South African Breweries has launched a new low-alcohol beer, Sterling Light Lager, into the light beer market in South Africa. The new brand was announced by The South African Breweries Ltd (SAB Ltd), a subsidiary of South African Breweries plc.

SAB marketing director, Peter McLoughlin said: “We expect Sterling Light Lager to capture market share and to grow the South African light beer category. Worldwide, light beer is growing in popularity, but our research also shows that consumers are not prepared to compromise on taste. The challenge for us was to create a full tasting premium lager, which is low in both alcohol and kilojoules, and we believe we have achieved this in Sterling Light.”

Sterling Light will initially be available in South Africa only, but may be rolled out to other South African Breweries export markets at a later stage.

Because of its positioning as a premium offering, it will not compete directly with Castle Lager, SAB#;s flagship brand in South Africa, the company said.

Sterling Light will be available in four-packs, which is a packaging innovation for the South African market.

The South African Breweries Ltd, which was founded in Johannesburg in 1895, has 98 per cent share of the South African beer market. In 2000, it sold 23.9 million hectolitres of beer in South Africa, and generated a pre-tax profit of US$343 million from a turnover of US$1,365 billion.