February ‘16
My Fine Wine

February ‘16
Al Ahram Beverages
Al Ahram Beverages


    


Al Ahram Beverages Company (ABC) has been operating in the Egyptian market since 1897. Currently, ABC is managed by a team of national and multinational experts as it is an important member of the international HEINEKEN Group.

Egyptians are not very comfortable with Egyptian alcoholic beverages for many reasons such as, dehydration, headaches, toxicity, and its being bad for the skin. So tell us.

I know, I know don’t worry; well I was not here but I heard stories and I saw how the factory looked like when we bought it; I understand the history of it too, and with this heritage we really have to work extra hard to convince the Egyptians that things have changed.


So what are you going to do in order for the people to know that things have really changed?

We are going to tell our story of success: we already knew we were making good wines; and as a company we needed to technically prove this so we participated in several international competitions. We entered these competitions to get an extra external argument, which is trustworthy, coming from the US, UK & Austria. It is something that will help us tell our story to the Egyptians: that an Egyptian-made product won international medals, which means that we are able to produce very good products that you can buy. Also this enables us to have events like this gala dinner, talk to the press, and communicate to the consumers. That’s really part of the plan.


Are you still producing Cape Bay, which I believe you launched to build trust?

Yes we still produce it. It was actually partially launched to reach out to the outside world and try to build trust in Egypt but also as a way to diversify our portfolio. At the end of the day, even though we make very good wine, consumers also want to try different things, different varieties, different kinds of grapes, and you try to build a wine culture. You know that a wine culture is not that you have the best wine, and drink that wine every single day with every single meal... It’s having different kinds of wine with different kinds of grapes which are suitable for different meals and for different occasions. So we brought into our portfolio more of the international varieties like Cape Bay and Chateau de Grandville to try to offer much more choices and varieties to our consumers.


According to law, you can’t put billboards and you can’t advertise in newspapers. Are you restricted with censorship or scared of Islamists? Did you get any threats?

It’s not about threats, we have to comply with the law. We can organize events but we cannot advertise them, it has to be word of mouth.