Carling Black Label Maintains its Dominance in KBL’s Clear Beer Market

  • Corona remains fastest growing KBL brand in clear beer category


In a remarkable feat, Carling Black Label, the flagship brand of Kgalagadi Breweries Limited (KBL), continues to reign as the leading contender in the clear beer category, the 2022 annual report of Sechaba Brewery Holdings Limited (SBHL) shows.

Despite facing stiff competition, Carling Black Label, along with St Louis Lager and Castle Lite, achieved double-digit growth in the year that ended 31 December 2022 compared to 2021 and single-digit growth compared to 2019.

The surge in demand can be attributed to improved stock availability and stabilised trading regulations, contributing to an overall 25.4 percent growth in the clear beer category compared to last year.


According to the report, one brand has stood out from the pack in the clear beer category – Corona.

“Corona remains the fastest growing brand in the clear beer category both versus 2021 and 2019,” says KBL Managing Director, Carlos Bernitt, in the report.

“The brand also continues to gain significant market share within the larger beer category. While clear beer has witnessed impressive growth, it is not the only category making waves in the market.”

KBL’s Traditional African Beer (TAB) has (also) experienced remarkable growth, outperforming all other categories with a staggering 65.3 percent increase compared to 2021 and a solid 4.4 percent growth compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

Chibuku beer powder

“The growth was mainly due to the injection of new containers that were lost during the COVID era in addition to increased trading days versus the previous year,” Bernitt says in the report.

“There was also an improvement in the business efficiencies around distribution and sales. Chibuku Liquid led the growth with the 1-litre pack followed by Beer Powder.

“The 2-litre pack continued to decline due to a market shift towards the more popular and convenient 1-litre pack. Overall, TAB continues to make notable contributions to the overall business.”

Another category that has demonstrated an upward trajectory is the Flavoured Alcoholic Beverages (FABs) segment. The reports says FABs have shown impressive growth, recording a 38.8 percent increase compared to 2021 and a 4.3 percent growth compared to 2019.


Brutal Fruit


“The category saw the introduction of a new brand, Brutal Fruit, which was warmly welcomed by the Botswana market,” Bernitt notes.

“In addition, Flying Fish also continues to grow and contribute significantly to the market share growth and contribution of the FABs category.

“Redd’s Vodka Lemon also continues to maintain a strong relevance and space within the FABs category, despite the decline in performance.”

Sechaba Brewery Holdings Limited (SBHL) is an investment company listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange whose sole investment prior to 2018 was in KBL.

In that year, a decision was made to restructure KBL by separating the net assets of its Non-Alcoholic-ReadyTo Drink (NARTD) business which eventually formed the Coca-Cola Beverages (Botswana) (Proprietary) Limited (CCBB).

SBHL now holds 49.90 percent shareholding in KBL, with Anheuser Busch InBev (AB InBev) holding the remaining shares. SBHL also holds 49.90 percent in CCBB with Coca-Cola Beverages Africa holding the balance.