Afia juice maker adds carbonated drink to its range of products

Kevian proprietor and Managing Director Kimani Rugendo on May 23, 2023.

Photo credit: Bonface Bogita | Nation Media Group

Juice maker Kevian Kenya Limited has expanded its product portfolio with a carbonated soft drink targeting the lower and middle-class consumer groups.

The processor mostly known for its ‘Afia’ and ‘Pick N Peel’ fruit juice brands said the new product dubbed Klub 101 would fill a gap in the market and help boost its revenue streams.

''Kevian Kenya Limited is pleased to announce that we have expanded our product line with Klub 101 lemonade carbonated soft drink after identifying market gaps in the sector. The new product also seeks to respond to consumer consumption taste and preferences and we are happy for the feedback we have received from the market so far,’’ Kevian proprietor and Managing Director Kimani Rugendo said in an interview on the sidelines of the Afmass Food and Beverage Show East Africa held in Nairobi.

He said the new product will create an additional 600 jobs both in the production and distribution lines.

A few years ago, Kevian Kenya Limited announced that it was investing Sh3 billion for onward brand and plant expansion as it eyes regional markets and airlines as it invested deeper in non-alcoholic malt drinks that include plain Malt, Energy Malt, Lemon Malt and Orange Malt.

Mr Rugendo said the funding came from German Financier DEG, which is among institutions that have previously funded Kevian Kenya.

Kevian Kenya Limited has been stepping onto the turf of Coca-Cola and East African Breweries which have dominated the Malt market for years with Mr Rugendo maintaining that healthy competition is good for business growth and fairness.

Mr Rugendo entered the juice and water business after quitting politics in 1992. Since then, he embraced diversification.

But even as the soft drink market continues to grow, soft drink makers have urged Parliament to block a proposal in the Finance Bill 2024 to impose a 10 percent tax on locally manufactured plastics, worried that it would result in high costs of doing business.

Coca-Cola told the National Assembly’s Committee on Finance and National Planning on June 7 that the proposed change to the Excise Duty Act would subject locally made plastics to tax. ''By imposing Excise duty on locally produced plastics, this will increase the cost of production and thus increase the cost of goods that require the use of plastic packaging,’’ John Mwendwa, Coca-Cola Director for Public Affairs told the Committee.

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