Kenya’s Kenafric enters beverage market with $9.8m factory

Kenya’s Kenafric is set to add soda to its range of goods as a plans to invest Sh 1 billion ($9.8 million) for a factory in Rukaka, Nairobi where it plans to produce sodas and ready-to-drink juices and create 300 to 500 jobs.

The confectionery maker will raise about 30 percent of the total cost of the investment as debt while the remaining will be a mix of the company resources and equity from its shareholders.

Kenafric projects that its new business could earn it up to Sh5 billion per year in revenue.

The company says the new beverages will be packed in plastic bottles of 150ml – 300ml as the company targets the beverage market “mostly comprising of youth up to 25 years,” according to Mayur Shah, Kenafric’s executive director and co-founder.

“The use of plastic bottles will give us an edge as they will ensure that the product is cheaper at the end level,” said Shah.

The beverages market in Kenya has welcomed new entrants in recent times as investors try to have a slice of the lucrative industry dominated by big players such as Coca-Cola and East African Breweries.

Bidco, Kevian Kenya and Highlands Mineral Water Company have all diversified into manufacturing soda. While Highlands makes club soda, Kevian joined the non-alcoholic malt drinks segment.

Kenafric, which currently has a stationery, footwear and food section, will be looking at reaching the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) region with its new products. The company will make four brands of soda: strawberry, pinacolada, cola and pineapple.