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BGI to debut new product line

BGI to debut new product line

French owned BGI Ethiopia is set to inaugurate new beer products – Dopel alcoholic beer and Senque malt (non-alcoholic) beers, starting next week, The Reporter has learnt.

The new product lines come as the beer industry faces a slew of challenges, including lukewarm sales linked to recently introduced excise tax, the COVID-19 pandemic and strict advertisement rules that have pushed beer sales go downwards.

Dopel beer is said to be a “lower-gravity German-style bock beer” that is dark and is to complement its St. George and Castel brand. St. George remains the most successful brand of beer in Ethiopia, despite stiff competition from Heineken, which has a slew of brands under it, including its signature beer, Walia, Harar and Bedele.

According to sources at the company, BGI is set to introduce these brands inside its newly built facility located at Mexico Square next week and is expected to launch it nationally within a month.

BGI has had limited success with its introduced brands in the past, including with Amber, which launched in 2012 and Guinness beer in early 2000’s. It cancelled it shortly after poor sales. Guinness would be launched by Diageo in 2018 and was also cancelled within a year, after similar fate.

The company also bought Raya beer in 2018, while it made an initial plan to make the beer available across the country. However, it is now selling the product in the Tigray region only. Owned by Castel Winery, the company is affiliated with Castel Wine brands, a growing producer of quality wines from its vineyard in Zeway, which was started in 2012 at an initial investment of USD 22 million.

In related news, BGI which acquired Zebidar beer in 2018, has cancelled its production and instead has decided to use its facility for the production of its best-selling, St. George beer.

The Reporter reached out to the marketing director but as of press time, there was no reply.