Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL) has ventured into the premium alcoholic beverage market with the launch of a new ale as it seeks to grow beer sales and woo the middle-class segment.
The firm will on Thursday launch Tusker Premium Ale, which it says is made from aromatic hops and crystal malt. The move is part of East African Breweries Ltd –KBL’s parent company— bid to counter consumers’ increasing shift to premium and foreign brews from mass-market brands.
The beer is being sold in a stubby 500-mililitre bottle at a recommended retail price of Sh210.
KBL senior innovations manager Victor Kagema told Business Daily the new product is targeting Kenya’s fast-expanding middle class revellers whose tastes are trending toward premium beer. “It is positioned for that consumer with discerning taste,” said Mr Kagema, in an interview.
“The Tusker Premium Ale is brewed with specialty hops providing a richer mouth feel, colour and flavour,” said KBL master brewer Valentine Wambui.
It marks the expansion of KBL’s flagship Tusker brand that includes Tusker Lager, Tusker Malt, Tusker Lite and Tusker Cider.
EABL has in the past few years introduced alcoholic brands in the region, seeking to grow and diversify its product portfolio by targeting different consumer segments at a time competition from foreign brewers has intensified in the premium and super premium segments, which have experienced strong growth and retained attractive profit margins.