Beverage Industry

Focus On Africa

September 1, 2006
Focus On Africa

Tea and coffee are the traditional beverages of choice for many consumers in Africa, so it’s no wonder that manufacturers have recently launched new variants that stand out from the crowd. These launches endeavor to appeal to consumers' growing demand for healthier food and drinks, and are often designed for easy on-the-go consumption.
Unilever has launched the Lipton Premium Tea Pods in South Africa, bringing a product that has taken off in the United States to a country new to the concept of tea (or coffee) pods. The pods are designed to be used on single-serve home brewing machines, with each pod producing a single cup of tea. The launch of this premium range highlights a growing demand for products that are not only quick to prepare and single-use, but also use upscale ingredients.
A more conventional hot beverage recently has been launched in South Africa by Ciro; however, Ciro Instant Coffee is different from traditional coffee in that it is aimed at a very specific audience. The coffee targets 25 to 35 year olds, an age range that the company believes has not had sufficient focus from the coffee industry, and to which it aims to appeal through the coffee's bright metallic packaging and formulations. Ciro claims that Crema also “fits the easy drinking taste profile of the younger target market.”
In addition to tea and coffees designed for convenience, a number of beverages have been launched in South Africa that promote health benefits. These include Parmalat Iced Tea and Freshpak Rooibos Ice Tea, which both claim to be high in antioxidants and free from caffeine. These two claims were used, either on their own or together, on nearly one-third of new tea and coffee launches in South Africa in the first six months of 2006, demonstrating that South Africans are as similarly concerned with their health as their European and American counterparts.
Iced tea and coffee have been particularly popular in South Africa in recent years, with Productscan Online reporting that more than 30 percent of tea and coffee launches in the country in 2005 were sold in a cold ready-to-drink format; this is up from less than 20 percent of products five years previously. Although popular in Asia where it has long been brewed for its health benefits, and increasingly carving out a niche in the United States and Europe, green tea has only recently taken off in Africa, with Egypt the biggest market. In Egypt, green tea is beginning to become popular with consumers, with two recent launches being Superfine Tea's Mint Green Tea, and El Jawhara Tea's Green Tea, both of which are sold in a loose form.
Vicky McCrorie is a senior editor for Datamonitor, a New York-based global provider of online data, research and analysis. For more information, contact Anne Bourgeois at pr@datamonitor.com, 212/686-7400 or visit www.datamonitor.com