Lager beer volume grew by 27% over prior year to 1 543 000 hectolitres, driven by the mainstream segment led by Castle Lager. Our campaign under “It All Comes Together with a Castle” resonates with the consumers. The brand extends a passionate invitation to friends to join hands in creating something more powerful than their individual efforts.
We continued to give a fresh look to our brands with the relaunch of both Zambezi Lager and Golden Pilsener, which are now also available in the 440ml can. The label of the Zambezi Lager depicts our iconic Victoria Falls on the majestic Zambezi River and amplifies the scenic outdoor life in our national parks and leisure spots. “The view is Better” with the “Dawn of a New ERA”, celebrated with trumpets from the giant elephants that stroll our game parks. Golden Pilsener maintained its premium credentials with the revised Go 4 Gold theme which implores our consumers to bring out the best in themselves.
Castle Lite has taken route with the Unlock ExtraCold refreshment proposition. The brand registered a phenomenal 120% volume growth during the year. The innovative “Just Add Ice Box” and the branded cooler box spurred outdoor activity.
The manufacturing platform was stable and responded well to the spike in demand in the second half of the year despite the notable mix challenges of brands and packs. The upgrades to the canning and glass packaging lines undertaken during the year were most opportune as they immediately released capacity.
The balanced portfolio of brands and packs engages a wide spectrum of our consumers through marketing activities that promote consumer closeness, bonding, social development and outright pride in one’s country. This aligns well with the corporate theme of “TOGETHERness for a BRIGHTER and better world.”
OUR BEER BRANDS IN THE COMMUNITY
The Company maintains its leadership in the development of sport and the arts through various brand sponsorships and community projects.
Soccer remains Zimbabwe’s premier sport hence brand Castle Lager remained the proud sponsor of the beautiful game through the Premier Soccer League which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2017. Castle Lager extended its reach by supporting the country in hosting the International Cricket World Cup qualifiers.
The Castle Tankard Horse Race held its 56th edition in May 2018, maintaining its stature as the most prestigious grade one sponsored race since its launch in 1904.
As part of its efforts to bring friends together, Castle Lager hosted the second edition of the Castle Lager National Braai Day at Old Hararians Sports Club (Harare) in October 2017, an event that attracted more than thirty thousand consumers. The brand donated 15 tonnes of meat to the country’s two main referral hospitals (Harare & Mpilo Hospitals) to match the braai day consumption.
Carling Black Label consumers continue to be exposed to the flagship soccer properties run by the brand in South Africa. The brand is the key sponsor of the National Pool tournament, a sport that has a rising following.
Other key events supported by our stable of brands are the Zimbabwe Open Golf tournament co-sponsored by Golden Pilsener, the Kariba Invitational Tiger Fishing Tournament and the Victoria Falls Carnival under the banner of Zambezi Lager. Zambezi has also partnered the Zimbabwe Cheetahs 7s Rugby Team.
Castle Lite has a modern, fun and innovative personality that makes it an obvious choice for the guy who is going places on a mission to improve his life. Castle Lite continued to bring new experiential events to consumers with a focus on music. The popular street block parties, which took a breather this year, are set to continue in years ahead.
BOOSTING COMMUNITIES THROUGH LOCAL INGREDIENTS
SORGHUM FOR EAGLE LAGER. The company runs the sorghum input scheme to grow the sweet red sorghum and other low tannin varieties for the Eagle Lager brand. The brand connects with Zimbabwe’s rural small-scale farmers who are the main beneficiaries of the scheme. This partnership allows for local sourcing of inputs, empowering rural farmers and providing consumers with a quality refreshing beer at an affordable price.
A SMART BARLEY PARTNERSHIP
The Company runs a successful barley contracting scheme which ensures that our beer brands use the high-quality Zimbabwean barley varieties. The barley feeds into the malting plant at Kwekwe to produce barley malt for both domestic and export markets. The 2017 contract only produced 7 522 tonnes as some of the farmers were attracted to the government sponsored winter wheat scheme which paid above market producer prices. The barley intake was of high malting quality, demonstrating the benefits of the agronomic support offered by the company to farmers. We have partnered the barley farmers to grow maize during the summer season to improve farm viability.