it has been most successful.
Budweiser has come into the Nigerian market claiming to be the ‘King of Beers’, what Hero has done is to say; “Hey Bud! You might be a King, but in there is another King in the South East.” Interestingly, both beer brands are managed by International Breweries Plc., a proud member of AB InBev, so the temptation for a brand war among these two is negligent.
Launched into the market in August 2012 without much fanfare, Hero immediately resonated with the culture of the Igbos, and backed by the brand’s strategic positioning in terms of value and price, it skyrocketed to the summit of the beer market in the region.
From the retail shops in Onitsha to hotels in Owerri and down to the manufacturing workshops in Aba, Hero beer became a favourite broth among many beer lovers. That acceptance into the nucleus of the region’s neo-culture led to the christening of the beer as ‘Oh Mpa.’ Mpa means father in the Igbo language, a sign that the brand was held in high regards for what it now signified.
It became a regular feature on the menu during festivals and traditional ceremonies, while also inspiring the mentality of being a ‘hero’ among its teeming consumers; it has become a symbol of identity for the Igbo beer lover.
At the peak of its achievement, societal status and recognition, the next move for the brand, like every Igbo individual who has ridden his way to the top, was to seek the knighthood of a red cap chief. As Igwe Nnaemeka Alfred Ugochukwu Achebe, the Obi of Onitsha, His Royal Highness, gave the blessing for the red cap ceremony to commence, the reality of Hero’s achievement as the market leader in that region became flesh.
A relatively unknown brand, first released during the burial of civil war hero late Chukwuemeka Ojukwu, Hero was finally celebrated with dance, music and fanfare. For the brand, the knighthood is an integrated marketing scheme that hopes to reward its customers as well extend the brand’s reach.
“Since we introduced this beer to the Nigerian market, it has clearly found its way into the taste buds of beer drinkers first in South East Nigeria and beyond,” says Obumneke Okoli, Marketing Manager Hero Lager, during the ceremony.
“The people are happy, excited with a burning flare in them all because of this beer.”
More so, the red cap ceremony represents the fruition of the brand’s essence which thrives on the sentiments of the Igbos and the regional marketing of the brand’s handlers.
Arne Rust, Marketing Director, International Breweries Plc., said during the ceremony:
“Through this ceremony, we hope to inspire consumers to be heroes every day and in every way. We have great plans for our consumers in Nigeria, part of which includes strategically launching several beer brands to suit specific geography and cultures. Hero is a well-established brand in the eastern part of the country. International Breweries Plc., genuinely cares about the culture and tradition of the people, and we will consistently seek ways to showcase our culture and positively impact the society.”
That grand red cap title-giving ceremony will be followed by a “Go! Be the Hero” campaign which looks to reward Nigerian men in recognition of their efforts and mission to be heroes. Also, as sponsors of the FIFA World Cup 2018, Hero will send the Super Eagles off to Russia with an unveiling of the world’s biggest football message written with people – “Eagles Be Fearless, Go Be The Hero.”
The campaign shows that Hero lager is truly being ‘heroic’ in its strides and new experiences for consumers. After all, when a man has been made a red cap chief, he has to embark on a new project to prove to his kinsmen that he is truly worthy of his new title. The World Cup campaign will serve Hero lager’s popularity in Nigeria positively and maybe one day, the beer will stake a claim for an Ozo title.
Giant beer company, AB InBev has revealed that it is committed to serving Nigerians with various beer brands at affordable prices.
In view of how big the Nigerian beer market is, the Marketing Manager of AB InBev, Mr Arne Bruse disclosed that consumers of beer will be able to buy some of the company’s beer brands at about ₦100 to ₦150.
Bruce, who spoke at a conference held at Radisson Blu Hotel, Lagos, added that the company had employed several strategies to better serve beer lovers in the country.
“We have great plans for our consumers in Nigeria. We want to grow, we are busy building our brewery, we are busy expanding our capacity and we are investing in infrastructures, we are hiring people. Nigeria is the biggest market for us on the continent, so it is definitely a focus area for the company,” Bruce said.
He noted several beer brands have already been strategically launched to cater to particular geography and culture within the country.
“If you look at the Western part of Nigeria, we have Trophy specifically produced for our consumers in that region. Unlike the West, we introduced Hero beer in the Eastern part of the country,” the Marketing Director said.
