Local Brewery says alcohol consumption at lowest level

By Ivamere Nataro 11 February 2019, 12:00AM

Vailima Breweries believes global alcohol consumption is at its lowest levels in five decades, with people including Samoans choosing to drink less but better. 

“The overwhelming majority of adults drink responsibly, enjoying alcohol as part of a balanced lifestyle,” Paradise Beverages general manager, Michael Spencer said. 

“Equally encouraging is continuation of the long-term downward trends in problem and underage drinking.”

Mr. Spencer said their products, how people buy them and enjoy them, and importantly Samoa’s attitudes toward drinking are all evolving.

“We’re committed to playing our part in ensuring this culture of responsibility continues. As well as giving consumers with the choice, innovation and high-quality beverages that they expect from us, we work hard to ensure they are always produced, marketed and supplied responsibly to our adult customers.

“We welcome the opportunity to work with the government to build a responsible and sustainable culture; we already operate to standards that are well above what is legally required of us. 

“In 2018 we introduced new world-wide best practice standards in responsible marketing and trained all our sales and marketing staff in Fiji and Samoa, as part of our commitment to ensuring our beverages are always marketed responsibly.” 

Mr. Spencer said they are working to ensure their beverages are sold and served responsibly, drawing on international examples and their local expertise. 

“We’re already talking to potential education authorities to roll out a new training course in the Responsible Service of Alcohol, to help bars, nightclubs and retail shops ensure they’re doing the right thing by consumers.” 

According to the company’s annual report ending December 2017, beer sales volumes for Samoa decreased by 6.2 per cent to 0.606 million nine litre cases in 2017 from 0.646 million nine litre cases in 2016, mainly driven by domestic volume off the back competition and distributor cash flow issues. 

“By contrast, soft drink volumes increased by 4.4 per cent to 0.502 million nine litre cases from 0.481 million in the prior period, driven by aggressive market execution activities. 

“During the year, the business also placed 150 new cold drink refrigerators in the market to support its customers and drive volumes. Sales revenue decreased by 0.7 per cent, with the beer volume shortfall mainly offset by soft drink volume upside.

“Selling, distribution and administrative expenses were marginally flat as prior year increased investment in brand advertising, trade promotion activities and trade marketing were recycled this year. Profit before income tax decreased by 30.7 per cent to $0.9m compared to $1.3m in the prior period,” said the report. 

By Ivamere Nataro 11 February 2019, 12:00AM

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