Bralirwa, the country’s biggest brewery and soft drink company, has decided to withdraw its beer brand Huza. The withdrawal of the beer brand, which was introduced in November 2016, has signalled a grim outlook for the company’s beverages market, as it faces increasing competition from Skol Brewery ltd.
According to Bralirwa’s management, Huza beer has been taken off the market after poor performance, which had not been anticipated.
“After looking at the meagre performance of Huza, we decided to discontinue producing Huza,” Merid Demissie, the managing director of Bralirwa, told Rwanda Today.
According to the recently released annual report of Bralirwa, the company posted a 14.6 per cent increase in volumes traded in the 2018 financial year.
Skol Brewery Ltd increased its production capacity by 16 per cent and took up 25 per cent of the market shares.
Bralirwa’s report showed traded volumes of beverage in the last year, increased to 1,790,000 hectolitres from the previous year’s 1,562,000.
According to Bralirwa’s management, this growth was boosted by a good performance by the Mutzig premium beer brand.
In a bid to attract more customers, brewers have been launching new alcohol varieties. In November last year, Bralirwa launched local production of the Heineken brand, adding on to its existing six brands, as a way of leveraging on the regional market.
However, Bralirwa said the strained relations between Rwanda and its neighbours Burundi and Uganda were affecting its export business, which account for five per cent of its production.
A mini survey by Rwanda Today in several parts of the country found that several retailers and distributors had stopped stocking Turbo King Beer due to decreasing demand.
Bralirwa’s 2019 outlook shows that the company expects to deliver top line growth driven partly by new brands of beverages expected in the market soon while also maintaining the cost management reduction course to have products’ price unaffected.