Brand-building: Savanna Cider – It's dry but people are drinking lots of it

It’s a lovely problem to have: being so popular that production can’t keep up with demand. But for South Africa’s most popular cider, Savanna, brand strength, identifying consumer trends and committed work have helped it achieve 2.2% growth in market share plus volumes, despite prohibition costing the liquor industry a fifth of trading days and taking a massive hit as a result of July’s lootings.

Over the past year, Savanna has doubled in size, explains the woman driving its impressive growth, Natasha Maharaj, marketing and communications director at Distell, which owns the premium cider brand. Much of that growth has been spurred by demand for Savanna Non-Alcoholic, which was released in 2019, months before the pandemic hit South Africa, and a healthy dose of humour.

Maharaj, a strategist who has led brand-building across home care, food and beverage categories in Singapore and Switzerland for Unilever, Nestlé and PepsiCo, says she is passionate about developing and delivering “humanised” growth – not just to address the needs of shareholders and drive market expansion, but also to address the needs of consumers and employees.

Maharaj is responsible for 43 brands at Distell, including Savanna, Gordon’s Gin, the biggest gin in South Africa; 4th Street, SA’s biggest-selling wine; and Amarula, the biggest liqueur in the country.

“This is what has been so amazing at Distell because the industry has been so demonised in the past and there’s a huge tension point in terms of alcohol as a category. So what I’m most proud [of] in the past three years is beyond the 2% share growth that we’ve achieved. It’s massive growth in the alcohol category.”

This, despite recurrent bans on liquor and restrictions on trading.

By “humanising” the growth of these brands, Distell pushed its values beyond shareholding, introducing harm reduction programmes around responsible consumption that target the moments when people tend to binge drink, promoting responsible drinking and driving programmes, vaccination and women empowerment.

“There’s been a lot of work in terms of not just the normal standardised lifestyle advertising, but also true harm reduction. Women are a big part of our campaign. So, for example, Bernini’s [the sparkling grape aperitif] Squadcast creates opportunities for women to speak and provides a platform for honest conversations.”

Squadcast is a series of video content hosted by media personality Penny Lebyane, which shines a light on her guests’ unique struggles and successes. “We discuss CVs, interview techniques, how to find a job, the workplace and confidence.”

For Savanna, the Virtual Comedy Bar kept laughter alive by supporting comedians and uplifting the nation.

“Savanna was built on a platform of crisp, witty humour. In the past year, Savanna has grown to be the most loved brand in the country. It’s also in the top three brands in South Africa in terms of volume and value.”

Brand-building: Savanna Cider – It’s dry but people are drinking lots of it
© Provided by Daily Maverick Natasha Maharaj, marketing and communications director at Distell. (Photo: Johann Botha)

A big part of the reason it has grown is because it used humour as leverage while supporting entertainers who were unable to perform owing to restrictions. It was a sure-fire strategy, Maharaj explains. The Virtual Comedy Bar kicked off in May 2020. Driven from the positive intent of uplifting the nation, rather than merely making money off the shows, which it couldn’t, in any case, Savanna brought laughter into homes – free – while keeping entertainers employed.

Where did all those Savanna consumers come from?

Soaring in-home consumption: Maharaj says grocers’ trading hours were curtailed; nightclubs were closed; shebeens were open but mingling was not allowed; restaurants were shut for a large portion of 2020; and the curfew, which put a damper on socialisation

Prior to Covid-19, alcohol consumption was largely segregated, with men and women drinking apart from one another in restaurants, bars, taverns and even at home. With the arrival of Covid-19, people drank together, at home. “So brands could transcend the unisex environment. If you look at Savanna’s brand penetration, it’s unisex. That’s massive because the 50-50 split [means] anyone can drink it. And when the alcohol bans came into force, Savanna Non-alcoholic was one of the few adult beverages available.”

The non-alcoholic category grew appreciably: consumers who weren’t Savanna drinkers gravitated towards the non-alcoholic version, which stuck even once the bans were lifted.

“We’re very proud of the taste of Savanna Non-alc. It’s very similar to Savanna, just with no alcohol.”

Locally relevant, on-trend branding, plus the ability to leverage crisp, witty humour, have afforded Savanna the highest brand equity in the market. “We invested a lot in cultural insights to understand what is happening, what is bubbling under the surface, and linked the humour space to the brand.”

The result? Campaigns such as the tongue-in-cheek dig at influencer culture, “Siyavanna” with Sello Maake ka-Ncube; the “Savatical” competition for a paid sabbatical; and the latest campaign, “Joller”, an online dating platform campaign with a spark of humour.

Yet again, demonstrating that laughter is the best medicine. DM168

This story first appeared in our weekly Daily Maverick 168 newspaper which is available for R25 at Pick n Pay, Exclusive Books and airport bookstores. For your nearest stockist, please click here.

