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Alcoholic Drinks in Kenya
Inputtime:2015-09-29 11:19:00

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Alcoholic drinks decline in Kenya in 2014

The alcoholic drinks market in Kenya experienced a volume sales decline in 2014 due to the sharp decrease recorded in volume sales of economy beer. Beer is the biggest category in alcoholic drinks in Kenya and the tax imposed on economy beer in October 2013 saw a decline in volume sales as economy beer prices rose. Leading economy brand Senator Lager experienced a substantial volume sales decline over the review period, affecting overall volume sales.

Consumer segmentation is used by leading players to define new product launches

Manufacturers in the Kenyan alcoholic drinks market launched various products targeting different consumer income groups during 2014. To cushion the lower income consumers from the high taxation imposed on the Senator Keg brand, East African Breweries Limited (EABL) launched Senator Dark Extra beer. The company also launched the Jebel brand in spirits, targeting lower LSM groups. For high-income and middle-income consumers, EABL launched premium spirits and provided an online platform for consumers to place orders, with products carrying retail prices, providing an opportunity for higher sales and enabling it to maintain its leadership in the market. The growing middle-income consumer segment with high spending power and growing nightlife saw Heineken NV and East African Breweries Ltd launch Desperados and Smirnoff Ice Guarana in 2014, with both products using appealing packaging to reach this specific target audience.

EABL maintains leadership through innovative product pricing

East African Breweries Ltd (EABL) dominates alcoholic drinks in Kenya. Its Tusker beer brand is the leading brand within alcoholic drinks in Kenya overall. The company also dominates spirits in Kenya, with its new gin brand Jebel already the second biggest brand within spirits overall. Strong growth of this brand boosted EABL’s volume share in 2014. UDV Kenya’s Kenya Cane leads spirits, although it could only hold fifth position overall in 2014. Coca-Cola, Crown Beverages and Keroche Breweries occupied second, third and fourth positions overall in alcoholic drinks during 2014.

Modern retail outlets remain the preferred retail channels for alcoholic drinks distribution

The proliferation of retail outlets in residential areas and the accessibility of these outlets, coupled with the growing shopping centre culture among the Kenyan population, are slowly influencing how consumers purchase alcoholic drinks. Metal beverage cans is a growing packaging concept that has wide appeal for retailers as product handling is simplified, resulting in fewer breakages and cheaper transport costs as metal cans are lighter in weight than glass bottles. Most consumers from middle-income and low-income groups purchase their alcoholic drinks from outdoor markets and supermarkets, outlets which stock a wide variety of products at affordable prices. For premium products, select supermarkets and restaurants are the distribution channels that producers and distributors prefer to use.

Growth expected during the forecast period as income levels rise

Alcoholic drinks in Kenya is set to grow over the forecast period, with economic growth expected due to political stability and increased foreign investment in the country. Increased business confidence in Kenya is set to promote higher disposable incomes and increased consumer spending on non-essential products. In addition, the growing young population in Kenya will also provide an opportunity for strong growth. Finally, the proliferation of bars, restaurants and hotels is also expected to spur growth in alcohol consumption in Kenya during the forecast period.