JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - World Cup fans need not fret, South Africa will not run out of beer during the month-long tournament, its biggest brewer says.
“There’s no need to worry, guys. There will be plenty of our beer for all the fans during this period,” said Norman Adami, managing director of South African Breweries, the local arm of global drinks giant SABMiller.
The company, which produces roughly nine of every ten bottles of beer drunk in South Africa, is predicting a 5 percent increase in sales during the tournament starting on June 11.
However, it will be able to meet the extra demand — equivalent to 30 million bottles — because the southern hemisphere winter is normally its slowest sales period, Adami said.
“It depends on a range of factors including the weather, the number of foreign visitors who actually do arrive and even the performance of our team,” he told a news conference.
Organizers are predicting 373,000 foreigners for the tournament, less than initial expectations of 450,000 due mainly to the impact of last year’s global economic slowdown.
And there are fears South Africa’s weak team will be the first hosts not to qualify for the second round of the finals.
Budweiser, owned by SABMiller rival Anheuser-Busch InBev and an official FIFA partner, is the only authorized supplier inside stadiums.
SAB will be allowed to sell beer at 10 FIFA fan parks in the World Cup cities, but only in unmarked bottles to avoid breaching FIFA’s jealously guarded rights rules.
Reporting by Ed Cropley; editing by Barry Moody