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H.B. Fuller Taps into Africa's Microbrewery Boom

Posted 10/06/2017 by Tom Meek, Business Director, Africa

Recently, Zion Market Research published a report regarding the global beer market, stating that “the global beer market was valued at approximately USD 530.00 billion in 2016 and expected to reach approximately USD 750.00 billion by 2022, growing at a CAGR of around 6.00% between 2017 and 2022.”

The report attributed “changing lifestyle(s) coupled with increasing disposable income across the globe” as the major market growth drivers in the coming years, and even stated that “an increase in a number of local breweries is expected to have a positive impact on the beer industry,” specifically with regards to microbreweries: “As a result of ease of setting up, microbreweries are expected to register noticeable growth during the forecast period.”

In Africa specifically, microbreweries are emerging as a result of changing consumer tastes. The craft beer market in Africa is growing rapidly. In fact, one of the reasons craft breweries are so successful is because beer is increasingly popular, reasonably cheap to make, and does not require specialized knowledge to create.

Reasons for the Microbrewery Rise, Challenges Faced

There are many reasons to suggest why the microbrewery industry has really taken off, including the fact that beer is reasonably cheap to make and there has been a stronger desire for quality and demand for premium products. Furthermore, an increasing number of health conscious consumers are opting for beer made from sorghum, which is gluten free.

There are also several challenges faced by the microbrewery industry, given the increasing demand, including the high cost of energy on the African continent, changing infrastructure with regards to importing raw materials given delays at the port, poor packaging, the sometimes lack of availability of raw materials and their price fluctuation, and the overall supply chain and distribution of the beer.

Microbreweries in South Africa

Inspired by an international boom for local, independent microbreweries, the business of craft beer has taken off in South Africa especially, as growing numbers of small producers are experimenting with styles and techniques to satisfy a rising thirst for new flavors and novel brews. According to Standard Bank, the South African super-premium beer market grew as much as 35 percent in 2016.

The growth of microbreweries in South Africa is massive, doubling year-over-year, and still the market is nearly completely untapped there at this time. Because microbreweries are small in size, they struggle to get to market and supply the demand. And while numbers are constantly increasing, the breweries in South Africa are producing small amounts. Figures suggest that the total annual production of microbrewed beer in South Africa is around 20 million liters, which means it still accounts for less than one percent of the beer market there.

H.B. Fuller Microbrewery Solutions

H.B. Fuller is in a prime position to help existing and new manufacturers capitalize on the microbrewery growth, some of which includes:

  • Shifting to one way or returnable glass bottles in packaging (and subsequent use of H.B. Fuller’s labeling adhesives)

  • Utilizing glass bottles, thereby enabling their market size to grow because they can distribute their beer locally and export easily

  • Exploring options of canning and utilizing H.B. Fuller’s tray erection or case forming adhesives

  • Using H.B. Fuller’s hot melt adhesives and hot melt cleaners for microbreweries with distillers


With smarter packaging, H.B. Fuller enables microbreweries to increase marketability of their beers through excellent pack dress and labeling. Furthermore H.B. Fuller’s packaging hot melt adhesives protects the product throughout the supply chain. Learn more about H.B. Fuller’s packaging adhesives.

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