Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL) is set to launch a Sh1 billion investment for an additional line for local production of spirits. This due to increased growing consumer demand for the product.
The consumer demand for spirits has been increasing than that of beer and the trend has been reinforced since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. This has justified the need for an additional spirits line.
KBL managing director John Musunga said the volume of spirits consumption has increased and it’s, therefore, an opportunity to raise production by having an additional line. He added spirits will have an increased role to play in overall business than they used to have before.
The managing director John Musunga added that more customers shifted to spirits during the Covid-19 period due to reduced visits to entertainment spots, restaurants, and pubs where beer consumption is predominant.
The company noted that many consumers are shifting to mainstream and premium spirit brands since they cost less than beers. Additionally, they also come in a wide range of tastes. The rising demand is also driven by an increasing number of people opting to debut with spirits.
The additional spirits line will see KBL start production of new brands and also rev up amounts of those already being produced locally.
The Sh1 billion investment will be utilized on purchasing new line machinery and expanding the storage capacity to meet the rising demand.
In 2017, the company started local production of Captain Morgan Gold; 250 ml and 750ml, through UDV Kenya distillery as opposed to importing the product. This saved costs and eliminated the logistics associated with imports as it was with the case of the Suez Canal shut-down where products were delayed to reach the Kenyan market like Johnnie Walker.
The brewer has seen the growth in sales of its beers such as Guinness, Pilsner, and Tusker lager with those of spirits posting double-digit growth. The firm is also producing Smirnoff Red Vodka and Gilbey’s. It also produces Mr Dowell’s in 250ml and plans to extend it to 750ml.