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Great piece in today’s Wall St. Journal (“Soft-Drink War Rages in Kenya–but Not Over Cola”) highlighting the ongoing “battle” between East African Breweries, a unit of London-based spirits maker Diageo, and Coca-Cola over non-alcoholic, malt drinks (Alvaro versus Novida). East African Breweries owns all of Kenya’s major beer brands; yet as the piece points out, roughly 70% of Kenya’s predominantly Christian population doesn’t drink alcohol–hence the emergence of an alternative market. Moreover, the author notes that the struggle between brands is ultimately about something greater:
“The global recession is expected to damp consumer demand across the continent, as it has elsewhere. But Africa’s population is growing faster than any other major region’s, according to the United Nations. And nearly a decade of economic growth has helped foster a middle class that still has money to spend.”