KENYA – East African Breweries Limited (EABL) has started selling its bottled beer brands in packs of six, stacked in a carton containing 24 bottles, shifting from use of crates, in a bid to make it convenient for consumers to purchase and encourage bulk buying for take-away.
The brewery is counting on deliveries and the off-trade market to sustain its business, as the ban on alcohol sale in bars and restaurants continues in Kenya which has hit its bottom line for the just concluded financial year.
EABL recorded a 9% decline in net sales for the financial year ended 30 June 2020, as first half growth of 10% was offset by a 29% decline in the second half.
The second half decline was due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic which saw containment measures implemented across East Africa from late March 2020.
The pandemic hit the business performance after three consecutive double-digit halves of growth, with profit for the year declining by 39% to KShs 7 billion (US$64.9m) from KShs 11.5 billion (US$106.7m) in the previous year.
According to reports by Business Daily, EABL is banking on new model and will entail consumers to return bottles once they finish consuming.
Customers will, however, be required to part with Sh17 as deposit per bottle or a total of Sh408 for a carton of 24 bottles.
“We are introducing a new pack format for ease of home consumption. We are using packs of six in a carton instead of the shopper having to carry loose bottles,” the brewer said.
“The packaging is cartons of 24 bottles and each carton has four packs of six. As soon as they are through with consuming the product they have bought, they need to return the empties.”
The firm said the new packaged beer will be available in all off-trade outlets such as supermarkets, wines and spirit shops and convenience stores.
EABL is banking on this new move to reach its customers given that bars remain closed.
The company is also focused on re-emerging strongly from the current crises and has since set aside Ksh.500 million to support the recovery of on-trade outlets in Nairobi, Kampala and Dar es Salam once they resume operations as part of its mother company-Diageo Ksh.10.7 billion (US$100 million) ‘Raising the Bar’ global fund.
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