This paper assessed the influence of consumers on sorghum based clear beer (Eagle) value chain in Tanzania. The specific objectives were to assess consumers’ preferences and market potential of Eagle beer in Tanzania. The study areas were Moshi Rural and Karatu Districts in Kilimanjaro and Arusha regions respectively in Northern Tanzania. In these regions, the Eagle beer was launched for the first time by the manufacturers, that is, Tanzania Breweries Limited (TBL) in 2007. The respondents were selected purposely from different drinking outlets in Moshi Rural and Karatu districts. The findings show that the majority of the Eagle consumers were males, 87% in Moshi Rural and 93% in Karatu districts, respectively and their mean age was 36 years. The educational level of most of the consumers was primary education that is 63% for Moshi Rural and 67% for Karatu districts, respectively. The majority of consumers were married that is 73% in Moshi Rural and 60% in Karatu districts respectively. Most consumers shifted to Eagle due to reasonable price followed by its taste. The mean beer consumption was 20.5 bottles (500 ml) per week for Moshi Rural district consumers and 32 bottles per week for Karatu district consumers. Most preferred drinking outlet in Moshi Rural was bar (43%) followed by grocery stores (33%) whereby in Karatu, the most preferred outlet was grocery store (53%) followed by bars (43%). Most Eagle consumers shifted from drinking other beer brands and very few shifted from drinking spirits and locally produced beer or wines. However, 83% of Eagle consumers in Moshi Rural and 86% in Karatu districts respectively were consuming TBL products before switching to Eagle beer. The remaining were consuming non-TBL products and local drinks. The logistic regression analysis whereby consumers’ willingness to buy (WTB) Eagle beer was a dependent variable, showed that consumers’ taste of Eagle beer, consumers’ preference, grocery stores and bars were statistically significant. Log-linear regression analysis results whereby Eagle beer weekly consumption was a dependent variable showed that consumers’ taste and preference of Eagle beer and household income were statistically significant. Therefore, it is concluded that price, taste, preferences and household income had influence on Eagle beer consumption in Moshi Rural and Karatu districts respectively. It is therefore recommended that more marketing and promotion should be done in order to capture the market share that is still enjoyed by locally produced drinks and non-TBL products. However, care should be taken as this might cannibalize other TBL brands. Hence, as long as Eagle market is there, TBL will continue to buy sorghum from farmers and therefore farmers’ income will be improved.
Key words: Consumer preference, market potential, Sorghum based clear beer.
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