ETHIOPIA – The East African Bottling Company, Coca Cola’s maker, is introducing the brand’s bottled water, Dasani, to the market.

The water, which will come in half and 1.5lt bottles, will be produced on the existing combo line production – a two line production that can be used for both water and soft drink production. This line, which became operational in 2013, cost 30 million dollars.

The combo line “has the capacity to fill 36,000 bottles an hour,” says Misikir Mulugeta, Brand Manager at East Africa Bottling.

Dasani is available in 34 countries globally, including Canada, Chile, Argentina, Peru, Kenya, Congo, Egypt, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Columbia and Paraguay, according to the company’s website, which adds that “most facilities that purify and bottle DASANI procure water from municipal water systems.

At a few plants, however, water is obtained from protected groundwater sources managed by the bottling plant, with approval from local authorities”.

East Africa Bottling gets the water from three boreholes, which it also uses to supply the water for its soft drink production, Misikir said.

There are six water brands in Ethiopia that are certified for conformity of the standards required for bottled water, out of the 32 bottled water companies in the sector.

The certified companies are Great Abyssinia Plc, the bottler of Abyssinia spring water; Asku Plc, bottler of AquaAddis spring water; Yes Brands Food & Beverage Plc, bottler of Yes spring water; Herbal Trade & Industry Plc, bottler of SPA water, Eden Business S.C, bottler of Eden water and Origin Food & Beverage Factory, the bottler of Origin water.

Now Dasani is coming as the seventh water to be certified in the country and Coca-Cola’s only water brand in Ethiopia. The Coca-Cola Company markets different water brands in the world, such as Bonqua in South Africa and EVA in Nigeria, according to Misikir.

The company is now importing preforms to make the bottles for the packaging.  A local company could be contracted for the manufacture of the preforms, Misikir said. The half-litre water will sell in stores at seven Birr, while the 1.5lt will sell for 12 Br.

Bottled mineral water is one of 57 products for which the Ministry of Trade (MoT) has adopted mandatory standards.

“There is a growing demand for high quality bottled water in Ethiopia, and we are confident that the Dasini meets the growing consumer need,” speculates Misikir.

Dasani was first introduced in 1999 to the US market. It was gradually introduced in several other countries.

October 5, 2014;