Zimbabweans can no longer afford to drown their sorrows in beer as the product is now priced beyond their reach, the country’s biggest alcohol brewer Delta said on Wednesday.
Delta, which has AB Inbev as its major shareholder, said beer volumes for the three months to June were down 57%, with high prices the biggest deterrent.
This should come as no surprise, with Zimbabwe’s inflation for the three months under review jumping from 75.86% in April to 175.66% in June.
National average wages and salaries have largely remained stagnant. Buying power has been eroded as the exchange rate between the US dollar and Zimbabwe's new currency - the real-time gross settlement dollar - depreciated from around 1:2.5 to the dollar to 1:9 currently.
This has left consumers hamstrung.
“Demand was subdued on account of affordability issues as market players adopted varied pricing models,” said Delta.
Teetotallers hava not spared, as volumes for soft drinks declined by 79% for the quarter.
“The macro-economic changes have led to a surge in inflation and a fast depreciating exchange rate which has resulted in the erosion of disposable incomes and reduced consumer spending," said Delta.