Heineken omits Kenya from new women’s beer
BusinessDailyAfrica.com - May 21st, 09:13
Heineken will not be launching its sweeter, low-alcohol Radler beer in Kenya. It will instead focus on its flagship brand to grow local market share.
The Dutch brewer, which set up in Kenya in 2011, says it will use Heineken beer brand to reduce the dominance of East Africa Breweries Limited (EABL), especially in the premium category.
The firm is wooing female African drinkers with Radler, a beer made from malt and lemon, to grow market share in a continent dominated by rivals SAB Miller and Diageo which, has majority shares in EABL.
“Radler is not and will not be launched in Kenya,” said the brewer’s general manager East Africa, Koen Morshuis, in an e-mail interview. “Within the East African market Heineken is only focusing on its flagship brand Heineken.”
The East African market is increasingly becoming a battle zone between SABMiller and Diageo as both firm’s race to grow their regional footprint.
The number three global brewer, Heineken, has been a late entrant into the region after opening the regional headquarters in Nairobi in 2011.
The headquarters is in charge of marketing while distribution is handled by Maxam Ltd, which is associated with businessman Ngugi Kiuna who has held the franchise since 2007. Heineken has been expanding in the African market, having invested $2.2 billion since 2005.
Siep Hiemstra, head of Heineken’s African operations, told Reuters on May 13 that beer consumption on the continent was still predominantly male.
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