Champagne’s future markets: #10 Africa

10. South Africa and Nigeria

southafrica2Africa is not usually mentioned in the wine world when new markets are discussed. Some articles on South Africa report that producers there are finding a growing market on the continent in Nigeria, Mozambique or Namibia, but little more than that. The beer market is perhaps growing faster in Africa and the brewing powerhouses have poured millions into the continent over the past few years, no small amount of which was invested this year (2012).

If this list were considering up-and-coming beer markets then Africa would be very much to the fore.

But to count Africa out of the wine world would be a mistake. Economies are growing and as le Mailloux points out, the link between Africa and former European colonial masters has left cultural links that value wine.

“Nigeria,” he adds, ”remains very close to Britain and is also a successful gin and Cognac market.”

A recent report for the drinks business Hong Kong by Euromonitor pointed out that Nigeria is projected to be the world’s second fastest growing Champagne market by volume between 2011 and 2016, according to the CIVC.

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Nigerian oil production

Charles Armand de Belenet, global marketing and communications director for Perrier-Jouët and Mumm, said in the same article that, as Champagne consumption was getting bigger in Nigeria, “we are building our network there and it is one of the most attractive places for us at the moment”.

Both Nigeria and South Africa show strong growth potential, having risen 16% and 15% over 2011 respectively to 688,355 and 443,016 bottles (CIVC figures to end of Dec 2011).

What is driving the growth in both countries is starkly different. In Nigeria, it is oil and the vast, sudden, accumulation of wealth – good for boosting volume figures but not appreciation of course. Meanwhile, in South Africa the fact that it is a wine-producing country in its own right has doubtless spurred on wine consumption and with it the desire to import and drink other wines.

They may be markets driven in very different ways but they are driven nonetheless and will only grow in stature over time.

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