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Coca-Cola plans beverage line for the health conscious in Kenya

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Soft drinks giant Coca-Cola wants to expand its product portfolio in Kenya with a key focus on an increasingly health-conscious consumer base even as it expects warmer weather to drive sales this year.

The Nairobi-based Coca-Cola Central East and West Africa Ltd said it was lining up a number of new drinks to be gradually rolled out in the country in two years in line with changing consumer needs.

“We are trying as much as possible to give consumers a variety based on what we hear every day from researchers, from sitting with them, observing what they are doing and their shopping behaviours,” regional general manager Ahmed Rady said.

“You can expect a lot of new products coming from Coke because consumers are asking for more. The world has changed and there must be a customisation. The trend where everybody is going to conform and drink the same thing is gone.”

The multinational has been grappling with a global trend that has seen customers are move away from its flagship sugary drinks with some nutritionists linking increased consumption of sugar with diseases such as diabetes.

Coca-Cola in May last year opened a Sh7 billion juice processing plant in Nairobi with a production capacity of 28,000 bottles per hour using a hot-fill technology in line with its strategy to become a full beverage company.

The maker of soda (such as Coca-Cola, Fanta, Krest and Sprite), water (Dasani & Keringet) and juices (Minute Maid) has consequently embarked on a phased diversification of its product offering to include tea- and coffee-flavoured drinks, sports drinks and smoothies.

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