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Global Marketing

Stella Artois in South Africa

Stella Artois is a popular alcoholic beverage company that specializes in beer.  They first started brewing Stella Artios in 1926 by Artois Brewery in Leuven, Belgium, and was actually first launched as a Christmas beer, since it was named after the Christmas Star. Stella Artois was only sold during the winter season, but it eventually started being sold year-round and they started exporting into the European market in 1930. Stella Artois actually had to halt its operations and production for a little while due to World War II.  Since their expansion into the European market, they have expanded pretty much worldwide as well as becoming a popular name and beer for consumers to order at restaurants or just bring home for a cozy night in.

Stella Artois started its expansion into South Africa in 2017. The market share for beer in South Africa was relatively low for the total alcohol consumption compared to others, which would mean that Stella Artois was going to have a harder time breaking through the beer market.  It was also mainly dominated by SAB, which was a company that AB InBev had combined within 2016, with an 85% market share primarily through brands such as Castle and Castle Lite.  Stella Artois partners with AB InBev Zone for all of their expansions that they have been doing since the start.  For this specific expansion into South Africa, Stella Artois had to work directly with Ricardo Tadeu, who was the President of AB InBev Zone for Africa.  Tadeu knew that it was going to be a challenge to emerge into the South African market, but he was a man that was up for it and ready to overcome the challenge.  His grand idea was to use the current water supply problems and water shortages in South Africa and turn that into a water initiative to help launch the brand in this market.  He worked with Water.org to start a campaign called the BALAD water campaign, which was presented at the Davos conference.  This was a risky thing to do by launching a water campaign as the central part of Stella Artois’ big launch into the South African market because Water.org was not currently active in South Africa.  Since access to water had been a recent issue for South Africa, not being active wouldn't be too much of an issue since consumers would look at them as a way for help to gain access to water.  Tadeu thought that this was the perfect timing for the launch because of this.

One of the advertisements from their campaign for this project.