The two markets have seen an increased appetite for flavoured beer products such as Redd’s, Brutal Fruit, Sarita, Flying Fish, among others that are manufactured under SAB Miller, as well as Savanna, Hunters and Esprit, manufactured by Distell Group Limited, a multinational brewing and beverage company, based in South Africa.
In a recent interview with the Windhoek Observer, NBL Managing Director, Wessie van der Westhuizen, suggested that the beer maker might consider introducing flavoured beer if the need arises.
“Flavoured beer is part of product innovation, and whether it is a category that we will get involved with, we are not too sure right now,” Van der Westhuizen said.
“Heineken do have flavoured beer products globally available. So, if that need is there, it’s either we innovate our own liquid and our own brand or we take one of the Heineken-flavoured beers that they have and plug that into the market either in South Africa or Namibia; we will still have to decide.”
Contacted for further comment this week, O&L Group Manager Corporate Communications, Roux-ché Locke, said it was not possible to divulge any information related to projects that their team was working on.
She, however, said that in line with NBL’s vision, which is to be the most progressive and inspiring company, the Namibia Stock Exchange listed entity prides itself in being an innovative and consumer-centric business.
“We therefore allocate resources to exploring and identifying emerging trends both local and global, understanding changing consumption behaviours of our consumers and gaining an in-depth understanding of the drivers of choice behind these.
“Innovation is integral to the future growth ambitions of NBL and as such we are committed to meet the evolving needs of our consumers by creating successful and sustainable innovations,” Locke said.
NBL has been innovative in the past few years, introducing new beer brands onto the Namibian market, including Tafel Lite and King Larger, while also acquiring Camelthorn Brewing at the beginning of 2014.
Without giving details, van der Westhuizen said the decision to purchase the then financially struggling micro brewer was finally paying dividends.
“We bought the Camelthorn brand about three-and-a-half years ago and currently we are looking at some very exciting things on that brand and it is doing very well in South Africa right now.
“As for Namibia, craft beer is still relatively small, almost non-existent, but it is a growing trend. The bigger opportunity for Camelthorn and what we are currently enjoying now is the growth that we have seen in South Africa.”
Camelthorn produces organic craft beers including brands such as Weissbier, Light Weissbier, Helles, Gold, Red Ale and Sundowner.