Heineken sparks beer war in Ivory Coast

Heineken, the world’s second largest beer brewer, has entered the African market with a bang. Constructing a modern, $160 million factory over 12 hectares of land on the outskirts of the economic capital in Abidjan, Heineken has secured a strong foothold on West African soil.

Africa is by far the fastest growing beer consuming continent, with the West African region drinking around 270 million litres of beer per annum. The West African region remains a key driver for global beer sales in the long term because of its fast-growing, urbanising and young population.

The new plant, named Brassivoire, is expected to produce 160 million litres of beer per annum and currently employs around 200 staff members, with a total workforce of 700 direct jobs expected to be created once fully operational.

Heineken’s venture into the Ivory Coast is expected to eat into the Castel Group’s market share. The Castel Group, which owns popular brands Solibra, Flag and Castel, holds a monopoly on the West African beer-drinking region. The new beer plant is expected to contribute to other sectors, including the agriculture industry as rice and malted barley are used for brewing.