Kenya Breweries Limited is planning to invest Sh1 billion to establish an additional line for local spirits production in the country, Business Daily reports.
The move, Kenya Breweries says, seeks to attend to a growing demand for spirits, which has been on the rise following Covid-19 lockdown and containment measures.
KBL managing director John Musunga says spirits volumes have increased, and they will have an increased role to play in the company’s overall business than was the case in the past.
More consumers are preferring liquor to beer due to cost, amidst decreasing income due to Covid-19 pandemic shocks.
KBL said the rising demand is also driven by an increasing number of people entering the legal drinking age and opting to debut with spirits. An additional spirits line will see KBL start local production of new international brands and also rev up volumes of those already being locally produced.
“The Sh1 billion will be spent on purchasing the new line machinery and expanding the storage capacity at its sister company, UDV Kenya, to meet the rising market demand,” Business Daily said.
KBL in 2017 started local production of Captain Morgan Gold —both 250 millilitres (ml) and 750ml— through UDV Kenya distillery as opposed to importing the brand.
KBL is now also producing the Smirnoff Red Vodka, Gilbey’s and 250ml Mr Dowell’s but plans to extend this to 750ml. The spirits, particularly Captain Morgan and Gilbey’s are recording double digit growth.
Counterfeiting, however, remains a key challenge for KBL.