KWAL has launched a new production line for the local manufacture of ciders in the company premises on Enterprise Road in Nairobi. This follows Kenya’s shifting trends in 2018 on alcohol consumption influenced by a huge move to cider preference. Kenyans consumed an estimated 9 million liters of ciders in 2018 causing an 8.5% and 8.1% decline in the beers and mixed drinks segment respectively.
Present during the launch was KWAL’s recently appointed Managing Director Lina Githuka, Chris Lombard, a member of the company’s Board as well as the Cider project lead Robert Bajner.
The Launch of the cider production line comes at a time when KWAL is celebrating 50 years in the alcohol manufacturing business.
“As we celebrate 50 years of being in business, our focus is on business expansion as well as growth in market share across all the products in our portfolio. The cider production line will initially focus on Hunters Gold, which is currently Africa’s largest-selling cider. This project has been in the making for the past one and a half years and we do anticipate that it will be a game changer for KWAL in the market.” said Githuka.
“Our focus is to occupy at least 50% of the cider and mixed drinks segment by the end of the year. We plan to do this by taking advantage of our wide distributor network as well as use of 3rd party listing agencies to supplement the sales team,” she added.
KWAL was established in 1969 as a State Corporation and has been in operation for the last 50 years. In 2016, Centum sold its shares to Distell, making it the largest shareholder with 52% ownership of KWAL.