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高粱啤酒:专为非洲酿造,自然风味更佳

高粱啤酒:专为非洲酿造,自然风味更佳

Carolyn Whelan 2011年06月29日
世界第二大啤酒酿造厂商计划在非洲当地采购酿酒原料,并以此抢占非洲啤酒市场。用高粱酿造的啤酒,有人要来一杯吗?

    一个男人走进酒吧,点了一杯啤酒。不过,这可不是英国伦敦的酒吧,或者美国密尔沃基的体育酒吧——这里是乌干达的一家酒吧。而他喝的啤酒虽然与米勒牌啤酒(Miller)出自同一家公司,但原料却是非洲本地非常常见的一种谷物——高粱。

    数个世纪以来,非洲贫民窟的居民一直通过发酵香蕉、菠萝和棕榈等当地农作物自酿啤酒,追求廉价的饮酒乐趣。然而这种啤酒有些毒性极强,时常有人因此送医治疗。现在,南非米勒酿酒公司希望非洲的私酒酿造者能放弃自酿啤酒,购买他们生产的啤酒。

    作为世界第二大酿酒公司,南非米勒酿酒公司(SABMiller)正在乌干达建立高科技小型酿酒厂和小型供应链,从乌干达、坦桑尼亚和赞比亚等地的农民那里收购原料,比如高粱,期待能在这一处女地开拓新的市场。非洲出产的这种高粱营养丰富,通常用来制作糖浆或作为饲料。而提供原材料的农民也有望成为米勒啤酒的消费者。

    在产地购买原材料可以减少供应链的价格波动、降低物流、库存和进口关税成本——因此价格要比大麦啤酒低20%。根据南非米勒酿酒公司的测算,非洲本土化啤酒市场规模将是传统啤酒市场的三倍。除南非之外,非洲其他地区人均每年仅消费7公升啤酒,这还不包括本土化啤酒;而美国的人均年啤酒消费量为77公升,很显然,非洲市场蕴藏着巨大的商机。

    2002年,南非米勒酿酒公司的子公司尼罗河啤酒厂(Nile Breweries)首次研制出高粱啤酒配方(并获得更低的高粱啤酒税),成为进入该低端市场的首批啤酒厂商。目前,乌干达的所有啤酒中,35%为尼罗河公司的鹰牌(Eagle)高粱啤酒,该款啤酒在坦桑尼亚、赞比亚、津巴布韦和斯威士兰也有销售。

    其他啤酒制造商也不甘落后,纷纷出牌。喜力公司(Heineken)和迪阿吉奥公司(Diageo)虽然没有用高粱全面代替昂贵的大麦作为酿酒原料,但从2008年开始,这两家公司也同样在加纳、塞拉利昂和喀麦隆推出了高粱啤酒。由于大麦等进口原料的价格飞涨,而南非等主要市场又出现消费停滞,因此,这些公司正在非洲大陆其他地区为家酿啤酒寻找新的市场机会。

    摩根士丹利投资公司(Morgan Stanley)前沿新兴市场基金(Frontier Emerging Markets fund)经理蒂姆•德林考尔解释道:“由于大麦价格高居不下,生产高粱啤酒可以为啤酒厂商带来利润。只要公司能够降低成本,并保证质量,这样的决策就是积极的。”

推动经济增长

    小型供应链还将推动当地经济的发展。据法国欧洲工商管理学院(INSEAD)的研究显示,2007年,尼罗河啤酒厂为乌干达经济带来了9,200万美元的附加价值,并带动了约44,000乌干达人的就业,主要涉及农业、制造业、零售业或经销等行业。(约有9,000名农民向啤酒厂出售高粱)。而且,作为乌干达第四大纳税企业,该公司的税收贡献弥补了之前因黑市交易而损失的份额。

 

    A guy walks into a bar and orders a pint of beer. But this isn't a pub in London or a sports bar in Milwaukee -- it's a watering hole in Uganda. And the beer, from the same company that brews Miller, is made from sorghum, a grain common to Africa.

