Through investment into consumer and market insights NBL gains an understanding of global and local consumer and beverage trends that impact our portfolio and ensure our responses have relevance and thus ultimately drive growth.
Trends relevant to our portfolio
Global consumption of alcohol in decline
Consumers still seek the diverse and adult taste profiles associated with drinking alcohol, which leads to an increasing demand for low and non-alcoholic beverages.
There is a sustained decline in the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Increasing numbers of consumers were reducing or eliminating their alcohol intake in the years leading up to 2020.
We continue diversifying our beverage portfolio to include non-alcoholic drinks, including softs and water.
Our low and non-alcoholic beverages cater to the demand for lower alcohol options. Currently, we are the only beverage manufacturer with a locally produced Radler in the Namibian market. During the year, we launched the limited-edition Tafel Radler Grapefruit, the McKane Dry Lemon and our Windhoek Non-Alcoholic, all of which either met or exceeded business expectations. We continue our investment into our softs and water brands to entrench them as a brand of choice.
Sustainability and brand ethics
Consumers are more aware of the impact that their consumption habits have on themselves or on society. This leads to them demanding greater empathy from the brands they consume. They expect transparency and ethical behaviour from brands, and the sentiment is increased by social media commentary. If a brand does not meet their expectations, they will move to one that does.
This is a global phenomenon. As a purpose-driven Company, we have always considered this important, and we have historically built our brands off shared value propositions.
NBL is committed to giving back and responding to consumer values that resonate with our own. We make concerted efforts to reduce our carbon footprint, while using water and other inputs responsibly.
Our brands focus their sponsorship, donation and social investment support in areas of impact, for example soccer, conservation and skills development. We strictly adhere to our Responsible Marketing Code to ensure we do not target underage consumers through our advertising of our alcohol brands and sponsorships. By choice, we apply this to our non-alcoholic offerings where the mother-brands are alcoholic in nature.
The long-running premiumisation trend in most global markets continues. Consumers have a desire for authenticity with a clearly identified local origin, or a need for originality resulting from greater consumer experiences. Locally, it also entails aspects of socio-economic development and aspirational drinking associated with higher-end brands and price levels.
We segment and continually evolve our portfolio based on consumer needs with brands and formats suited to all occasions and lifestyles thereby providing choice to consumers. This includes craft and limited-edition brews.
Windhoek Lager was Namibia’s first premium beer and is still perceived as NBL’s most premium and aspirational brand. Heineken is Namibia’s preferred imported premium brand and rewards consumers by bringing global sponsorship like UEFA to Namibia through local viewing experiences.
Consumers continue to demand variety and thereby expand their repertoires. Rather than being loyal to a single brand, consumers are drinking a variety of products and are increasingly looking for new and innovative offerings.
Our track record of innovation and new product launches caters for the experimental nature of consumers looking for novelty. We expand and refresh our brands through new flavours, new packaging and exciting campaigns that offer amazing experiences. When innovating, we consider consumer research and insights, such as a desire for healthier products, by reducing sugar content. We continuously explore more variety, better tasting and high-quality products.
Move towards value segment
Namibian consumers’ disposable income is under pressure, more so than ever. They seek value and look for discount options among trusted brands that do not compromise on quality. As beverages compete for a shrinking share of the consumers’ wallets, value segments grow at an accelerated pace.
To remain competitive and offer consumers better value, we continue to manage costs throughout the value chain. Brands such as King Lager, which falls in the value segment, ensures that we offer a quality clear beer at an affordable price.