German brewer eyes local beer market

German brewer eyes local beer market
German Ambassador to Kenya Jutta Frasch (centre) Warsteiner Beer Africa Area Business Director Mattijs Jongmans (right) and Maxam Ltd MD Ngugi Kiuna during the launch of Warsteiner Beer at the Muthaiga Country Club,Nairobi.

German beer manufacturer Warsteiner has ventured into East Africa’s alcoholic beverages market intensifying the battle for the regionally lucrative industry.

The new entrant licensed, imported and distributed by the Maxam Limited is targeting middle class consumers in the premium beer market.

Maxam Managing Director Ngugi Kiuna said the entry of the brewer follows an extensive research into existing gaps in the local market.

“Consumers want a great experience when taking the drinks. They also place great emphasis in associating with globally acclaimed premium brands,” Mr Kiuna said.

Mr Kiuna further expressed his optimism for consumers taking to the new Warsteiner brand.

“We are confident that the Kenyan taste buds will take a strong liking to the Warsteiner premium beer,” Mr Kiuna added.

Maxam will be investing Sh50 million into building the profile for the Warsteiner brand and enhancing its distribution network by targeting outlets and training local vendors.

The new entrant is expected to intensify the battle for the local beer market which is tipped to grow over the next few years.

Warsteiner adds onto the growing number of foreign based beer manufacturers operating in the region signaling the increasing demand for premium alcohol brands in East Africa.

Heineken, Carlsberg, Faxe and Amstel have been expanding their operations in Kenya signing distribution deals to grow their market presence.

The deal with Maxam will see Warsteiner also sell its products in Uganda and Tanzania.

Local manufacturers have been facing decreased sales with the increasing competition from beer imports.

The entry of foreign beer players is likely to pile pressure on local brewers such as Kenya Breweries and Keroche who are already recording declining beer sales.

Kenya’s beer market for example is expected to grow at a rate of five percent annually by 2021 according to independent analysts.

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