KENYA – Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL), a subsidiary of the global brewer, Diageo has launched ‘Tusker Premium Ale’, a premium offering that expands its premium beer portfolio.

The new premium ale, which the brewer says is made from aromatic hops and crystal malt, targets the middle-class in a bid to counter consumers’ increasing shift to premium and foreign brews from mass-market brands.

“The Tusker Premium Ale is brewed with specialty hops providing a richer mouth feel, colour and flavour,” noted Valentine Wambui, KBL master brewer.

The company says the beverage will be available in a stubby 500-mililitre bottle at a recommended retail price of Sh210.

Victor Kagema, senior innovations manager at KBL, said that the new product is targeting Kenya’s fast-expanding middle class whose tastes are trending toward premium beer, reports Business Daily.

“It is positioned for that consumer with discerning taste,” noted Mr Kagema.

The new product marks the expansion of KBL’s flagship Tusker brand whose portfolio includes Tusker Lager, Tusker Malt, Tusker Lite and Tusker Cider.

This comes at a time when competition from foreign brewers has intensified in the premium and super premium segments, which have experienced strong growth and retained attractive profit margins.

In the recent past, EABL through its subsidiaries, has debuted an array of five new products, having launched its latest Smirnoff Ice Green Apple product late April last year.

The launch marks the company’s ambitions to stay ahead of its competitors in the ever competitive alcoholic beverage sector.

Other than growing and diversifying its product portfolio in the region, EABL – whose businesses run across Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania – has also invested in new beer production line in Kenya as part of its expansion strategy.

EABL posted pre-tax profits of US$96.2 million in its half year results for the six months to end December 2018 representing a 33% increase in profits.

The firm said that growth in beer and spirit volumes and sales across the three countries drove the performance as well as investments leading to vibrant innovations.

Greater focus on productivity coupled with up-weighted marketing investment were also noted to contribute significantly.