EABL banks on innovation to grow revenues

East African Breweries Limited (EABL) is placing all bets on innovation to drive growth. The alcoholic beverages manufacturer has identified the need for invention and innovation if the brewer is to consolidate on its position as a regional player in the refreshments industry.

Speaking during a media tour of EABL Ruaraka facility, head of innovation Fred Otieno said the brewer was looking at changing consumer tastes and preferences so as to impact the necessary growth from the existing opportunities.

“We are always consistently tapping into our consumers, understanding the shifts and trends and checking how our portfolio is setup to respond to the changes,” Mr Otieno said.

Mr Otieno further expressed optimism in the ability to beat the competition in imported liquor saying the company would leverage on its esteemed position as the largest brewer in the region.

“We’ve been here a long-time as one of the longest serving players in the sector. A lot of players will probably be seeking to learn from what we have done. At the end, competition will lead to the creation of more value for the consumer,” Mr Otieno added.

During the six month period ended December 2017, EABL’s revenues rose 4.7 percent to Sh36.8 billion, driven by introduction of new products and better sales in Kenya and Tanzania.

EABL has introduced products such as Tusker Cider, Chrome Vodka, added new flavors to its Kenya Cane brand as well Uganda Waragi.

The new products contributed Sh7.6 billion to the total revenue.

Mainstream beers have in recent years come under pressure from excise tax increases, with EABL calling for tax and regulatory clarity going forward.

Whilst consumer preferences and tastes have gravitated towards fresher alcoholic beverages lately, the premium beer sector in the region has garnered much interest from foreign based brewers which has seen the introduction of new premium brands in the country over the last year with the latest brand to immerse in the lucrative sector being German brewer Warsteiner.

Local manufacturers have likewise stepped up to the plate and have availed a new line-up of premium products to capitalize on the increasing demand for premium beer in the region.