AB InBev is the world’s largest beer company by volume and sales, with over 400 beer brands to boot as of January 2017.
Since its merger with SABMiller, Anheuser-Busch InBev, AB InBev, has become the largest brewer in the world, and the Belgium company sees promise in the Nigerian market.
The company has been making a gradual entrance into the Nigerian market, following strong regional footprints already established by SABMiller who were already operating in the country.
According to a Reuters report, AB InBev is currently exploring ways to satisfy the Nigerian market’s insatiable thirst for beer.
With a $250 million brewery built in Shagamu, Ogun State set to be launched in the Q2 of this year, competition in Nigeria’s beer market is about to become more aggressive.
According to its Head of Africa Operations, Ricardo Tadeu, the company sees huge opportunities in Nigeria’s beer market being the most populous black nation in the world.
Also, Tadeu stated that Africa is projected to be an important growth driver for the global company in the next five to ten years.
“We have a clear strategy to keep a good level of growth in Africa based on developing our brands in different segments of the market. “Growth in African countries, excluding South Africa, was a “healthy growth rate in the mid-teens,” he said.
Spirit and wine brands are continually making in-roads into the country, but the Nigerian market is still very much in love with foamy cold beer.
To satisfy that huge thirst for beer, the world’s largest brewer’s Head of Africa Operations, Ricardo Tadeu told Reuters on Thursday that its new brewery will begin operations in the middle of this year.
“For the long term, in five to 10 years, Africa will be an important growth driver for the global company,” Tadeu told Reuters.
Tadeu held back words on the plant’s production capacity but considering Nigeria’s position as Africa’s most populous nation, AB InBev will certainly do justice to produce enough to boost the market here, and Africa in general.
“We have a clear strategy to keep a good level of growth in Africa based on developing our brands in different segments of the market,” Tadeu said.
Excluding South Africa, Tadeu revealed that other African countries maintained a“healthy growth rate in the mid-teens”. With that in mind, the Belgium-based brewer foresees its expected revenue and core profit (EBITDA) to gain massively again in 2018, with revenue per hectolitre rising by more than inflation and costs by less.
A savings of $381 million from its near $100 billion purchase of rival SABMiller, is a satisfactory garnish on the cocktail of a boosted in presence across Africa.
Get excited beer lovers because international beer brand, Budweiser is launching in Nigeria in 2018.
Brand owner, Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) is set to launch the premium lager into the Nigerian market as part of its long-term investment since taking over the business of SAB Miller.
AB InBev already owns the Hero and Trophy lager brands, which have recorded enormous sales in the past couple of years.
Interestingly, Budweiser might not have an official launch party like most other beverage brands in Nigeria. Recall how Hero Lager was introduced to the market? The brand capitalised late Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu’s heroic status in the East and launched the product during his burial. As a matter of fact, it was not a ‘launch’ per se, it was more of a massive release during the burial of the Biafran War hero.
With Nigeria’s Super Eagles qualifying for the FIFA World Cup in Russia, and Budweiser being official sponsors of the Mundial, our fingers are crossed regarding what sneaky marketing technique will be used to introduce the lager to Nigerians.
AB InBev’s decision to introduce Budweiser alongside Beck’s into the Nigerian market is hinged on creating stiff competition for Nigerian Breweries’ Heineken and Star Lager. Where does that point us? A triangular beer war between AB InBev, NB Plc, and Guinness Nigeria in the coming year.
Also, the merger between International Breweries Plc (based in Ilesha), Intafact Breweries Ltd (based in Onitsha), and Pabod Breweries Ltd (based in Port Harcourt) was completed early this year with the final company to be known as International Breweries Plc.
Budweiser’s launch coincides with the launch of a newly-completed “over $250 million” brewery in Sagamu by 2018.
“We are investing in a fourth brewery, a large brewery outside of Lagos, in the Sagamu area that will come online next year and it’s our largest brewery in Africa outside of South Africa,” said, Annabelle Degroot, Managing Director-designate of International Breweries Plc.
AB InBev acquired SAB Miller Nigeria, ex-owners of the three merged companies, in a deal reportedly valued at $106 billion in 2016.
Anheuser-Busch InBev NV is making a huge entrance into the Nigerian beer market in 2018, as it plans to make a stake in Africa’s second-largest beer market.
