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Keroche Take Thika To The “Summit” As Beer Wars Rule Over The Town.

What does it take to stand out in a crowded beer market and with an 80% market share taken up by your rivals? A little bit of everything.

Naivasha-based Keroche Breweries has decided to aggressively invade the East African Breweries Limited’s (EABL) beer turf with its newly re-branded Summit Lager and Summit Malt beers.

Following the launch of The “The Summit Experience” in Thika, beer lovers have enjoyed a “Buy 2 Get 1 Free” Summit Malt beer promotion and the reduction of their retail prices of the Summit Lager. Keroche Breweries has brought the beer war of the early 2000s back to Thika where the revelers enjoyed all the spoils in the war between EABL and the then Thika-Based Castle Breweries. The promotional campaign is being held from top members clubs to grassroots local pubs, therefore giving everyone a taste of Keroche sweetness.

The “Buy 2 Get 1 Free” promotion has gained popularity in the region as it entitles beer to get the one free beer anytime they buy two of Summit Malt brand. With a very vibrant team of distributors and sales persons, they have been identifying popular beer joints in town and launching their standup promotions on a daily basis.

The results may have stunned the brewer and his opponents too. The entry of Keroche beer in the town has heightened competition in the beer market with East Africa Breweries Limited being the biggest loser. For the past few months now, Thika revelers have been spoilt of choices as the beer wars brew across the town and its environs. On one side stands the EABL which wants to maintain its traditional strong presence in the beer industry while Keroche is coming into the fray to stamp its authority as a beer giant.

Playing up its card that the Summit beer is Kenya’s finest, natural, sugar free and a 100% Kenyan beer, Keroche has been able to paint their beers as the best in the market that leaves the revelers with no hangover or foul odour the following morning. Thika has provided the beer maker with all the right attributes of a rapidly growing population, rising income levels and most important, last year’s crackdown by the government on ‘second generation’ spirits has seen the rise in beer consumption in this town. Working in Keroche’s favour too is that Thika drinks more beer than any other town in Kenya.

Bar owners have not been left behind in this and are playing a big role in the marketing strategy of the summit brands. Apart from a discounted price, the Keroche team is using their presence to organise events that are attracting great number of people into these joints as well as rewarding beer lovers found taking their stuff with branded T-Shirts and caps.  This has boosted their sales very effectively as in most of these cases beer patrons find themselves being driven by impulse and the temptations of enjoying a free beer.

Bar attendants have been pivotal in this game as they act as the ‘point men’ to tip Keroche team of the best days and times to ‘harvest’ from their clients to ensure patrons enjoy the ‘Summit Experience’.

To counter this onslaught, EABL has reduced its beer prices for the ‘Balozi’ Lager brand to sh. 120 as compared to sh. 140 that one pays for the Summit Lager brand.

Well, competition is more and more on innovation. The minute one offers good products, customers are there. We have a very ready market in Kenya and Thika for that matter for people would want to take a beer every evening.

The Summit Experience is proving to be an experience like no other in Thika, at least for now as it has been designed to entice revelers and beer enthusiasts of all ages and walks of life. It is offering them with an opportunity to explore all that the ‘Summit’ has to offer in terms of adventure, brotherhood and cheerful moments. The Summit Experience has created that perfect environment for informal networking as Thikarians enjoy that glass of beer.

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