Saturday, July 11, 2015

Distell moves into Ghana, extends its African footprint

The Distell Group, a leading global player in the alcoholic beverages market with an annual turnover of GHC 5 billion, is stepping up its investment in Africa. Its new venture, Distell Ghana, sees the South-African-based producer of wines, spirits and ready-to-drinks (RTDs) partnering with Finatrade Group to establish a bottling plant in Accra.
The GHC16 million facility, located in Tema, outside Accra will provide more than hundred direct and indirect employment opportunities. The operation also seeks to develop management and technical skills, helping to boost the country's manufacturing sector.
Distell is following a similar model in Ghana to its ventures in other African markets such as Nigeria, Kenya and Angola. The company is working with in-market expertise to bring its brands within the reach of Ghanaian consumers at competitive prices.
Finatrade is a leading West African agri-commodities and branded foods company which has well-established distribution strengths in Ghana and surrounding markets. Distell has identified Ghana as a growth market and as a potential springboard for further penetration of its brands in neighbouring Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso and Cote d'Ivoire.
"Distell is combining its proven production and marketing expertise with the local marketing, sales and distribution knowledge of Finatrade, to bring top quality products at competitive prices to Ghana, " says Richard Rushton, Distell Group CEO.
“The partnership increases our scale, which will result in significant benefits in terms of product quality and customer service and support. We both are incredibly excited about the journey we are on,” said Richard.
Finatrade chairman, Nabil Moukarzel adds: "The value of foreign direct investment in the country continues to grow and intra-African initiatives now account for close to a quarter of the flow, according to the most recent Africa Attractiveness Survey. By pooling our respective skills, Finatrade and Distell, is a good example of how other African partners should collaborate for the good of the continent."
According to Ghana's financial ministry, the country's annual GDP growth has been averaging 7% in recent years, well ahead of the sub-Saharan African average of 4,9%, indicating significant opportunity for the drinks manufacturer to raise its profile.
The new operation will bottle Distell's international cider brands; Hunter's and Savanna, as well as Knight’s Whisky and the Royal Reserve range of spirits, for distribution not only in Ghana but in some of its neighbouring countries.
Distell is the third biggest producer of ciders worldwide. Hunter's is South Africa's top-selling cider and number two in the world. The brand recently celebrated 25 years this year. Savanna is distributed in more than 60 countries. Both are authentic apple ciders, made from fermented apple juice.
Knight's Whisky is an award-winning brand, matured for three years in the Scottish tradition, while Royal Reserve is a highly aspirational range of fine spirits that includes whisky, brandy and gin.
This investment will not only bring these popular Distell brands to the Ghanaian retail and hospitality sectors faster and more cost-efficiently, but will also make it possible to produce local spirits at relevant price points in time.

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