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Global malt beverage market growing by 42%

Source:Ringier Food

Date Published:2/19/2015 03:02:03 PM

The MENA region posts strongest growth at 76% on the back of robust demand for clear malt

THE Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are driving growth in the global malt beverage industry, which has been expanding by 42% over the past five years, according to a new report from Canadean.

The MENA region, which sells only unfermented, clear malt, is currently the fastest-growing market for clear malt beverages with a growth rate of 76%. Volume sales in the region have been doubling in the last five years.

With alcoholic products being prohibited in most MENA countries, the market research firm forecasts continued strong uptake for malt beverages in the years ahead. To ensure sustained growth, however, particularly in markets as restricted as MENA, manufacturers have to innovate and keep consumers interested, noted Canadean beverage analyst Michael Ramsell.

“Malt brands will stay innovative by offering clear malt in a diverse range of flavours such as peach, pomegranate, and raspberry. Such flavours are already offered by Fayrouz and Moussy, regional malt brands owned by Heineken and Carlsberg, Mr Ramsell added.

Africa also experienced strong market growth, according to the Canadean report. The continent posted 62% growth in the last five years. Nigeria, currently the world’s largest malt market, accounted for 74% of malt sales in Africa.

Dark malt, which is brewed using roasted barley to yield a much darker colour, dominates malt sales in Africa. The drink is usually marketed at children and working class consumers who prefer sweet-tasting beverages, said Mr Ramsell.

“Clear malts have become more popular, however, after being introduced as an adult beverage in an attempt to attract a more affluent and wider audience," he further stated.

Dark malt is likewise the prevailing malt beverage drink in Latin America, where 100% of sales go to dark malts.

Sales in Latin America going flat

Slowing sales in the LATAM region resulted in only 4% growth since 2009. Venezuela and Colombia drive the industry in LATAM, respectively accounting for 33% and 36% of sales.

"The poor economic performance of both countries has slowed the malt drinks market in Latin America, meaning manufacturers need to innovate and branch out to different markets,” Mr Ramsell said.

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