Habari Za Nyumbani–on jambonewspot.com

Visit www.jambonewspot.com…..your community website for more

Archive for March 28th, 2011

Pepsi comeback in Kenya stirs up battle of soft drink titans

Posted by Administrator on March 28, 2011

A Coca-Cola processing plant. The market for soft drinks in Kenya is set for stiff competition following the re-entry of PepsiCo and SABMiller. Photo/REUTERS

A Coca-Cola processing plant. The market for soft drinks in Kenya is set for stiff competition following the re-entry of PepsiCo and SABMiller. Photo/REUTERS

Two international soft drinks manufacturing companies have set up local operations in a major shift tipped to shake up the industry currently in the tight grip of global giant Coca-Cola.

US multinational Pepsi Cola, and London based SABMiller are in the process of establishing a manufacturing presence in Nairobi even as market data points to a flattening market for soft drinks.

PepsiCo, which stopped bottling in Kenya under competitive pressure from Coca-Cola in the 1970s, is putting up a Sh2.4 billion plant off Thika and Baba Dogo roads while SABMiller has taken control of family owned Crown Foods, the bottlers of Keringet brand of drinking water.

PepsiCo has acquired 14 acres of land at Nairobi’s Ruaraka estate through SBC Kenya Ltd, a Franchise Bottler and Distributor of Pepsi products it bought in 2009, from where it will produce at least six of its brands.

“We have completed the excavation stage. We are now tendering after which we expect construction to start by April 15,” said Mr Butch Moldenhauer, the SBC Kenya general manager.

PepsiCo made a marketing re-entry into Kenya late last year relying on imports to serve the local market with its brands such as Pepsi Cola, Pepsi Diet, Mirinda, Evervess Soda Water and Seven Up. Importing the soft drinks is more expensive than having a local production unit.

“We have already recruited 120 Kenyans — engineers, architects and technicians — to handle the development phase. We expect to have about 300 employers on board once it is completed,” said Mr Moldenhauer.

SABMiller, mainly an alcoholic beverages maker whose Kenyan subsidiary Castle Brewing shut down in 2002, is reported to be targeting a re-launch of the upmarket Keringet bottled water besides going for a more mass market product.

PepsiCo will leverage on a market networking, including supply of coolers, it has been putting up since last year.

In the London and Johannesburg-listed SABMiller, Coke will be facing a familiar operator.

It has franchising deals with the Coca-Cola Company allowing it to bottle and distribute their brands like Fanta, Sprite, Coke and the Minute Maid range of juices.

The company also produces its own brands of Appletiser juices, sparkling mineral water, sport and energy drinks.

The Kenya toehold is seen as part of a process to revamp its newly acquired juice and bottled water arm whose current value is Sh934 million.

These revelations may further fuel speculation that the Molo-based Keringet plant may eventually diversify into other soft drinks and cheaper water products.

Kenya becomes the transnationals’ 12th African market, including its mother home of South Africa.

For Pepsi, the plant becomes the biggest statement by the firm – which used to be a major player in the Kenyan market before the 1970s where it lost its market share to Coca-Cola.

It also comes on the back of an emerging price war since December that has thrilled consumers.

A spot check by the Business Daily showed that a 500ml Coca-Cola plastic bottled soda was retailing at Sh45 down from Sh50 in quarter four of last year, a cut that may have been informed by a 25 per cent drop in Pepsi’s brand to Sh45.

The company has also dished out several fridges to retailers across the Nairobi city centre stocked with their products.

However, the company said it was not targeting Coca-Cola in its latest strategy arguing that the region’s rising middle class had created enough demand for its products and need for more choice.

“We have been testing the market since December last year with our range of brands where we have seen consumption grow eightfold in less than three months,” said Mr Moldenhauer. “It is the consumers who will decide who the winners or losers are after they taste our products”.

The company declined to divulge the volume of goods it has so far shipped into Kenya citing competition fears.

“We appreciate that there is a strong and well established competitor in the market but the response we have had so far is an indicator that the market is ready for our products,” said Mr Moldenhauer.

PepsiCo also has operations in Nigeria where it has operated for 50 years and has recently entered into Ghana and Tanzania from where most of the Kenyan market has been served.

The firm has also announced plans to build two plants in Zambia as it seeks to cut on logistics costs and gain space to wage a sustainable price war.

“We have been focusing mainly on the modern market that includes supermarket channels, some selected hotels, restaurants and clubs, as well as the petroleum outlets,” said Mr Moldenhauer. “But we intend to venture deep into the mass market in the course of the year.”

Coca-Cola has the largest variety of beverages, including Fanta, Sprite, and its flagship Coca-Cola.

The soft drinks business is capital intensive, a fact that has seen small challengers fail in their bid to wrest market share from the big players.

Kuguru Foods, which launched the Softa brand a few years ago to rival Coca-Cola’s Coke and Fanta drinks, has practically been overshadowed by the stiff competition from the cash-rich multinational.

Kevian Kenya Ltd that manufactures mainly juices is a new challenger that has introduced a cola brand in the market, priced at Sh38 in a move aimed at undercutting Coca-Cola and PepsiCo.

The beverage market has seen increased competition, drawing in beer manufacturer East African Breweries Ltd which launched several flavours of the non-alcoholic malt drink, Alvaro, in April 2008.

The entry of EABL rattled Coca-Cola, which saw the move as a threat to its share of the non-alcoholic drinks market.

In November 2008, the firm introduced its own malt-based drink, Novida, in a move industry watchers read as a reaction to EABL’s assault.

The soft drinks market is estimated at about 17 million litres annually and PepsiCo is upbeat that the sector has great potential for growth after shrugging off a heavy battering from the global economic crisis, high power costs and water rationing in most of 2009.

Though carbonated drinks dominate the market, the fastest growth is expected from malt drinks where only Coca Cola and EABL are present.

The renewed interest in the soft drinks market comes at a time when the manufacturing sector is experiencing lower margins due to increased competition and high operational costs, with players resorting to price wars to drive up sales.

Source: http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/Corporate+News/Pepsi+comeback+stirs+up+battle+of+soft+drink+titans/-/539550/1134208/-/7rbpjlz/-/index.html


Posted in Kenya | Comments Off on Pepsi comeback in Kenya stirs up battle of soft drink titans

Tanzanian maid kept as slave in the UK to be paid $41,000

Posted by Administrator on March 28, 2011

A UK court has ordered a former hospital director to pay £25,000 ($41,000) to a Tanzanian woman she kept as a virtual slave.

Mwanahamisi Mruke, 47, was flown from Tanzania in 2006 and forced to work 18-hour days for no pay for Saeeda Khan, 68, at her home in Harrow, northwest London.

Ms Mruke was brought to the UK after getting a job at a hospital in Dar es Salaam in Tanzania which Khan owned, the BBC reported.

Khan told her that she would work six hours a day and that her daughter in Tanzania would be paid Tsh120,000 ($66) a month, equivalent to £50 ($82).

But the court heard how Khan only gave her two slices of bread a day and ordered her around by ringing a bell she kept in her bedroom.

After paying her an initial allowance of £10 ($16.4) a week, this allowance was stopped.

Moreover Ms Mruke was kept as a virtual slave in the home, had her passport taken away and was not allowed to leave the house.

She was not even allowed to return to Tanzania when her parents died and her daughter got married.

The four year ordeal was brought to an end when Ms Mruke went to a doctor over problems with varicose veins and exhaustion.

The judge at Southwark Crown Court, who also gave Khan a suspended nine-month prison term, said she was guilty of “the most appalling greed.”

Judge Geoffrey Rivlin QC said Khan had told “a pack of lies” during her trial by saying her victim, whom he described as “naive and illiterate,” was treated as part of the family.

The judge said that only Khan’s age, the fact she has two adult disabled children and was in poor health had prevented him from passing an immediate custodial sentence.

During the trial, jurors heard Miss Mruke was denied her passport and liberty and endured the ordeal to support her daughter through college in Africa.

Ms Mruke said she could “never forgive” her captor for her four-year ordeal.

“I felt like a fool, I was treated like a slave,” Ms Mruke said.

Ms Mruke is now pursuing a civil claim against Khan.

Source: http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/news/Tanzanian+maid+kept+as+slave+in+the+UK+to+be+paid++41000/-/2558/1133294/-/yhrfmq/-/index.html

Posted in Africa | 5 Comments »

Virgin Atlantic launches connections across USA

Posted by Administrator on March 28, 2011

A Virgin Atlantic flight. Photo/REUTERS

A Virgin Atlantic flight. Photo/REUTERS

Air travellers will be able to fly from Nairobi to the US and have the option of connecting to states like Baltimore, Maryland and North Carolina under a new Virgin Atlantic deal with New York-based JetBlue Airways.

Virgin Atlantic passengers flying from Kenya will fly to USA via London and can connect to JetBlue’s flights at New York, Boston, Orlando and Washington.

The long haul airline announced the transatlantic interline partnership on Friday saying the deal will offer Virgin Atlantic passengers streamlined journey while enjoying high services standards.

“We fly many passengers from Kenya to the USA via London, so I’m delighted that with this agreement we can now offer our Kenya customers even more choice in their US destinations when they fly with Virgin Atlantic,” David Rose country manager for Virgin Atlantic said.

Other states that passengers can connect to include Charlotte, Chicago, San Diego, Florida, Puerto Rico, Tampa and San Juan.

The airline hopes to attract more customers by providing them convenience.

Under the agreement travellers get to purchase single itineraries from both airlines affording them the convenience of one-stop ticketing and baggage check-in whether their travel originates with Virgin Atlantic or JetBlue.

Meanwhile, Qatar Airways is offering special offers to its customers as it marks 100th destination achievement as it seek to woo more travellers.

The airline will give its loyal flyers a bonus and discounts while allowing travellers to stop in Qatar en route Doha to explore beautiful sites.

This comes months after the airline increased the number of flights between Nairobi and Doha to 12 per week as part of its East African expansion plan.

In another development, Emirates Airline has released revised winter schedule ahead of the impending shift in timings .

The different flight departure times will be in sync with passenger arrival periods.

“Certainly the clocks go forward one hour in the United Kingdom on that date and we are redrawing our departure schedules to accommodate this,” said Emirates Airline regional manager for East Africa Essa Sulaiman Ahmad.

Source: http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/Corporate+News/Virgin+Atlantic+launches+connections+across+USA/-/539550/1134258/-/a7fv6qz/-/

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Virgin Atlantic launches connections across USA

%d bloggers like this: