Naivasha based Keroche Breweries Ltd will generate an extra Sh1 billion to the exchequer annually through their newly launched Vienna Ice Strong Lager.
The company exuded confidence that it would hit the target through the newly launched beer despite a sharp drop in beer sales in the country due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
This came as it emerged that liquor sales in the locally-owned company had shrunk to 25 per cent due to the closure of bars and restaurants as part of the new ministry of health containment measures.
Keroche Chief Executive Tabitha Karanja said on Tuesday during the launch of the new Vienna Ice Strong Lager that has a ten per cent alcohol content that this was the first locally brewed strong beer in the market dominated by imports.
She said plans were underway to launch another brand of strong beer in the next three months – offering more job opportunities for residents and revenue. “The new product Vienna Ice Strong Lager will generate over Sh1 billion to KRA every year and this will rise with time as per our market projections,” she said.
The CEO said that the product was introduced to the market following a two-year survey which indicated the absence of strong beer in the country. “For years consumers have relied on imports in this market and the new brand which is unique will fill in this gap,” she said.
Karanja admitted that the pandemic had adversely affected the liquor sector with sales dropping by 25 per cent due to the closure of bars.
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She was however optimistic that things would change in the coming months with their projections of attaining ten per cent of the country’s market still on track.
“Tax remains a major challenge for us and we are content with the recent court ruling that directed the competition authority to the issue of beer packaging,” she said.
Operations Manager Nicholas Kipchirchir said that the new product was launched after the successful acceptance of KB lager last year.
He said the company had the capacity of producing over 40,00 bottles per year, noting that they would meet the demand of the newly launched strong beer. “We have done extensive market research and we are sure that this product will be accepted in the market by our consumers,” he said.