A study has shown that wine consumption in Africa is rising five times faster than the global average. Africans gulped down a total of 864 million bottles of wine in 2013 - a rise of 17.3% in five years. That remains relatively modest for a continent of 1.1 billion people.
But the market is forecast to grow even more as lifestyles evolve in the wake of African growth that has outstripped global GDP by nearly 3% over the past 15 years.
According to the World Health Organisation, wealthier countries in Africa tend to drink mainly beer. Spirits aren’t very popular in Africa, but those countries that do the “hard drinks” tend to be island or coastal countries, while those that grow a lot maize, millet or sorghum will mostly do traditional brews from grain.
South African wine producers are looking to the African market to pick up sales after a sluggish year. Angola and Nigeria are firmly in their sights as the producers double their efforts to cater for Angolans’ thirst for sparkling wine and Nigerian demand for bottles of red.
The aim is to more than double annual sales growth to 5% in Nigeria, boosting profits from Africa’s largest economy. Exports of mostly red wine to Nigeria stand at 4.5 million litres a year, while Angola buys 6 million litres, of which 5 million litres are bubbly wine. Exporters also aim to increase sales in Uganda, Kenya and Ghana.