Against speculations that attention has been shifted from Star Lager Beer, the flagship beer brand of Nigerian Breweries, the foremost brewery said the notion is not true and that Star larger remains one of the leading beer brands in its portfolio.

Marketing Director of Nigerian Breweries, Emmanuel Oriakhi gave the position while fielding questions from journalists at the Pre-Annual General Meeting held last Wednesday in Lagos.

According to him, Star Larger like every other brands in Nigerian Breweries portfolio will continue to enjoy the attention of the brewery giant for the sake of the consumers whose needs are constantly changing, “and it is because of them we are in business”.

In his words: “The reality is that there is far more choice now and there has been generalization in the market as a result we see regional brands that use to be non existence has become strong and dominant brand.

“But I can tell you for a fact that, the Star larger brand last year had a very strong performance and back to growth,” he said.

Oriakhi noted that, the beauty about NB is that it has a portfolio that really meet the needs of different consumers, portfolio that plays on the emotional aspect also.

“We have the national, regional and premium brand as well and I think that portfolio is our strength but we are not giving up on Star, like I said last year the brand showed an impressive sales performance,” he pointed.

Speaking further, Oriakhi said Nigerian Breweries will continue to increase investments in marketing and advertisements this year with focus on innovation and optimization of its premium brands to drive awareness and growth for the business.

“We have actually made significant investments in our premium portfolio, and so we have seen that with our premium portfolio, we are growing at a faster pace than the rest of the market. We have a broad portfolio of brands and do not under-invest in any particular brand in our portfolio. Those brands are there because we do know that they serve different needs across the country for different demographics. So, we believe that the investments in our brands are long-term. There could be short-term challenges in the market, with the situation in the country, but we are not a short-term player in this market. We are 76 years in this market. Investment is how we have built our brands and how we will continue,” he said.

Also speaking, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Hans Essaadi, said despite the harsh business climate of 2022, the company was able to meet customers’ expectations.

“For over 77 years, we have built a strong legacy weathering so many storms. We have been faced and still being faced by storms especially with the Russia-Ukraine crisis that has made the price of diesel skyrocket. We are optimistic that we would sail through like we have always done over the past 77 years,” he said.

Among others, he mentioned the ‘japa’ syndrome, inflation, rising cost and insecurity situation as other major challenges the company faced last year, adding that the insecurity situation hindered both local and foreign investments in the country.

He however pointed that, the long term fundamentals for Nigeria are positive, even as he explained that, the company’s collaboration with relevent local and international research institutes had been expanded to further assess and improve the performance and adaptability of selected registered local sorghum varieties.

He stated that the collaboration will help in the development of new sorghum varieties with improved quality for the industry and increased yield for farmers.