KBL launches new products to stay ahead of competition

KENYA- Kenya Breweries Ltd (KBL), a leading brewer and subsidiary of East African Breweries Ltd (EABL) has in the past one year debuted an array of five new products, having launched its latest Smirnoff Ice Green Apple product late April.

Based on a report by Business Daily, the launches were in line with the company’s diversification strategy aimed at offering consumers more choice.

Although beer is expected to record a total volume CAGR of 4%, the spirits market has been considered lucrative for manufacturers locally and has posted steady growth in the recent past.

Traction in the spirits market was attributed to increasing penetration of low-cost brands having a positive impact on volume sales in 2016, according to Euromonitor.

EABL took a lead in spirits in 2016 with a total volume share of 30% building on a strong brand name as a result of its quality product offerings, strong marketing and wide product variety.

Last year, the company expanded its consumer product choice away from beer by launching Captain Morgan Gold, Black and White Scotch Whisky, Kenya Cane Citrus Fusion and Triple Ace Vodka.

According to the company, the expansion has been driven by its target to reach millennial consumers by launching products that are tailored to their taste and preference in order to gain brand relevance.

“Millennial consumers are a dominant consumer category globally.

They have influenced the company’s direction and KBL has leveraged on their emerging trends in order to make our products accessible to them and relevant across multiple alcohol-beverage categories.

Innovation contributed US$53.86 million (18% of KBL sales) in H1 of F18,” said Stephen O’Kelly, KBL’s Marketing and Innovations Director.

The new Smirnoff variant is available in 300ml bottle building on a strong spirits portfolio including Black Ice and Red Ice.

Smirnoff is one of KBL’s key brands together with Guinness, Tusker, Senator Keg which all reported a 4% decline in net sales growth for the company’s H1 of F18 released in January.

However, it reported its bottled beer grew 5% driven by Tusker Cider, Tusker Lite, Guinness, White Cap and Balozi despite decline in net sales.

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