TheTavern Tatler

News for the liquor trade

Heineken lays a foundation stone in Mozambique

Heineken has laid the foundation stone of its first brewery in Mozambique in the presence of His Excellency Max Tonela, Minister of Trade and Industry.

This new brewery, incorporating the latest technologies, represents a US$100 million (€85 million) investment. Located in the province of Maputo, between the Marracuene and Manhiça districts, the brewery will have a production capacity of 0.8 million hectolitres and will brew high-quality beers for the domestic market. The first bottle of beer is expected to come off the production line in the first half of 2019.

The South African spirits market has been turned on its head. Over the last decade, whisky was the star performer and taking volumes from the brandy market.

Heineken Mozambique started its activities in 2016 through a sales and marketing office, importing international beers including Heineken®, Amstel, Amstel Lite and Sagres to offer more choice to Mozambican consumers. The construction of Heineken’s first brewery is a major step forward for the company’s presence in the country.

With this significant investment, Heineken Mozambique is expected to create 200 direct jobs and support additional indirect jobs through its entire value chain.

Aligned with the Heineken ambition of sourcing 60% of its agricultural raw materials in Africa by 2020, Heineken Mozambique will explore the possibility of locally sourcing the raw materials it will need to produce its beers. Two of the objectives of this project will be to improve crop yields, as well as the capabilities and living standards of Mozambican farmers, contributing to the economic development of the country.

Nuno Simes, Heineken Mozambique’s general manager, says: “With Heineken’s passion for quality, our new brewery will deliver high-quality beers to Mozambique according to the international standards of The Heineken Company. We look forward to continue to provide enjoyment to Mozambican consumers with our brands.”

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Brandy sales volumes rise

South Africa makes some of the world’s finest potstill brandies, yet for the past decade, local consumers had been increasingly raising their glasses to whisky – until now.

In 2006, whisky overtook brandy as South Africa’s favourite spirit, but the decline in volume and market share for this homegrown spirit made from grapes has finally turned a corner, and brandy’s popularity is on the rise again. Nielson Statistics revealed an increase in volume of 4.7% for brandy and cognac between 2016 and 2017 in the off-consumption market.

“The South African spirits market has been turned on its head. Over the last decade, whisky was the star performer and taking volumes from the brandy market. This changed between 2014 and 2015, with whisky losing volumes and brandy volumes starting to stabilise,” says SA Wine Industry Information and Systems researcher, Elias Holtzkampf.

Distell, the country’s largest brandy producer, saw positive growth with a total volume increase of more than 5% in the same period. In the previous financial year, sales of premium brand Van Ryn’s grew by 22% while Viceroy Five Year Old grew by 70%, showing growth on both ends of the market.

“Retail prices of popular mainstream spirits, including imported big-brand whiskies, have become increasingly expensive as the foreign exchange rate takes a beating. Aside from the excellent value for money that brandy offers, South Africa’s finest potstill brandies are on par with the best cognacs from France, and production of our blended brandies enjoy some of the strictest quality control regulations in the world. It’s no surprise that we are seeing brandy return to form,” says Distell Spirits ambassador, Nick Holdcroft.

Brandy’s arrested decline in consumption is welcome news for South Africa’s agricultural sector. It takes five litres of wine to produce one litre of brandy, and South Africa’s wine harvest in 2016 totalled 1 098 million litres, of which 384 million litres was used for brandy production. A thriving brandy market is important for many wine farmers, who count on it to provide sustainability and cash flow.

The popularity of brandy among new markets continues to grow, especially within female and black urban consumers.

Alcohol harm reduction a priority for the Association for Alcohol Responsibility and Education (

Renewed efforts by the Association for Alcohol Responsibility and Education ( to reduce alcohol related harm in South Africa have been well received by its stakeholders, members and the media. With the re-launch of the organisation, the need to create a national culture of responsible drinking has realigned efforts to create a generation of South Africans that is free from alcohol abuse.

The commitment to creating this generation, took the form of a relaunch of the Industry Association for Responsible Alcohol Use (ARA) into the Association for Alcohol Responsibility and Education ( The rebranding symbolises the intrinsic purpose of the to drive collective efforts focused on creating a change in the country’s drinking behaviour.

“As a uniquely new organisation, the Association for Alcohol Responsibility and Education or, we accept that we cannot continue to do the same thing and expect different results. We accept that we have a pivotal part to play in building and nurturing an alcohol harm- free South Africa. This will allow us to not lose another generation of South Africans to the scourge of alcohol abuse,” said Ingrid Louw, CEO of is well placed to re-write the narrative of alcohol abuse and misuse in this country. Its role is to support business and society to achieve deep and sustainable social change for the greater good. Through the adoption of an evidence based approach, the work being done will not only bring South Africa closer to global responses as it will have direct implications for national drinking practices as well as the public’s responsiveness to initiatives. 

“Many of us do not consider ourselves alcohol abusers and yet alcohol responsibility and education remains a necessary priority in South Africa. As we understand that drinking responsibly is subjective as the parameters of this often come down to an individual’s preferences and right to choose.

This co-ordinated and collaborative effort is supported by members who recognise the importance of creating a culture of responsible drinking. The nation will be educated about how much they drink and how they can do so responsibly.

 “This multi-stakeholder approach makes it imperative to ensure that everyone is aligned and working towards a single goal. We call upon our members and stakeholders to work with us. This is a journey that will see us not only disrupting the current trends but also turning the tide on alcohol abuse and misuse. it will also make us all responsible for the better!” concluded Louw.