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Keroche bets big on new beer brand

By Anthony Gitonga | April 27th 2021

Keroche Breweries Limited CEO, Tabitha Karanja. [File, Standard]

Naivasha-based Keroche Breweries Ltd says it will generate an extra Sh1 billion to the exchequer annually through its newly launched Vienna Ice Strong Lager.

The company exuded confidence that it would hit the target despite a sharp drop in beer sales due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The firm’s liquor sales had shrunk to 25 per cent due to the closure of bars and restaurants as part of the Ministry of Health’s Covid-19 containment measures.

Tabitha Karanja, the Keroche Chief Executive Officer, said on Tuesday, April 27 during the launch of the new Vienna Ice Strong Lager, that the product was a locally brewed strong beer.

It has a ten per cent alcohol content. She observed that Keroche plans to launch another brand of strong beer in the market in the next three months – offering more job opportunities as well as revenue.

“The new product Vienna Ice Strong Lager will generate over Sh1 billion to KRA every year and this will rise with time as per our market projections,” she said in Naivasha.

“For years, consumers have relied on imports in this market and the new brand which is unique will fill this gap,” she said.

Ms Karanja admitted that the pandemic had adversely affected their industry with sales dropping by 25 per cent, but was optimistic of attaining ten per cent of the country’s market share.

“Tax remains a major challenge for us and we are content with the recent court ruling directed at Competition Authority concerning the issue of beer packaging,” she said.

Nicholas Kipchirchir, the Keroche operations manager, said the new product was launched after the successful response to KB Lager last year.

He said the firm can produce over 40,00 bottles per year.

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