SAB beer was flavour of choice this summer

Robert Laing

Robert Laing

January to March saw South Africans drinking 4percent more South African Breweries (SAB) lager and 33percent more Coca Cola along with other soft drinks marketed by SAB's ABI subsidiary compared to the same three months last year, the global beer giant said in a trading update released yesterday.

The leap in soft drink sales was thanks to improved carbon dioxide supplies in SAB's plants. For the year ended March, South African lager volumes grew 2percent and soft drink sales rose 7percent.

A global expansion drive has seen SAB transformed into SABMiller, the world's second largest beer group after Brazilian and Belgium competitor InBev. But local beer sales still contribute nearly a third of its profits according to analysts.