Brand-building: Savanna Cider – It’s dry but people are drinking lots of it
© Provided by Daily Maverick

News Related

OTHER NEWS

‘Now Hiring Hamilton' seeks to help small, medium-sized businesses with worker shortages

Hamilton’s small and medium-sized businesses are getting some help tackling worker shortages. © (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) A new initiative from the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce and Mohawk College is looking ... Read more »

Robredo ‘conflicted' over legalizing abortion in rape cases

— Vice President Leni Robredo on Wednesday admitted that she is conflicted on whether aborting pregnancy resulting from rape should be legalized. “I will be very honest with you, Boy. ... Read more »

Analyzing the NHL's goal race: Who's the Rocket Richard favourite?

Chris Kreider tallied goal No. 27 against the Coyotes to pull even with Alex Ovechkin on Saturday night. His next score put him ahead of the rest of the league. ... Read more »

NHL Rumour Roundup: Will Canadian buyers be at a trade disadvantage?

Ahead of a brief St. Louis Blues road trip to Vancouver and Calgary on Sunday and Monday, Justin Faulk was asked about playing north of the border and if it ... Read more »

Capricorn horoscope today, 27 Jan, 2022: Your focus will increase!

Capricorn horoscope today, 27 Jan, 2022: Your focus will increase! What will your day look like in terms of health, romance, finance and fortune? Read everything here. Prediction– Success in ... Read more »

Ontario housing market so red-hot most buyers are skipping inspections, say home inspectors

Home inspectors in Ontario say the hot seller’s market is preventing most buyers from getting inspections done, which in turn, is forcing a large number of inspectors to leave the ... Read more »

Mann versucht zwei Menschen in Sarg in die USA zu schmuggeln

Im Sarg eines angeblich toten Marinesoldaten wollte ein Mann zwei Mexikaner in die USA schleusen. Laut Angaben des US-Justizministeriums war der US-Bürger im Oktober an einem Kontrollpunkt in Texas nahe ... Read more »

Robert Irwin Says He's Ready to Join 'Dancing With the Stars': 'I Reckon It's About Time' (Exclusive)

© Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images Robert Irwin is ready to follow in his older sister, Bindi Irwin‘s, dance steps. The 18-year-old animal conservationist is open to the idea of competing on ... Read more »

Video of alleged white nationalists door-knocking in Alabama goes viral on TikTok

© TikTok user @itsmalloryh A home security camera video showing alleged white nationalists going door-to-door in Alabama has gone viral on TikTok – TikTok user @itsmalloryh A home security camera ... Read more »

UK ‘considering sending hundreds of troops to Eastern Europe' amid Russia-Ukraine crisis

© AP Members of Ukraine‘s Territorial Defense Forces – AP British military officials are reportedly deciding whether to send hundreds of troops to Eastern Europe after Washington asked the UK ... Read more »

Oklahoma City woman accuses ex-lawmaker of sexual misconduct

© The Oklahoman/Gannett Lawmaker Resignation Assault Allegation – The Oklahoman/Gannett An Oklahoma state lawmaker who resigned abruptly last week has been accused by an Oklahoma City lobbyist of touching her ... Read more »

Liverpool news: Jurgen Klopp seeks midfield solution as academy prospect praised

Liverpool youngster Mateusz Musialowski has been praised by another one of his Liverpool teammates. The academy player, who has been dubbed “the Polish Messi”, is said to have left Reds ... Read more »

LGBTQ Afghans at increased risk of rape, torture under Taliban rule: report

A report published Wednesday said that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Afghanistan have faced increased security threats to their lives and “dramatically worsened” conditions since the Taliban took ... Read more »

Large percentage of NY municipalities won't allow legal weed sales

Southampton, along with several Long Island towns, will not permit the sale of recreational marijuana. Shutterstock Some of Long Island’s most popular summer hot spots aren’t high on legal weed ... Read more »

Psaki grows defensive when asked about Biden-Xi talk on COVID origins

White House press secretary Jen Psaki bristled Wednesday when asked about President Biden’s claim that he pressed Chinese President Xi Jinping to be transparent about the origins of COVID-19 — ... Read more »

James Harden's frustration not only uncertainty facing Nets' Big 3

When the Nets put their Big 3 together, they did so with the hope that their trademark characteristic would be winning. Instead, their first full season together — especially what’s ... Read more »

Inside Rangers' contract talks with Ryan Strome, option they won't choose

Regarding the Rangers, one off the NHL lead in overall victories and in regulation victories as of Wednesday afternoon: 1. The Blueshirts are engaged in ongoing talks with the representatives ... Read more »

Pyongyang fires two suspected ballistic missiles: South Korea

© Provided by Al Jazeera North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has presided over a flurry of missile tests this month [File: KCNA via Reuters] North Korea fired what appeared ... Read more »

Catalonia pardons women executed for witchcraft

© Getty Images Tens of thousands – mostly women – were condemned to death across Europe (illustration from 15th century Switzerland) The Catalan regional parliament has formally pardoned hundreds of ... Read more »

France, 14 countries ask Mali to let Danish forces stay -statement

© Reuters/PAUL LORGERIE FILE PHOTO: A soldier is pictured at the headquarters of the new Takuba force in Gao PARIS (Reuters) – France and 14 other countries urged Mali late ... Read more »

