Coca-Cola Company is seeking to invest Sh9 billion in Kenya to expand its product offerings in line with the changing customer tastes and buying habits.
The company projects innovation of new products that would offer a wide range of soft drinks which would include more low-and no-sugar options in emerging categories.
In a press release Tuesday, the new drinks would be produced locally through a new Sh2.6 billion (USD26 million) filling line at the Coca Cola Bottlers Africa (CCBA) – Nairobi Bottlers Ltd in Embakasi.
According to the Coca Cola President for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Brian Smith, the new filling line was currently being used in the manufacture of the Minute Maid range of juice, and would extend to production of other soft drink beverages starting 2018.
“This venture brings the total investment by The Coca-Cola Company in Kenya between 2016 and 2018 to Sh9 billion (USD90 million) including noteworthy investments like the manufacture of packaging material such as glass in Nairobi, Mombasa and Nyeri,” added Smith.
“We no longer see ourselves as just a soda manufacturing company. The Coca-Cola Company has grown to be bigger than the brand ‘Coca-Cola’, Smith who is visiting Nairobi reiterated.
He added that last year, they embarked on a transformational journey that placed their stakeholders and consumers firmly at the center of their business strategy, which he said was important if they have to grow responsibly.
In 2014, The Coca-Cola Company announced a Sh170 billion (USD17 billion) investment in Africa, which was double what was invested in the continent a decade before.
“With innovation at the center of this new business strategy, we will be able to create more opportunities to use local ingredients and other inputs,” said Smith.
He emphasized on the need to create more jobs for farmers, youth and women which has a positive ripple effect on both the micro and macro economy.
The Coca-Cola Company has been in Africa for almost 90 years creating direct and indirect employment for thousands and impacting households.
It has been actively involved in a number of corporate social investments, the latest being the Sh1 billion (USD10 million) response to immediate and long-term measures to address drought in the African Sahel region.