Ugandans Drink More Booze in Covid-19 Era, Brewers Report

For Uganda alone, net sales (total sales revenues less the cost of sales), have grown by 13% in the second half of 2020, compared to the second half of 2019.

Beer sales in Uganda grew by at least 13% over the second half of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.

Although according to unaudited financial statements from the East African Breweries volumes sold by the group (Uganda Breweries, Kenya Breweries and Serengeti Breweries of Tanzania) were slightly lower (5%) between July and December, compared to the same period in 2019 (before the Covid-19 outbreak), net sales for Uganda alone grew by 13%.

In Tanzania the party was even bigger as their beer net sales grew by 17%.

Nile Breweries has also been enjoying roaring sales, as confirmed by David Valencia, the country director, though he did not give details of the figures.

The companies expected to give the figures for production and consumption in the final end-of-year audited financial statements later.

Both Nile Breweries and East African Breweries Ltd say their sales for the year 2020 were at first highly affected especially in the period April to June as the governments in the region instituted tough restrictions on alcohol consumption. But the second half starting July recorded a recovery in sales that was not only steady but grew further to outstrip the previous year’s consumption.

Interestingly, bars and clubs remain officially closed, in Uganda, which means that people have developed new drinking habits like drinking at home. To an extent too, the authorities have relaxed the enforcement on of bar/club closure.

Tanzania never underwent the restrictions on social and economic activities as happened in other East African countries. Tough this explains were beer sales did not fall in the first half of the year, it may not explain why the grew so fast in the second half.

Overall, EABL is bullish about the future, predicting a good rebound over the next 24 months.

Officials in both companies say there is also a new market trend in consumer behavior over the last one year, with more and more consumers preferring non-alcoholic drinks or drinks with lower alcoholic content, which is forcing the brewers to also adjust their production patterns.“During this unwelcome pandemic, our top priority has been to safeguard the health and well being of our people and support our communities, while taking necessary action to protect our business," says EABL Group Managing Director, Andrew Cowan. "Across the […]

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