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MARKETING: Savanna Brings A Smile


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Savanna, the humorously positioned “it’s dry but you can drink it” cider is raising a smile to the lips of its producers, as the brand continues to thumb its nose at the recession and woo new tasters.

The premium brand, notable for its uniquely clear bottle and jaunty yellow typeface, has not only succeeded in delivering year-on-year double-digit global volume growth for the 12 months to June 30, but it has also just walked away with the only gold medal in its class, on Singapore’s 2010 Beerfest Asia, where it was up against a range of cider offerings produced all over the world.

Says brand spokesperson Marius Fouché, who is MD for Distell Asia Pacific: “Savanna is one of South Africa’s leading premium cider brands and continues to record solid growth despite the impact of the global recession on consumer spending, thanks to its authentic cider identity, enticing flavours and quality presentation.  Its popularity is not confined to its country of origin, however. Now, the world’s third-biggest cider according to Euromonitor research, it is growing its international appeal as sales rise on every continent. 

Fouché says the UK represents Savanna’s biggest market after South Africa. Sales there are robust, even though some competitor brands are suffering from dwindling consumer spend.  The Germans and the Dutch have also developed a thirst for Savanna.

Now, Savanna is also proving to be a highly attractive, niched, thirst-quenching option in those Asia-Pacific markets where it is on offer.  It is encouraging to see how the Singaporeans, for example, who are exposed to many of the world’s leading prestige lifestyle brands, find its taste so desirable.

Beerfest Asia was staged to coincide with the 2010 FIFA World Cup ™ matches during June.  That our brand should earn such kudos when the spotlight was on South Africa as the host country, added to the sense of achievement.”

He adds that Savanna was entered into the event to establish how it would be perceived alongside other cider offerings from around the world. “We find these benchmarking exercises very important in determining how Savanna is received, not only by consumers but by expert judging panels.”

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