    For centuries, Africa's slum dwellers have scored cheap buzzes by fermenting local crops like banana, pineapple and palm into home brews, some of which is so toxic it sends drinkers to the hospital. Now SABMiller wants bootleggers to buy the company's own beer instead.

    By building high-tech microbreweries and micro supply chains sourcing local ingredients like sorghum – a hearty grain normally used for syrup and cattle feed – from farmers in Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia who may buy their beer later, the world's second-biggest brewer hopes to crack a virgin market.

    Sourcing local ingredients cuts supply chain price volatility, and logistics, inventory and import duty costs – and the result is a product priced 20% less than barley beer. The company pegs the Africa home brew market at triple that of traditional beer. Outside South Africa, Africans consume just 7 liters of beer a year per capita (excluding home brews), versus 77 liters in the U.S., so enormous opportunity looms.

    SABMiller subsidiary Nile Breweries first concocted the sorghum beer recipe in 2002 (it also scored lower sorghum beer taxes), making it an early mover in the sub-pyramid space. Today 35% of all Ugandan beer by volume is Nile's Eagle brand sorghum beer, which is also sold in Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Swaziland.

    But other brewers are quickly following suit. Since 2008, Heineken and Diageo (DEO) have done the same in Ghana, Sierra Leone and Cameroon, albeit not replacing pricier barley with sorghum at a 100% rate. As prices for imported staples such as barley soar and key markets like South Africa stagnate, these companies are finding opportunity with home grown brews in other parts of the continent.

    "With barley prices so high, it helps brewers' margins," explains Tim Drinkall, manager of Morgan Stanley's Frontier Emerging Markets fund. "Whenever a company can cut costs and keep up quality, it's a positive."

Economic boost

    Micro supply chains also help local economies. Nile Breweries generated about $92 million in value-added for the Ugandan economy and supported roughly 44,000 Ugandans through agricultural, manufacturing, retailing or distribution jobs in 2007, according to a French business school INSEAD study. (Some 9,000 farmers sell the brewer sorghum.) The company is also Uganda's fourth-largest taxpayer, capturing value previously lost to the black market.

乌干达农民在种植高粱

    南非米勒酿酒公司可持续发展部主管安迪•威尔斯表示:“我们希望自给自足的农民能更多地参与到价值链中。我们的可购性模式极具吸引力,因为它以当地农作物为核心,这将为当地农民带来额外收入;而且,在不影响公司核心产品的前提下,可以为公司带来新的利润增长点。”之前,南非米勒酿酒公司的原材料80%依赖进口;而目前,这一比例下降至66%。

    南非米勒酿酒公司曾花费数十年时间,试图用高端啤酒占据新兴市场,当时公司的大部分投入,如大麦与酒瓶,均从国外采购。而其现行的小型供应链措施则与之前截然不同。

    南非米勒酿酒公司的策略与可口可乐公司(Coke)和法国达能集团(Danone)当年为进军非洲这一未经开发的市场所采取的做法类似。拿可口可乐公司来说,它当时并未从印度或欧洲进口果浆,而是在乌干达培植了一种芒果种植文化;而法国达能集团也放弃了进口原材料的做法,转而从塞内加尔农民那里直接采购乳制品。

    当然,对于这种做法,并非所有市场观察家都买账。Harding Loevner前沿新兴市场基金(Harding Loevner Frontier Emerging Markets Fund)经理唐•艾弗逊讽刺道:“这不会带来任何改变。”他认为,销售环节的种种困难将导致跨国公司最终被边缘化,而当地企业将长期占领市场主导地位。“非洲将延续家庭作坊式的生产模式。”

    非洲是一个充满挑战的市场,但长期以来,外国零售商一直不得其门而入。非洲原始的公路基础设施、15个国家都位于内陆的地理条件,以及危险重重的边境线,这些都增加了设备和原材料的运输成本,甚至让运输变成一项不可能完成的任务。比如说,在新兴经济体国家,平均40%的食品在进入市场或商场之前都会遭到劫掠。

