KENYA – The multinational soft beverage manufacturer, Coca-Cola, has launched a range of sugar free soft drink in Kenya as it continues to grow its healthier products portfolio across different markets.

As the company integrates its global strategy and seeks to evolve into becoming a total beverage company, it has been reshaping its growth strategy and operating model in line with changing consumer tastes and buying habits.

Over the recent past the company has broadened its product offerings in various category clusters including water, nectar juice, ready to drink coffee, tea bags and sports drinks.

The company has now launched an addition to the Minute Maid portfolio; Minute Maid Nutridefenses; a nectar juice fortified with vitamin E and Zinc, Coke plus Coffee; a fusion of Coca-Cola and coffee with a formulation of added coffee and fifty percent less sugar.

The company also launched their Without Sugar portfolio namely Coca-Cola, Fanta, Sprite and Stoney as it seeks to offer customers more choice and convenience by providing choice for the consumers to take their sodas with or without sugar.

The launch also saw the introduction of Powerade; a sports beverage that replenishes electrolytes, carbohydrates and vitamins during physical and sporting activities.

Coca- Cola head of marketing in Kenya and Tanzania Nelly Wainaina said the new products are part of the firm’s efforts to offer more consumer options and control sugar consumption.

The firm had in January revealed a product diversification plan with a key focus on an increasingly health-conscious consumer.

“With innovation at the core of our new business strategy, we will be able to create more opportunities for use of local ingredients and other inputs.

“We also need to encourage and enable our consumers to control added sugar consumption,” Mrs Wainaina

Business Daily reports that Mrs Wainaina revealed the company will also launch the products in neighbouring countries such as Uganda and South Africa in the next two weeks.

Coca-Cola says it has invested US$93 million (Sh9.3 billion) in its production and packaging lines to cater for the new brands alongside its mainstay soda, juice and water products in 2016 and 2017.

The soft drink major is has also invested in providing smaller, more convenient packaging, providing various pricing hierarchies within their portfolios to ensure consumers can select their beverage of choice based on affordability.

“We’ve been very clear that for us to drive sustainable, profitable growth of our brands, we also need to encourage and enable our consumers to control added sugar consumption. We are making a very conscious effort to not just expand our portfolio, but to shape our portfolio in a very deliberate way,” Mrs Wainaina added.

The company will also be adding more variations into their existing product portfolio in the regional market.