Kenya Breweries Limited(KBL) is set to make a fresh stab at the low-end alcohol market with an additional new spirits production line worth KSh 1 Billion.
This follows growing competition in this segment of the alcohol drinks market to cater for a growing number of customers whose incomes have been worst hit by effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
KBL low-end spirits
Already, United Distillers and Vinters(UDV) Kenya Limited-a spirits subsidiary of KBL, has several spirit-based alcoholic beverages popular with low-income earners. The Kenya Cane brand features prominently.
For instance, KBL brands such as Chrome, Keg and Senator alcoholic beverages has faced stiff competition for the low-end market.
These include such brands as Moon Walker triple distilled Vodka that retails at KSh 160 for the 250 ml content, manufactured and bottled by Monwalk Investments Limited in Nairobi.
Also featuring on many Wines and Spirits outlets is the Kibao, blended and bottled by Kenya Wines Agencies Limited, at Nairobi’s Industrial Area. A 250 ml bottle of Kibao retails at more than KSh 200 in most outlets.
This new bottling line will enable KBL to begin local production of international spirit brands while ramping up volumes of those already produced in Kenya.
Many consumers have preferred spirits for their affordability, and trends in the Covid-19 period show sustained growth.
A limit on operating hours for bars, restaurants and entertainment joints has forced many drinkers to spend fewer hours at joints, preferring the more potent spirits.
KBL has been relying on its Chrome Vodka brand, which retails at KSh 200 for the 250 ml bottle, to compete with other low-priced bottled spirits found at almost every wines and spirits joint.
According to KBL Managing Director John Musunga, spirits have become critical to the overall business that was the case a few years back.
KBL is also targeting youthful drinkers who have attained the legal drinking age and are likely, to begin with spirits.