Republic Distilleries Akpeteshie Spirit Takes Aim At $1.4 Trillion Liquor Market

Food & Drink

The resurgence of a once banned liquor in Ghana, Akpeteshie, is shaking up the global distillery market. Brothers Kofi and Raja Owusu-Ansah, owners of Republic Distilleries in Accra, are bringing Akpeteshie, Ghana’s indigenous alcoholic spirit distilled from sugar cane juice, to the rest of world. They are poised to disrupt the international liquor market valued at $1.4 trillion in 2021, a figure that’s expected to grow 10.3% until 2028, one “Kokroko” drink at a time.

The Breakdown You Need To Know:

The African distillery market has been growing steadily in recent years, with increasing demand for traditional alcoholic beverages in the region, changing consumer preferences, and expanding export opportunities. Specifically, consumer expenditure on the continent hit $1.4 trillion in 2015 and this figure is expected to reach $2.5 trillion by 2030, according to Brookings.

Republic Distilleries is ​​giving Akpeteshie the “Cool Factor” that consumers and investors alike are looking for. At Republic Bar, the direct-to-consumer part of the brothers distillery business, they are hoping to replicate the wild success of Cachaça in Brazil, also a distillate of sugar cane, which is expected to hit about $485.8 billion in 2028, according to Adroit Market Research.

“Akpeteshie and its distillation is firmly rooted in Ghanaian tradition and culture. Ghana’s organically grown sugarcane and methods of distillation can certainly provide the world with another Cane-Spirit option,” Raja Owusu-Ansah said to CultureBanx.

Distilling African Success:

West Africa’s alcoholic beverages market is ripe for investment and growth as it reached a value of $11.7 billion in 2021. Looking forward, the IMARC Group expects the West Africa alcoholic beverages market to reach $6.8 billion by 2027. Broadly across the continent, a report by Euromonitor International found the total volume of alcoholic beverages in Africa was estimated to be around 21.2 billion liters in 2019, with a retail value of approximately $65.2 billion.

Africa is one of the fastest-growing consumer markets in the world, and the aforementioned figures are just
a few more reasons why Akpeteshie has the opportunity to become a formidable competitor in the global liquor market. Ghana’s Akpeteshie has the opportunity to one day become as big as Mexico’s tequila market valued at $10.4 billion in 2022 and projected to grow to $15.5 billion by 2029.

Positive Pan African Drinks:

The African distillery market is dynamic and constantly evolving. Across the continent, distilleries contribute to economic growth by creating employment opportunities, generating revenue through exports, and stimulating local communities. For Republic Distilleries bringing Akpeteshie to the world is a way of preserving Ghana’s cultural identity, while promoting its unique traditional alcoholic beverages in domestic and international markets.

“Akpeteshie has always accompanied the celebration of Ghana’s traditional festivals, weddings, funerals and parties,” said Kofi Owusu-Ansah. It’s these types of events that Republic Distilleries wants to make sure their Akpeteshie alcohol is a part of in countries all around the world.

Situational Awareness:

Quick background on Akpeteshie: In the 1930s, when the Great Depression hit West Africa, drinking liquor became too expensive. Ghanaians began to distill Akpeteshie at home, giving this local brew the name that in its local language means “in hiding”. Originally banned by British Colonial authorities, it was legalized in 1962, five years after Ghana’s independence from the British Empire.

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