The surprise turned out to be the launch of a new beer called St Louis Export premium lager.
St Louis Export has an alcohol content of 4.7 percent, higher than the original St Louis Light by 1.2 percentage points. The launch of St Louis Export comes after only a few months following KBL's launching of St Louis 24, which is a non-alcoholic beer.Speaking at the event, the Managing Director of KBL, Hloni Matshela, could not hide his excitement about the achievement of his organisation in successfully launching the beer.Imported hops from Czech Republic was used to brew the Export beer.
The marketing director of KBL, Sesupo Wagamang says, KBL wanted to produce a premium lager using the expertise that KBL is renown for. As such, this beer was developed by the most talented brew masters, who have had decades of experience with Kgalagadi breweries.
"We are trying to capture the youth market with this beer. We have used the green bottle packaging as well as the attractive label on the bottle to try and attract the 18-35 age group to be able to compete with the other premium beers that are currently available on the market," he said
Wagamang also said that St Louis Export lager is positioned as a premium beer which is good enough to compete with the best beers in the world, that is why the line 'Every Glass, World Class'.
In their press statement, KBL announced that St Louis Export would be available for sale this week.
St Louis Export sells at the price of P1.00 more than the original St Louis Light but it will however be P0.50 cheaper than other premium beers.
It now remains to be seen how the new beer will compete on a market that is already depressed by the 30 percent alcohol levy which was effected in November last year.
Announcing its results recently, KBL parent company, Sechaba Holdings said that, due to the 30 percent levy that government imposed on alcoholic beverages last November, it is evident that consumers have shifted to traditional brews commonly known as Chibuku, instead of the more expensive clear beer.
The slowdown in consumer spending on alcohol products following the introduction of the levy, coupled with the economic downturn, negatively affected the performance of underlying associate companies, Kgalagadi Breweries Limited (KBL) and Botswana Breweries Limited (BBL) especially in the second quarter of 2009.
Clear beer sales plummeted as brewers, KBL, felt the effects of the levy. The company suffered losses as sales went down by 16.4 percent in the second quarter of 2009, after going up by 16.9 percent before the levy was introduced. Overall, clear beer sales volumes were 0.5 percent down.