13 October 2023

Boissons du Maroc and Heineken end licensing agreement

Morocco | Société des Boissons du Maroc (SBM), Morocco's leading brewer and controlled by France’s Castel Group, announced in September that its licence agreement for the production and distribution of several Heineken brands will expire in December 2023, and that the two partners decided not to renew it.

SBM, a publicly traded entity on the Casablanca Stock Exchange, has a rich history dating back to its founding in 1919. It came under the wing of the Castel Group in 2003. Castel has been a prominent player in the African beverage sector since 1949. Its turnover in Africa is estimated at EUR 5 billion (USD 5.3 billion). With two breweries, SBM enjoys a near monopoly in the beer market and a captive audience.

Punters, drink local

In 2022, the sales of Heineken’s brands reportedly contributed 17 percent to SBM’s sales. This share will be taken up by the SBM’s own legacy brands, whose positioning has been significantly strengthened in recent years. Punters will have little choice but to pick up a local brand if they want a beer, once the licences expire.

Sébastien Yves-Ménager, Directeur Général, commented: “For over 100 years, we have been offering our consumers Moroccan beers brewed and bottled in our Casablanca plant. With the full support of our shareholders and the Castel Group, I am very confident in the future and in our ability to continue to grow through innovation and the development of our iconic brands. We will never stop satisfying our customers and defending the Made in Morocco brand.”

Beer production in Morocco has declined to an estimated 830,000 hl per year in 2022, according to the BarthHaas report, from 1.1 million hl some 20 years ago. Approximately 95 percent of Moroccans do not consume alcohol.

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