Cape Town is an established hub for food and beverage manufacturing, boasting some of the country’s largest companies in the sector.
The city’s proximity to a vast and productive agricultural hinterland with distinctive agricultural yields (including grapes, deciduous fruits and ostriches), its large international port, a growing consumer population and a relatively strong skills base, makes it a very competitive location in which to base food and beverage manufacturing operations.
The industry is one of the few manufacturing industries in which Cape Town has a positive trade balance and is a very important earner of foreign exchange for the city. Recent growth in food and beverage exports provides reason to believe that the sector is well placed to realise the opportunities presented by growing demand for food and beverage products on the African continent.
Cape Town hosts competitive clusters in terms of the manufacture of spice and saucing products, the processing of fish products, the manufacture of grain mill products (especially cereals), beer brewing and soft drink production.
Food and beverage manufacturing is the largest of Cape Town’s manufacturing industries, contributing 3.6% of Cape Town’s GVA and 4.1% of its formal employment. The industry has a metro location quotient of 1.3, meaning that it is relatively more important to Cape Town’s economy than it is to other metros and can thus be considered a comparative advantage industry for the city.
Competitive advantages of the Food and Beverages industry in Cape Town
- Cape Town has access to the country’s richest stocks of fish, especially hake.
- It has an established history in the food and beverage industry with some of the country’s largest firms in the sector.
- It has good proximity to a vast agricultural hinterland with distinctive agricultural yields (including grapes, deciduous fruits and ostriches).
- It has advantages in terms of having an international port.
- Cape Town and its broader region has a fast growing consumer population.
- Cape Town is a hub for artisanal food and beverage development being the largest producer of craft beer and the South African city with the largest per capita filter coffee consumption.