KENYA – East African Breweries Limited is set to launch a premium whisky brand to boost its sales volumes.
The new Talisker Storm is a variant of Talisker 10 that EABL has been distributing in Kenya on behalf of Diageo, its anchor shareholder, for the past two years.
Talisker Storm, which is distilled in Scotland, has an alcohol content of 45.8 per cent packaged in a 700ml bottle that will be selling at a recommended retail price of Sh5,230. A litre of Talisker 10 retails at Sh5,140.
EABL recorded a double-digit growth in its spirits sales in the year ended June.
These sales contributed significantly to the brewer’s earnings, helping it post a five per cent increase in full-year net profit to Sh6.85 billion from Sh6.52 billion the previous year.
“We are responding to consumer demand,” said Charles Ireland, the managing director for EABL.
The brewer is also yet to disclose when it will launch Bulleit Bourbon, a premium drink which is distilled in Kentucky, US from a mixture of corn, rye and malted barley.
The brewer’s premium spirits include Johnnie Walker Red Label, Smirnoff Vodka and Baileys while its reserve products include Johnnie Walker Blue Label, and Don Julio tequila among others.
EABL’s business came under pressure after an introduction of 50 per cent excise tax on Senator Keg beer caused sales of the low-end brand to drop 75 per cent.
While EABL reacted, introducing new products in the low-cost spirits category and restructuring its business to cut costs, it has also paid special attention to the high-end spirits segments which is currently one of its best performing segments.
Other than introduce new variants like Talisker Storm and Bulleit Bourbon, the brewer is undertaking a marketing campaign dubbed the “Love Whisky Festival” seeking to grow its market share.
“The launch of Talisker Storm signals the maturity of the whisky market in Kenya,” said Douglas Duncanson EABL’s Reserve Brand Ambassador.