KENYA – Kenya Wine Agencies Ltd (KWAL), a subsidiary of Dutch brewer Heineken, has officially relocated its production site to its newly commissioned Ksh 4 billion (US$28.3m) ultra-modern manufacturing facility.

Now located at Tatu City Industrial Park Ruiru, the company said the production facility will enhance KWAL’s local value creation and make a significant contribution to the company’s long-term growth strategy.

“KWAL marked two historical milestones. Ending our operations on Enterprise Road Industrial Area – our home for the past 34 years – and opening up a new chapter at our new factory and office premises at Tatu Industrial Park,” the company announced in a LinkedIn post.

The investment will mark the first production facility opened by KWAL in more than two decades and has facilitated the installation of state-of-the-art equipment in the factory with enhanced capacity to meet ever-evolving consumer tastes.

The site also hosts a customer distribution center as well as offices that will provide employees with a better working environment, according to the company.

Kuria Muchiru, KWAL Board Chairperson, during the groundbreaking event, stated: ‘‘The aspirations of Kenya’s Big 4 Agenda and Vision 2030’s economic pillar to boost local production, expand to the regional market and take advantage of global market niches has been the guide for our operations and expansion for KWAL.

“Our new plant is expected to greatly enhance production capacity, as well as our competitiveness within the East African region.’’

According to KWAL Managing Director, Lina Githuka, the KWAL Tatu City facility will be an eco-friendly space having leveraged go-green construction and systems to promote recycling and reuse to enhance responsible production and consumption within the facility.

KWAL has been synonymous with Kibao Vodka, Hunter’s Choice Whisky, Hunter’s Gold Cider, Hunter’s Dry Cider, Best Cream, and Best Whisky.

Other brands include Caprice Wine, Kibao Vodka, Viceroy Brandy, Amarula, Cellar Cask Wine, Kingfisher, Altar Wine, and Yatta Juice.

KWAL shareholders include Distell which has a majority shareholding. The Kenyan government is a significant shareholder through its Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation (ICDC).

After completing its takeover of Distell, Heineken transferred all its interests in business in certain key markets outside of South Africa and Namibia, including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and South Sudan to Sunside Acquisitions Limited (SAL).

In March 2022, the distribution business operations in Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, and South Sudan were valued at R885.5 million (US$58m).

For the East African alcoholic beverages market outlook, Imarc Group projects a CAGR of 8.8% during the forecast period of 2022-2027.

The second-largest beer company in the world by revenue mandated SAL to focus on developing and expanding the businesses in the select markets.

Meanwhile, Tatu Industrial Park is the fastest-growing new industrial zone in Kenya and East Africa, it is already home to more than 60 local, regional, and multi-national businesses.

Industry leaders at Tatu Industrial Park include Dormans, Cooper K-Brands, Chandaria Industries, Kim-Fay, Unilever, Davis & Shirtliff, Cold Solutions, Copia, FFK, Twiga Foods, and Stecol, among others. The Industrial Park is located in Tatu City, Kenya’s first operational Special Economic Zone.

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