As part of its ongoing strategy to diversify its products, Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL) has announced the launch of Sminorff Green Apple. The new Sminorff Ice variant comes in a 300ml bottle and will cost consumers Sh130. It’s an addition to the already existing Red Ice and Black ice. The new drink comes at a time when market sales of spirits are rapidly growing as opposed to beer.
The alcohol and beverage manufacturer has been keen on investing in innovation as the driver for growth in the alcohol manufacturing business. KBL which has invested more than Sh300 billion towards the Ruaraka plant and the construction of a new plant in Kisumu looks to stay abreast with the ever shifting consumer needs of its Keg and spirits products.
“We are extremely proud to launch the Smirnoff Ice Green Apple in the market. It is part of our broader agenda to innovate products that address changing tastes and preferences across a diverse category of consumers in the Kenyan market,” Jane Karuku, KBL managing director said in a statement.
KBL has also most recently launched Hope House 13, which is an international beer brand targeted at premium market, alongside brands such as Zinga which are targeted at lower end of the market.
The spirits industry is among the most viable for manufacturers locally and has recorded stable growth in recent past. Industry players attribute this rise in spirits sales to an increase in taxes, competition, drought, economic growth that does not trickle down, regulatory headwinds and millennial-led dynamics.
In spite of robust economic growth in East Africa, averaging six percent in the recent years, the trickledown effect has been nominal. This has impacted disposable incomes and diminished bottled beer uptake in favor of spirits.
In the past five years Kenya has increased excise duty on bottled beer four times including a 43 percent increase that came into effect in December 2015. – the highest on the continent – which has also eaten into the market expansion of bottled beer.