NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 11 – Pernod Ricard, one of the world’s top five leading alcoholic beverages company is planning to set up a manufacturing factory in Kenya.
The firm whose brands includes Jameson whiskey is betting on anticipated growth of population and the purchasing power among consumers in Kenya as a major factor in the anticipated invested.
Christian Porta, the chairman and CEO for European, Middle East and Africa confirmed that Kenya is one of the four African countries that will benefit from increased investments in the shape of a distilling factory for the middle and down-stream consumers.
“We want to be in Kenya in a bigger way and use it to drive our market penetration within the East African region,” he said at a media briefing in Nairobi.
Already, the firm has established a facility in Nigeria where the demand for its beverages is on an all-time high.
Porta told the media that Kenya will benefit from increased investments in the shape of a new facility, employment and training. “We want to be closer to our consumers through this facility,” he said.
The new facility will distil, package and sale alcoholic drinks targeting the middle and lower categories of consumers.
“We have given ourselves a target of 18 months to put everything together and also to get local partners to drive this programme,” he said.
Among others, the firm will increasingly play an even bigger role in the fight against the sale of illicit and counterfeited drinks.
He said that while there might be fears about the increase in illicit drinks while the counterfeit market appears to be expanding, Pernod Ricard is still convinced about the viability of its business in Kenya.
“There are many more opportunities in Kenya than the challenges for the kind of business we are involved in,” he said. “Kenya has a market that is more aware about their choices. The population increase is also another opportunity for us and the exposure to the global brands is higher than most might think.”
According to Paul-Robert Boulier, the firm’s CEO for Sub-Saharan Africa, Pernod Ricard estimates that 40 per cent of the locally consumed products are counterfeits and illicit.
“We have had a meeting with the Kenya bureau of Standards and agreed on a number of measures needed to address this matter,” he said. He announced that the firm the firm will introduce the diamond mark of quality in its drinks as one of its efforts to fight the problem.
“Each bottle will have the diamond mark of quality that allows consumers and authorities to trace its manufacturing history,” he said.
The firm set up business in Kenya in 2012 when its local facility was established and has seen the demand for its products increase.