KENYA – Kevian Kenya, a Kenyan based juice producer, has now ventured into the production of energy drinks in a move that seeks to expand its product portfolio.

The producer of the renowned Afia and Pick N’ Peel juice brands said it has started producing three variants of its new ‘Afia Energy Drink’ which include apple, classic and strawberry flavours, reports Business Daily.

“This is a locally formulated product that we have been working on as part of our brand expansion plan,” said Kevian managing director, Kimani Rugendo.

The new products, which will be retailing at Sh120 (us$1.19), enjoins the local market dominated Australia-produced RedBull and America’s Monster Energy.

Mr Rugendo said that despite a stiff competition in the sector, the firm has invested strategically to ensure a sustainable business and competitiveness of the products.

“The market response has been very inspiring for the few weeks the new product has been in the market. Our end-game has been on quality, accessibility and affordability,” he said.

The Thika based company, which also has a plant in Nairobi, has been diversifying its products following support of the German Investment Corporation which has seen Kevian venture into production of non-alcoholic malt drinks, tomato sauce and ready-to-drink coffee.

Kevian has also entered a partnership deal with the British soft drink brand Vimto through an exclusive franchise deal allowing the local manufacturer to produce the Vimto drink locally from its Thika plant.

Currently, Kevian’s portfolio includes eight non-alcoholic malt drinks, which are marketed in Ethiopia, Uganda, Zambia, Tanzania, Zambia and Sudan.

The Kenyan company raised the US$19.87 million for the new range of products from its internal cash flow as it continues its growth in the East African country’s US$1 billion soft drinks market.

The company recently invested US$22.8 million to expand its product line in its Thika Based Plant which Mr Rugendo said is all focused at growing the business through new brands to strengthen the firms market presence in the region.

Kevian has also unveiled plans of listing on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) through an initial public offering (IPO) as part of its strategy to transfer ownership of part of the company to the public.