The beverage market in Ghana is estimated to be worth GHC 3.85 billion, with the domestic market constituting 90% of this size – On average, 2.35 billion bottles of alcoholic and carbonated non-alcoholic beverages are produced each year.
A developing domestic industry has led to increasing competition and a growing intensity in the marketing and distribution of beverages in the country. Both local and imported brands are adopting multiple methods and channels to get consumers’ attention.
Consumers generally identify more with traditional marketing as digital marketing is still relatively new. Traditional marketing platforms such as television, billboards, and radio advertisements are most effective in creating brand awareness and influencing purchasing decisions. However, digital marketing, specifically influencer marketing is also catching on with several brands using social influencers to create brand visibility for their products. Also, because word of mouth is very crucial in the buying culture of Ghanaians, influencer marketing can be a powerful tool when done right.
To achieve brand visibility among consumers, advertisement and awareness creation are key. The awareness and patronage rate among beverage consumers speak to the level of visibility a brand must achieve to get actual sales for its products. Generally, the level of brand awareness in the beverage market is high, although, the level of awareness among non-alcoholic consumers is relatively higher compared to alcoholic consumers.
That said, brands of alcoholic beverages have higher patronage levels than non-alcoholic beverage brands. In terms of visibility in the beverage market, to sell to two (2) consumers, manufacturers or distributors should ensure that at least five (5) potential consumers know about the brand.
With an awareness (visibility) rate of 6.3, consumers of non-alcoholic beverages (NABs) are more aware of different brands in the non-alcoholic beverage market than consumers of alcohol are of the brands in the alcoholic beverage market, given the awareness rate of 4.8. The awareness rate of 6.3 for the non-alcoholic market is interpreted as follows: when 10 consumers of NABs are randomly selected, about 6 of them are likely to have heard of a randomly selected brand of non-alcoholic beverage. Thus, there is better product visibility for non-alcoholic brands in the Ghanaian market than there is for alcoholic beverage brands.
Notwithstanding the relatively higher awareness rate of the NABs, alcoholic brands have higher patronage rates than NABs. That is, more consumers buy different brands of alcoholic drinks than different brands of non-alcohol drinks. Patronage levels among alcoholic brands are around 2.1, while patronage levels for NABs are 1.9.
Thus, if a consumer of non-alcohol beverage is chosen at random, there is a 63% chance that they may have heard of any NAB brand selected brand, with a 19% chance that they have actually bought and/or used the brand before. Conversely, the likelihood of awareness of a randomly selected brand of alcoholic beverage is 48% with a 21% chance that they have bought and/or used the selected brand.
Across the different product categories, beer and soft drinks lead with an awareness level of 76% and 72% and patronage levels of 36% and 25% respectively. This is followed by spirits and energy drinks, with wine and fruit juice having the worst awareness and patronage levels. Wine and fruit juice have low awareness levels of 40% and 42% respectively and equally low patronage levels of 14% and 15% respectively.
The high awareness and patronage among brands of beer and soft drinks are likely attributed to consumers’ natural preference for beer among the alcoholic drink categories and for soft drinks among the non-alcoholic drink categories. As a result, consumers will more likely be attracted to any form of marketing or advertisement that feature beers or soft drinks.
Considering the level of competitiveness in Ghana’s beverage market, a strong marketing plan paves the way to success for any beverage manufacturer. New and existing players need to consciously prioritize consumers to improve market share. Consumers are very conscious of what they consume, they prioritize quality options. As a result, producers must aim to achieve quality in their production and they must also work to maintain or improve quality levels. Further, any improvements must be visible to consumers.
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