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Visioning the future of brewing


Brewers wishing to grow their business globally face many challenges: environmental, health-related, regulatory, demographic, cultural etc.  In response to these, SABMiller asked Cambridge Consultants to create a vision of brewing in 2020, across six continents.  What breakthrough technologies will emerge?  What will be the winning strategies for eco-friendly manufacturing, packaging and logistics?  How will the conflicting needs of corporations, consumers, employees and regulators be reconciled?


We used our tried and tested visioning methodology, which is based on in-depth consultations with carefully-selected futurologists, industry gurus, senior academics and key opinion leaders across all the themes and territories of relevance to SABMiller.  Over sixty interviews were conducted, with interviewees based in twenty countries.  The insights gained enabled us to explore, via a series of workshops, a diverse set of change drivers that will shape the way SABMiller manages its manufacturing and logistics, recruits and retains staff, and deals with a varied range of challenging external forces – political, economic and regulatory.


Our work enabled SABMiller to prepare for change by highlighting those aspects of operations, logistics, human capital and external forces where the corporation is likely to face the most significant challenges, in all of its global markets.  SABMiller is now focusing efforts on key topics such as automation and connectivity, supply grids, resource optimisation and new skill sets.  In a spirit of open innovation, we also introduced SABMiller to senior forward-looking counterparts in global corporations in other markets – for example mining, oil & gas, FMCG and pharma – who are facing similar challenges.