    但是,非洲也拥有年轻的城市化人口;而且,到2015年,全球十个发展最快的国家中,将有七个位于非洲,因此,许多跨国公司都将目光投向了这里。到2016年,约有2亿非洲人——超过巴西的总人口数——将进入消费者商品市场。

    南非米勒酿酒公司不惧挑战,计划在今年内,在莫桑比克和苏丹南部酿制以木薯为原料的啤酒(公司甚至发明了一种新的加工方法,解决了木薯在运输途中的保存难题),并将在今年年底之前,通过培养坦桑尼亚的大麦种植业,将本地采购大麦的比例从10%提高到50%。南非米勒酿酒公司表示,通过用木薯替代其他原材料,每年可节省300万美元。这将有助于实现公司长期目标——将目前非洲的主流啤酒价格降低一半。

    南非米勒酿酒公司的威尔斯表示:“部分跨国公司正在认真考虑,通过合作来推动非洲的农业发展。”

    如果这些努力能够奏效,非洲起码能成为一个地区性的“大粮仓”。不要忘了,这里还有南非米勒酿酒公司与联合利华(Unilever)、南非标准银行(Standard Bank)以及雅苒(Yara)等行业巨头在坦桑尼亚开展的农业走廊项目(agricultural corridor project)。该项目旨在提高粮食产量、改善公路运输和冷藏条件。

    翻译:刘进龙

    "We want subsistence farmers more involved in the value chain," says Andy Wales, head of Sustainable Development at SABMiller. "Our affordability model is attractive because it focuses on local crops and creates additional income for farmers and a new profit pool for us without cannibalizing our core product." Historically, SABMiller has imported 80% of its raw materials in Africa; today that's 66%.

    SABMiller's micro supply chain moves are a sharp departure from its decades-long attempt to flood emerging markets with premium beers, with much of their inputs like barley and bottles sourced abroad.

    But its efforts to penetrate untapped markets echo those by Coke (KO) and Danone to do the same in the African mango juice and dairy markets -- Coke by incubating a mango farming culture in Uganda instead of using Indian or European puree imports, and Danone by sourcing milk for dairy products from Senegalese farmers rather buying it abroad.

    Still, not all market watchers are convinced. "This won't move the needle," quips Don Elefson, a fund manager for the Harding Loevner Frontier Emerging Markets Fund, noting an enduring dominance by local players due to distribution woes that leave multinationals on the sidelines. "Africa is still mom and pop."

    Africa is a challenging market, and one that has long eluded foreign retailers. Its medieval road infrastructure and 15 landlocked countries make delivering machinery, inputs and ingredients across oft-dicey borders costly or impossible – 40% of food in emerging economies spoils before reaching market or store shelves on average.

    But with a young and urbanizing population and seven of the world's ten fastest-growing economies by 2015, many multinationals are eyeing Africa. Roughly 200 million Africans – or more than Brazil's entire population -- will enter the consumer goods market by 2016.

    Undaunted, SABMiller plans to brew cassava-based beer in Mozambique and the Southern Sudan within a year (it's even invented a new processor to preserve cassava en route to the brewery), and to boost local barley sourcing to 50% from 10% of the total by the end of this year by seeding a Tanzanian barley growing industry. Some $3 million could be saved annually by substituting cassava for other ingredients, according to SABMiller. This would help the company meet its long-term goal of halving today's price of mainstream beer in Africa.

    "A select number of multinationals are getting very serious about working together on Africa's agricultural development," says SABMiller's Wales.

    If those efforts bear fruit, along with joint ones by the company and behemoths Unilever (UL), Standard Bank, Yara and others for better crop yields, roads and cold storage through an agricultural corridor project in Tanzania, Africa may yet morph into a local, if not global, breadbasket.

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