According to the Wisevoter digital platform’s 2023 ranking of beer consumption worldwide, Cameroon is in 4th place in the CEMAC region, with a score of 2.36 litres per capita.
In Cameroon, the brewing industry is driven by majors that have been established on the local market for several decades. The French giant Castel, via its subsidiary Société anonyme des Boissons du Cameroun (Sabc), dominates the market with over 89% following the purchase of Guinness Cameroun’s 15% stake. The Union camerounaise des brasseries (UCB), owned by brewer Kadji Defosso, comes second with around 10%, and various brewery producers hold 1%.
This results indicates IEquatorial Guinea precedes Cameroon by (3.83 L/capita), Congo (5.11 L/capita) and Gabon (5.31 L/capita). Worldwide, the 4 countries mentioned above rank 72nd, 30th, 8th and 6th respectively.
The brewery industry in Cameroon is boosted by France’s Castel, with 250 subsidiaries and 37,000 employees, is Africa’s number two beer group. According to the French newspaper Les Echos, the group first carved out an empire for itself in African beer, where it now generates 85% of its turnover. As part of its new strategy to increase the density of its activities across the continent, Castel finalised the acquisition of Guinness Cameroon on 28 March 2023.
The CEMAC competition authorities have thus formalised a CFAF 300 billion deal signed in 2022 between Diageo (parent company of Guinness Cameroon) and Castel. The acquisition will be a lever for growth for the group, as “it will ultimately create a large number of highly beneficial opportunities for the sector, whether in terms of jobs, industrial synergies or cultural cross-fertilisation. All of which will strengthen and enrich our vision, our mission and our values“, says Stephane Descazeaud.
UCB, a subsidiary of the Kadji group, has a market share of around 10%. Its activities revolve around the bottling, distribution and marketing of beer under the Khadji, K44 and King brands, energy drinks, soda in various flavours such as grapefruit, lemonade, grenadine, orange and cola, and mineral water under its Madiba brand.
In a highly competitive market, Brasseries Samuel Foyou, the newcomer, is betting on the quality of its first product, “Krystal drink”, which is already available in supermarkets.