The news of having the largest producers of beer in the world in the Nigerian market will not sound melodious to Heineken-owned Nigerian Breweries and Diageo’s Guinness Nigeria Plc. However, the two biggest brewers will be geared up for the beer war as they look not to be taken unawares.
Considering the turbulent nature of the Nigerian market, many analysts are eagle-eyed on the plans AB InBev has on the ground to succeed. However, certain factors are in favour of the company who are not only here for the competitive beer market but looking at growing its investment in the country.
The Economy out of Recession
With the Nigerian economy out of recession, there is no better time for the company to invest in Nigeria. Christian Nouboue, On Trade Manager of Moet Hennessy in Nigeria, said that “the more the country comes out of recession, the more the GDP grows, which means higher employment, higher consumer income, and higher disposable income.”
Despite recent economic challenges, AB InBev’s business in Nigeria recorded double-digit growth over the last quarter. According to BussinessDay data, International Breweries shares have jumped 161 percent in the past year, Guinness Nigeria shares are up 19.79 percent while NB is up a mere 0.98 percent.
With that kind of growth, the brewer will be more confident in mounting a strong fight for a market takeover.
In October 2016, AB InBev, the world’s largest beer producer, completed a $106 billion takeover of SABMiller, the second largest. That merger meant that one in three beers that are consumed will be coming from the giant brewer. That merger also resulted in AB InBev taking over the business of SABMiller in Nigeria, which has led to the merger between International Breweries Plc (based in Ilesha), Intafact Breweries Ltd (based in Onitsha), and Pabod Breweries Ltd (based in Port Harcourt) which would be completed next year with the final company to be known as International Breweries Plc.
According to sources, AB InBev currently owns 75% of Intafact, 82.8% of Pabod and 72.2% of International Breweries. International Breweries Plc is listed on The Nigerian Stock Exchange and should be the leeway for the consolidated company to achieve its aim of becoming the 5th largest listed company on the exchange.
With a united front, which will also oversee productions in Ghana, the company will not only cut cost in operations but will also avoid any unforeseen delay in decision making.
Before the takeover by AB InBev, SABMiller was the third largest brewer in Nigeria after Heineken’s Nigerian Breweries and Diageo’s Guinness Nigeria.
Although it entered the Nigerian beer market late in 2009, it moved swiftly to acquire Pabod Breweries, makers of Grand lager beer, International Breweries, makers of Trophy lager, and in 2012, SABMiller established a $100 million brewery in Onitsha, which brews Hero lager.
That regional strategy by SABMiller has created the perfect in-road for AB InBev coming into the Nigerian beer market. This is coupled with the fact that its beers are about 40 percent cheaper than its rivals, which gives them an upper hand in terms of pricing.
Increasing Local Production
Managing Director-designate of International Breweries Plc, Annabelle Degroot, disclosed recently that the brewer would be completing an “over $250 million” brewery in Sagamu by 2018.
This plant is to serve the company’s target of increasing production lines at existing breweries.
“We are investing in a fourth brewery, a large brewery outside of Lagos, in the Sagamu area that will come on line next year and it’s our largest brewery in Africa outside of South Africa,” Ms. Degroot said.
“The exciting news is that we will be introducing some new brands, so we are very proud of our Hero brand and our Trophy brand, and those brands will grow because we like to focus on local, great brands.”
One important reason why AB InBev will be producing locally is to avoid the prohibitive tax placed on the importation of beer. This means to have their global brands in the market, they have to be produced locally in Nigeria. Thus the plant in Sagamu, and other plants as well, will not only continue to support the growth of the local brands but also enable their global brands to be present in the Nigerian market.
Introduction of Global Brands – Budweiser and Beck’s
AB InBev’s plan to hit the market with two of its global brands will create a strong fighting fort for the giant brewer. The company plans to introduce Budweiser and Beck’s into the Nigerian market, mainly as competition for Heineken and Star Lager of Nigerian Breweries. The company has already introduced Castle Lite into the market which NB Plc has tried to match with the introduction of Star Lite.
Budweiser is the leading brand for AB InBev globally, and it will spark the curiosity of Nigerians to try it out. It will be positioned to knock off Heineken Lager in the premium beer category. For Beck’s, this is more like a re-introduction as it was once brewed by Champion Breweries in Uyo, partly owned by Nigerian Breweries. Beck’s will give Budweiser added support in the international brand category for the company.
