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KENYA: SABMiller sees space for super-premium beer in Kenya

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SABMiller is launching Miller Genuine Draft in Kenya in order to get ahead of rival Diageo in the super-premium beer segment.

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SABMiller and its local unit in Kenya, Crown Beverages, have launched Miller Genuine Draft in Kenya today (8 December). The beer is being imported from SABMiller's Peroni brewery in Italy and will join Peroni Nastro Azzurro on the Kenyan market, an SABMiller spokesperson has confirmed to just-drinks.

The move is part of a push by SABMiller to gain a foothold in Kenya's beer market by going after the top end of the sector. It has little choice but to take this narrow approach, given that the country's beer sector is dominated by Diageo-controlled East Africa Breweries Ltd.

SABMiller has no production base there, following its sale of a 20% stake in market leader Kenya Breweries to EABL earlier this year. The deal gives EABL full ownership of Kenya Breweries. Meanwhile, Diageo and Heineken own part of the Kenyan market number two, Namibia Breweries, while the third-biggest player, Bavaria, has a volume share of 1.4%, according to Euromonitor.

Kenya's premium beer sector is forecast to expand by 2% in value over the next five years, but overall market volumes will rise by 4%, said Euromonitor in a report published in February. "The premium brands target the high-income earners, who account for only 10% of the population," it said.


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