AmEx soars most since 2020 after card spending hits record

American Express Co surged the most in more than a year after the card giant boosted forecasts for revenue and profit and said spending on its cards climbed to a ... Read more »

Federal court blocks Alabama's new congressional map

A federal court blocked Alabama’s newly drawn congressional map on Monday, ruling that it likely violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act because it only includes one district where ... Read more »

Wall Street experts zero in on just how the Fed might drain liquidity

Wall Street analysts have been busy war-gaming just how quickly the Federal Reserve might start shrinking its balance sheet. Now attention is also turning to exactly which parts of the ... Read more »

Goldman, Citigroup strategists say it's now time to buy equity rout

After a sell-off that put global stocks on course for their worst month since the start of the pandemic, strategists from Goldman Sachs Group to Citigroup say it’s now time ... Read more »

Nearly 30% Of People Are Most Excited For This Comedy Movie In 2022

Universal Pictures/YouTube The decade of the 2020s has been rough so far, to say the least, and the entertainment world hasn’t snuck by unscathed. As a result of the COVID-19 ... Read more »

Extra Push: Capex outlay in FY23 pegged at Rs 10.5 lakh crore

© Provided by The Financial Express The Centre via Budget may invest 18% more in FY23 than in FY22 at around Rs 6.53 lakh crore to retain its budgetary capex ... Read more »

'Inflation no reason for ECB to change track'

The European Central Bank has no need to fundamentally change its assessment of the inflation outlook or accelerate policy tightening, according to Governing Council member Gediminas Simkus. Euro-area monetary policy ... Read more »

Billionaire investor Bill Ackman reveals a $1.1 billion Netflix stake — and says his hedge fund bought about 3.1 million shares since Friday

© Reuters/ Allen Fredrickson Bill Ackman. Reuters/ Allen Fredrickson Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square invested in Netflix, buying about 3.1 million shares since Friday. The billionaire’s hedge fund now commands a ... Read more »

Strengthen regulation of GM food; ‘Ban GM food'-demand unreasonable

© Provided by The Financial Express The provision in the draft regulation that holds that FSSAI approval of a specific GM-origin food/ingredient holding unique identification from the Biosafety Clearing House ... Read more »

Farm Factor: Fasal Bima cover sees a big drop

By Sandip Das The Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), the crop insurance scheme jointly sponsored by the Centre and states, is facing the twin problems of many state governments ... Read more »

Adele sparks fears her Las Vegas residency will never happen after stage set is removed and major artist fills her slot

ADELE fans are growing increasingly worried the singer will never perform her Las Vegas residency after tearfully cancelling her first gig with just hours to spare. The Brit superstar's Weekends ... Read more »

US Fed is far behind the curve on controlling inflation

© Provided by The Financial Express Only twice before in modern history, in early 1975 and again in mid-1980, did the Fed allow the real funds rate to plunge to ... Read more »

The Emotional On-Set Moment That Bonded The Spider-Man: No Way Home Cast

Marvel Entertainment/YouTube Many fans still don’t seem to be over “Spider-Man: No Way Home” following its release. It is, after all, the only film so far to feature all three actors who have ... Read more »

Parti lain ‘intai' P Pinang kerana DAP hilang sokongan, kata penganalisis

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today UEC yang tidak diiktiraf dan rasa kurang senang terhadap Dr Mahathir Mohamad adalah dua sebab mengapa pengundi Cina di Pulau Pinang mungkin menolak DAP, ... Read more »

Australia news live update: nation records at least 59 Covid deaths; national cabinet to discuss if ‘fully vaccinated' means three doses

LIVE – Updated at 01:18 Follow all the day’s news live.   01:18 Today we have recorded 11,600 new COVID-19 cases. Sadly, we have reported 15 deaths in the past ... Read more »

Waxwork model of the Queen is left BALD under her hat

It doesn’t show the Queen at her elegant best – to put it baldly. German wax museum Panoptikum yesterday revealed that – because of the cost of hair – its ... Read more »

Christian Pulisic the latest player to admit to Chelsea troubles

Christian Pulisic has become the latest player to open up on his struggles at Chelsea after a tough season. The £58m winger has struggled to nail down a regular starting ... Read more »

Man pictured wearing 'Camp Auschwitz' sweatshirt during Capitol riot pleads guilty to one misdemeanor charge

© ITN/Department of Justice Man pictured wearing ‘Camp Auschwitz’ sweatshirt during Capitol riot pleads guilty to one misdemeanor charge A man photographed wearing an antisemitic sweatshirt during the Capitol riot ... Read more »

Kerala minister hoists national flag upside down, triggers row

© Provided by The Indian Express Kerala Minister Ahamed Devarkovil triggered a row on Wednesday after he hoisted the national flag upside down in Kasaragod on the occasion of Republic ... Read more »

Biden order makes sexual harassment in US military a crime

© Nicholas Kamm An executive order signed by US President Joe Biden that makes sexual harassment a crime in the military includes provisions on domestic violence and the wrongful broadcast ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic