COCACOLA Kenya has made another move to counter their rival Pepsi's advance in the local market with the launch of CocaCola Zero- the sugarless version of its leading brand Coke. CocaCola said the new product which has been available for years in its markets in Europe, Asia and America will now also be produced for the Kenyan market targeting mainly young adults mostly between the ages 18 to 24, the firm said yesterday.
Last year, local firm SBC Kenya limited which holds the franchise for Pepsi distribution in Kenya said it is making deliberate strides to feature prominently in forums involving the youth because it considers this group its key target market. "We want to provide our customers with broad product portfolio to give them more choice," said CocaCola's senior brand marketing manager Catherine Mudachi.
The new CocaCola product will retail at Sh55 and be sold in plastic bottles of 500ml. Mudachi said the decision to use plastic bottles was for easing distribution of the commodity. Despite this product having been available in over 130 countries for many years, Mudachi denied that it was being introduced now to counter Pepsi products.
"We think its just the right time to introduce this CocaCola zero here to cause excitement within our whole CocaCola umbrella of products and to re-ignite the brand Cocacola." Pepsi is setting up a Sh2.4bn Nairobi bottling facility targeted for completion within the year and has planned more investments to cement its business in Kenya.
CocaCola recently stepped up its juice production operations locally with a new cold fill plant at Mombasa to manufacture its new juice product for the mass market called Minute Maid orange pulpy. The beverage giant, has set aside a Sh5 billion war chest to spend over the next two years to enhance its business locally.