By Macharia Kamau
Distel Wine Masters has severed links with the Kenya Wine Agencies Ltd (Kwal) after 14 years of partnership.
Kwal had been bottling and distributing alcoholic beverages manufactured by Distell’s South African parent company.
Distel said it would undertake the distribution of its brands locally and in the region.
Distel Wine Masters popular brands include Amarula and Viceroy. The firm said it will put a manufacturing plant to bottle its products locally.
The move comes at a time when the South African brewer is making efforts to re-enter the local market.
It recently acquired Crown Beverages that bottles Keringet water. Crown Beverages has also been distributing SABMiller brands, including Castle and Redds.
“Distel is phasing out its current bottling and distribution agreement with Kwal, which has played a major role in the growth of Distel during the 14 years,” said James Wahome, general manager, Distell Wine Masters Kenya.
He added that a charged competitive landscape had made it necessary for Distel to build additional capacity to capture future growth opportunities.
“This was only possible by investing directly in Kenya and through an active involvement in local and regional marketing and distribution activities,” he said.
Wahome said the developments reflected the greater strategic focus that Distel was giving to East Africa.
“We want to capitalise on the exciting growth opportunities offered by the region – not just through investment in Kenya, but also by intensifying our involvement in local and regional marketing and distribution activities.”
The move is expected to further increase competition in the alcoholic beverages market that has in the recent past grown, following the re-entry of South African SABMiller.
East African Breweries has also been re-angling its products and launching new brands to ward off competition. Keroche Industries has also upped marketing of its brands in the country.
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