Food & beverage

Possible careers within this industry
Food technologist | Sommelier | Barista | Chef | Sales | Marketing

Essentially, this industry can be split into two divisions – there is the manufacturing aspect, as well as the hospitality side of things (restaurants, hotels, lodges and the like). In terms of manufacturing, the South African food and beverage industry is self-sufficient, and is largely able to service the needs of the population through locally produced raw materials, although the country does have a large import market. In fact, the food industry forms the largest section of South Africa’s manufacturing industry. Consolidation with a number of large international market players has allowed the sector to benefit from exposure to new technologies as well as global expertise.

While the local alcohol industry is dominated by SAB, it also supports a number of microbreweries. The soft drinks market is led by Coca-Cola, which operates though Amalgamated Beverage Industries (ABI).

What to study

Your area of study will be determined by which aspect of the industry interests you the most. If you’re drawn to the hospitality side, a course through a hotel school will equip you with all you need to know about beverage management and the culinary arts. Marketing and sales knowledge will also stand you in good stead, as well as certain business subjects such as health and safety and business development. If production and the manufacturing and processing of food appeals to you, then relevant degrees such as logistics, manufacturing, engineering and agriculture would be helpful.