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Coca Cola to invest Sh5 billion in Kenya to grow its product range

Soft drinks maker Coca Cola will invest about Sh5 billion in Kenya over the next three years to expand its production capacity and diversify into other product ranges. The firm’s East Africa general manager Mr Peter Njonjo said part of this investment would go into improving the beverage services plant in Nairobi and the Kisumu bottling plant. “The juice market has a huge potential. We have contracted about 37,000 farmers to grow passion and mangoes for the factory,” he said. Currently, the company imports syrup to make juices like Minute Maid from India and Brazil.

Contracting local farmers, Mr Njonjo said, is one way of providing a ready and steady market as well as a source of raw materials. Coca Cola president for East, Central and West Africa Nathan Kalumbu said the continent’s economic outlook is positive.
“High level of urbanisation and education will create economic opportunities to sell our beverages,” he said. Mr Kalumbu, however, said that though challenges in Africa were expected, players should be confident of better things to come. He downplayed the effect on their market share with the re-entry of rival Pepsi. “Competition is healthy for the industry and a good sign for the country,” said Mr Kalumbu.

Demographic trends

During a media briefing at their head office in Nairobi’s Upper Hill, Mr Kalumbu said demographic trends show that over 60 per cent of the population would comprise the youth aged below 25 presenting huge growth opportunities. A recent study by African Development Bank indicated that half of Kenyans are categorised as middle class. The decision by the giant beverages maker comes in the wake of an announcement by Pepsi Cola that it will be making a foray into the Kenyan market. Last month, SBC Kenya Ltd, which holds the local franchise for Pepsi said it would invest Sh2.4 billion in a bottling facility as its first phase in Nairobi to be completed next year.


Publication date: 5/9/2011


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