SOUTH AFRICA: SAB takes "drastic" action to save Lion Lager

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South African Breweries (SAB) has announced that the company is to embark on what has been referred to as "drastic measures" to save its ailing 110-year-old Lion Lager brand.The steps to be undertaken include a repackaging and labelling of the brand, as well as reducing the alcohol content of the beer.The repackaged Lion Lager will only be sold in cans and 370ml bottles, which is expected to appeal to the new target market of sports fanatics. The existing draught barrels, pints and quarts will be discontinued.SAB also announced that it would attempt the re-launch of Dakota Ice, a beer which entered the market last year, targeted at the more trendy end of the market. The company refused to comment to just about any detailed changes regarding its export strategy.Lion lager was once a top selling beer in South Africa, yet hard times have fallen upon the brand with current market share estimated at around 5% while rival Castle Lager enjoys 65% of the South African market.Richard Hurst

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