INTERNATIONAL – Zimbabwe’s Delta Corporation, the country’s largest beverage maker, reported a 57 percent drop in first-quarter lager sales on Wednesday as consumers slashed spending amid the worst economic crisis in a decade.
The southern African country is currently grappling with rocketing inflation, power cuts and shortages of everything from fuel and foreign currency to bread and medicine, prompting street protests earlier this year.
“Macro-economic changes... have resulted in erosion of disposable incomes and reduced consumer spending,” Delta, which is 40 percent owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer, said in a trading update.
In a bid to tackle some of its economic problems, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government last month ended a decade of the use of the US dollar and reintroduced a local currency, whose rapid loss of value pushed inflation up 175.66 percent in June.
In addition to the drop in lager sales, carbonated drinks revenue slid 79 percent in the quarter to June 30, Delta said but traditional sorghum beer sales were, however, 2 percent up in the quarter.