AB InBev’s Sneaky Marketing Strategy
The manner in which SABMiller sneaked up on Nigeria’s biggest brewer, NB Plc, is no cheerful news to the AB InBev’s competitors in the beer market.
Rather than go with the usual fanfare that follows the launch of a new product, the brand capitalised on the heroic status of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu in the East and launched the product during his burial. It was not actually a ‘launch’, it was more like a massive release during the burial of the Biafran War hero. From then on, it found love with the people and it had to take the release of Life Lager by Nigerian Breweries to curb the harm it was doing to other brands in the market.
It is sneaky strategies like that that has kept NB Plc and Diageo’s Guinness on their toes, as they warm up to the beer war analysts have envisaged for 2018.
Bloomberg reported last year that AB InBev was cutting 3% of its workforce in three years after its takeover of SABMiller, which amounts to over 5,000 staff. This is in line with the company’s global plans to save up to $1.4bn annually.
In that same light, the company is renowned for its penny-pinching policies which have seen to it that there are no free beers on its plants, no private offices for top executives, no lavish parties, and no hideaways at high-end hotels. With the money saved on these luxuries and staff reduction, AB InBev will have enough cash in its armour to match the fierce competition it expects from Nigerian Breweries in Nigeria.
Nigerian beer brand, Hero Lager will soon be exported to other countries across the globe after Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) announced its plan to introduce African beer brands to its markets around the world on Wednesday.
AB InBev is hoping to make the best of its takeover of SabMiller by expanding its African market, as well as the global reach of its brands.
Head of AB InBev’s African Operations, Ricardo Tadeu, said: “There are so many very unique African brands and I think it is time to sell African beers to the greater market.
“There is huge potential for these brands to be exported.”
The company chose eight of its most popular brands within Africa as the pioneer set to be exported, with Nigeria’s Hero Lager included among other brands like Castle Lager from South Africa, Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro.
On the other hand, the beverage giant will also introduce global brands like Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona to the African market.
Estimating that by 2023, 65 million Africans would reach the legal drinking age, the company sees it as an opportunity to increase beer consumption in some African markets where annual consumption average reaches around 10 litres.
AB InBev has been spurred on by the success of the Hero brand in Nigeria and Sorghum-based Chibuku in several African countries.
Tadeu also revealed that the brewer plans to build a new plant in Nigeria that could cost as much as $400m. “We are prioritizing what we need to do in Africa, rather than trying to find new things,” Tadeu said.
Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (abbreviated as AB InBev) is a multinational Belgian-Brazilian beverage and brewing company headquartered in Leuven, Belgium. It is the world’s largest brewer and has a 25 percent global market share.Anheuser-Busch InBev SA engages in the provision of beverages products. Its activities include manufacturing, marketing and distribution of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Anheuser-Busch InBev NV is set to merge with SABMiller.
Anheuser-Busch InBev NV’s roughly $108 billion deal to buy SABMiller PLC has been cleared by regulators in South Africa, with the world’s largest brewer on Thursday saying it is “well on track” to close the acquisition in the second half of this year.
The South African competition tribunal has approved of the merger, and this means that the next step to make the takeover of SABMiller plc by AB InBev official, is approval from regulators in China and the US.
In recent weeks, AB InBev took a series of steps to push the deal through in South Africa. The company pledged to create a $69 million investment fund in South Africa and promised that no employees in the country would be made redundant as a result of the merger. In April, AB InBev said the investment fund would support farmers, local manufacturing jobs, and the reduction of harmful alcohol use in South Africa.
Those moves helped the company get the needed approval from the South Africa Competition commission last month, leaving it needing just the tribunal’s nod which it has now secured. The deal if approved by the U.S and China will create the world’s largest brewer, with a nearly 30% market share, which is an indication of the huge profits the company that results from the merger can potentially make.
AB InBev in got approval from the European Union in May. This was after it agreed to shed nearly all of SABMiller’s European assets. Also , to appease U.S regulators and get their approval , AB InBev has agreed to sell SABMiller’s interest in MillerCoors LLC to joint -venture partner Molson Coors Brewing Co. In China, it has said it would sell SABMiller’s interest in the joint venture known as CR Snow to China Resources Beer Holdings Co.
If this merger does happen, it has the potential to revolutionise the entire brewing industry.
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