Coca-Cola’s Africa distributor to invest $100 million in Kenya

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Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA), the continent’s largest soft drinks bottler, announced a plan to invest $100 million in Kenya over the next five years.

The company says the money will be spent improving infrastructure and launching new products.

The company plans to introduce 50 new products in Kenya.  Local Managing Director Daryl Wilson says many of those new products will include various sugar-free and flavoured water beverages.

“As the middle class is (growing)… they are wanting more variety,” he said. “Kenyan tastes are growing, the need for new brands is growing.”

Coca-Cola already has more than 130 existing product lines in the country.

This month, the company launched a 7 billion Kenyan Shilling ($69 million) new juice line at its Nairobi plant. It operates four bottling plants in Kenya.

CCBA’s distribution system includes 300 official distributors reaching across the country of 45 million people.

The company operates in a dozen sub-Saharan African countries including Ethiopia and South Africa.

While Kenya’s economy offers a conducive business environment, bad rural roads take a toll on vehicles distributing products, Wilson said.

Another challenge is electricity, where inconsistent availability of power in some of its plants has forced it to deploy generators, which are expensive.

Wilson wants the government to “look at opportunities to reduce (the cost of) electricity.

Coca-Cola’s African expansion plans are not limited to Kenya.  The company will open at least five factories in Ethiopia over the next five years

Ethiopia is Coca-Cola’s most profitable African market.

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