- Both drinks are longer seen as a beverage but mainly as a brand. Both companies commit heavily to sponsoring outdoor music festivals and are very charitable.
- Both Coca-Cola and Pepsi try to market as part of a life style. Coca-Cola uses phrases such as "Coke side of life" in their website, while Pepsi uses phrases such as "Hot stuff" in their website, to promote the idea that Pepsi is "in sync" with the cool side of life.
Pepsi tries to reach out to the younger generation by appealing to pop culture. If you visit their website you will be greeted with flashy pages containing pop music, cars, and fashion.
|Coca Cola and Pepsi brace for war|
By Njiriani Muchira
For over three decades, soft drinks giant Coca-Cola has dominated the Kenyan market with little competition.
Since PepsiCo exited the Kenyan market in the 1970s, Coca-Cola has held sway and vanquish competition by unleashing its enormous financial capabilities in marketing and advertising.
One such competition was Softa, the soft drink manufactured by Kuguru Foods, which despite resonating well with the low segment of the market due to a ‘buy one, get one free’ promotion never really managed to make an impact in the market.
The only other form of competition has come from East Africa Breweries Limited (EABL), which entered the soft drinks market with the launch of Alvaro. The product, however, has achieved little in shaking Coca-Cola’s supremacy.
But after years of dominating, Coke is now facing a real threat from its old foe after PepsiCo re-entered the Kenyan market last year, albeit at a slow pace.
The competition is expected to take a more vicious route after it emerge that SABMiller, the beverage conglomerate that acquired Crown Foods, is planning to go full throttle into the soft drinks market.
When it acquired Crown Foods, which packages the Keriget brand of water, SABMiller discontinued the juice business in the company but it is now rethinking the strategy.
PepsiCo, in partnership with its local franchise SBC Kenya Ltd, has been engaging in massive recruitment as it prepares to undertake massive investments in Kenya and try to wrestle the tight grip that Coca-Cola has on the soft drinks market.
Last week, PepsiCo advertised for several middle level management positions after completing the hiring of top managers. “SBC (K) has set up a world class manufacturing plant in Nairobi and shall be manufacturing well-known and widely consumed brands of soft drinks,” said the company.
Though PepsiCo, the world’s second largest food and beverage firm already has its products in the Kenyan market, the fact that it has invested in a Sh2.4 billion plant in the country is a sign of radiating confidence.
Unlike in the 1970s when the firm exited the country, Kenya has undergone economic transformation and is among countries in the continent attracting unprecedented interests from multinationals.
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