Kenya beer prices get frothier

October 8, 2009
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, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 8 – East Africa Breweries Limited (EABL) has increased prices of some of its brands in order to combat rising production costs.  

The price hike has been attributed to higher costs of raw materials, water, fuel and electricity. The brands affected include Tusker Lager, White Cap Lager, Guinness, Castle Lager and Malta Guinness.

However the price of the popular Senator Lager, Citizen Special, Allsops, the distinctive Tusker Malt Lager and all EABL’s spirits brands as well as the non-alcoholic Alvaro will remain unchanged.

Baker Magunda, EABL Kenya Demand Managing Director said in a statement on Thursday: "We have written to all our trade partners to explain the changes, which include an increase of between Sh5 – Sh10 for our quality brands."
EABL stressed that this price increase was due to various escalating expenses related to the cost of doing business including the higher prices of raw materials, services including water and electricity and indeed the rising cost of fuel.

Barley, which is one of the key ingredients for manufacturing beer, has given poor yields from last year’s crops due to the drought in the country, which has pushed prices up, forcing EABL to import some barley to meet local requirements. The increases on barley prices have translated into higher production costs.

“In order for EABL to continue to make its quality products, it is regrettable that we have to increase our prices,” confirmed Mr Magunda.

The availability of water has also been a strain on the business.  EABL consumes a lot of water to manufacture their quality brands. The current water shortage has therefore made it more difficult for EABL to source clean fresh water. This has necessitated the company to invest in the drilling of new boreholes to ensure a guaranteed water supply.

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