Kenya Wine Agencies Ltd Managing Director Lina Githuka cuts the cake with Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives Peter Munya during KWAl's 50th anniversary celebrations held at the Nairobi Serena Hotel on May 16th 2019. Photo / Business Today

Kenya Wine Agencies Ltd (KWAL) is set to construct a modern manufacturing facility in Tatu City, Thika, as part of its efforts to increase local production.  Groundbreaking for the facility, estimated to cost Ksh3 billion, is planned for next year.

This is in addition to more than Ksh1.2billion invested since the privatization of KWAL and the entry of Distell as majority shareholder, according to KWAL Managing Director Lina Githuka. The investment will mark the first new production facility established by KWAL in more than two decades and represents a significant Foreign Direct Investment.

“This planned investment of more than Ksh.3billion in a new facility will enable KWAL to meet consumer demand for our portfolio of fast growing brands and continue to localize production of our imported brands,” Ms Gicthuka said when KWAL marked 50 years in business at a ceremony held at the Nairobi Serena Hotel on May 16th 2019.

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She said the fermentation and manufacturing facility will have state of the art cellars and modern laboratories which will ensure consistent quality of products.

The KWAL journey started in 1969, when the former state corporation was established by the Government of Kenya to enable indigenous Kenyans participate in Wines and Spirits Industry (importation & distribution), which was until then dominated by foreign owned companies.

In 1989, the winery was opened. KWAL, through government protection policies of infant industries, enjoyed a monopoly status in the wines and spirits sector up until the early 90’s when the economy was liberalized. KWAL has since developed from the foundations of a state owned enterprise to a private institution with depots in 6 major towns; Meru, Nakuru, Nairobi, Eldoret, Kisumu and Mombasa, and increased footprint through the opening of distributors countrywide.

Most of the company’s brands such as Caprice Wine, Kibao Vodka, Viceroy, Amarula, Cellar Cask,  Kingfisher, Altar wine and Yatta Juice are household names.

In 2014 the Government of Kenya successfully concluded phase 1 of the KWAL privatization which laid the foundation for the strong growth, with a tripling of volumes and profitability increasing tenfold. With the request for proposals for transaction advisors having been issued late last year it is expected that phase 2 of the KWAL privatization will commence soon.

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Fifty years on, KWAL celebrates its industry position as the foremost manufacturer, importer and distributor of wine, spirits, ciders and natural juices in Kenya. Most of the company’s brands such as Caprice Wine, Kibao Vodka, Viceroy, Amarula, Cellar Cask,  Kingfisher, Altar wine and Yatta Juice are household names.

KWAL recently launched local production of ciders which include Hunters Gold and Hunters Dry cider, Africa’s largest cider and there are also plans afoot for the local production of Savanna.

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