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Kenya Breweries banking on innovation to drive growth

Alcohol and Beverage manufacturer, Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL) is keen on investing in innovation as the driver for growth in the alcohol manufacturing business.

KBL, which has invested more than Sh30 billion towards the Ruaraka plant and the construction of a new plant in Kisumu, is looking to expand its keg and spirits business, in an effort to stay in tune with ever shifting consumer needs.

KBL Managing Director Jane Karuku said that the brewer is aiming at creating greater impact to the economy.

“We are a leading taxpayer in Kenya, and we are optimistic that we shall continue to grow in the market over the next five years. Our vision is to contribute more to the country’s GDP, and as we do this we would also like to benefit the society to a larger scale. KBL’s vision is to create more jobs, have more local sourced material and lead the responsibility agenda in terms of alcohol in society,” said Ms Karuku.

KBL’s Head of Beer Portfolio, Janice Kemoli elaborated on the brewer’s wide range portfolio in bottled beer in Kenya.


“Our beer sales have been growing by single digits in the last five years led by Senator, a fact that we are very proud of. We have made huge investments on our KBL bottled beer led by our leading beer Tusker, to Balozi, which is targeted at an older demographic as well Tusker Lite and Malt which are in the premium category. In our portfolio we have products to cater to the needs of the various consumer categories”, said Ms. Kemoli.

KBL Head of Spirits Anne Joy Muhoro said that the category has been growing by double digits over the last few years.

“Kenya Breweries is proud to be the leader in the mainstream spirits market with the ever innovative Kenya Kane, which translates to over 80 percent of sales in the category. Our mainstream spirits have been growing double digits over the years”, said Ms Muhoro.

KBL has 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 a lower end of the market.

“We invest heavily in innovation in the manufacture of beer and spirits to suit the changing taste profiles and demographics. We know that the younger demographics have a sweater palate, whereas the older ones have a more premium preference. Ours is to make sure that our portfolio encompasses the whole consumer portfolio,” said Fredrick Otieno, Head of innovation KBL.


The brewer has also launched spirits such as Captain Morgan, Black and White Scotch Whisky all of which are pocket friendly to the consumer, while allowing them to enjoy the same level of quality as the high end ones.

According to the company’s Head of Sustainability, Jean Kiarie Ngumo, KBL is keen on ensuring a sustainable business through various projects that KBL is running across the country.

“KBL contributes 0.8 percent to the country’s GDP and we are strong contributors to the economy having impacted over 1.8 million people. We employ between 250,000-300,000 people indirectly in our market place”, said Ms Ngumo.

As KBL Innovates, the impact to the community has been tremendous as the brewer has been expanding its footprint across the country in terms of distributors as well as Sorghum farmers.

KBL is working with more than 30,000 sorghum farmers, and stands at 80 percent local sourcing for raw materials.