The Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL), has stepped up efforts in fighting illicit brews with a campaign geared towards rewarding loyal consumers.
The campaign aims to provide a safe, ultra-low-cost beer to compete with illegal supplies which could play a crucial role in both resolving alcohol-related health problems and in achieving the targeted growth for Diageo.
The three-month-long national consumer promotion campaign will see KBL invest over Ksh.76 million.
Beyond rewarding a nationwide consumer audience, the campaign will facilitate the upgrade of key retailer outlet upgrades in the same promotion through provision of seats and tables, mugs, jugs and rebranding of their outlets.
KBL said that by involving the community, winning campaign elements will be sourced from the specific locality a winner originates from.
The increased circulation and consumption of illicit brews in the Kenyan market has been for many years a serious challenge.
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Government agencies and manufacturers of genuine liquor have over the years confiscated such drinks worth hundreds of millions of shillings and prosecuted vendors, but the illicit trade continues.
Of all the attributes – negative or positive – none is as widely accepted as that of alcohol serving the important role as a social lubricant and an economic driver.
The alcohol industry is one of the most regulated and most heavily taxed.
Anything that affects the image of the industry severely affects the sales in the sector, leading to a dip in profitability.
It is with this in mind that the sector has been advocating the elimination of illicit drinks. It is easy to see why the issue of illicit alcohol is a headache.
The first clue lies in the number of alcohol outlets in Nairobi alone. Of the 12,500 alcohol outlets in Nairobi, only 3,900 are regulated.