Bar owners threaten to mobilise consumers to boyccot KBL products in bottles row
Bar owners have threatened to call for a consumer boycott against any manufacturer causing confusion in the market over engraving the 500ML brown Euro beer bottles.
Council of County Bar Owners said the debate has caused disorder in the market by distorting flow and return of bottles by companies that can use the same 500ml brown Euro bottle mould for their product.
The owners said the problem arises from the fact that while every manufacturer source and packages its product in own bottles, they are re-usable and once delivered to the market, it is intended that the consumer purchases only the content and not the container.
Because the shape, colour and size of the 500ml euro bottle is the same, bar owners in the market do not due those similarities but sort out the return bottles in order to take them back to original sources.
“All universal bottles are placed indiscriminately in crates and exchanged for freshly filled bottles. What differentiates them is the brand label,” the bar owners said in a statement.
They claimed that marking of Euro bottles brings back dark memories of uncivilized beer wars of the 1990s where a dominant player ‘collected’ a competitor’s bottle from the market and destroyed or withheld them, occasioning to high business costs, in addition to creating artificial shortage of re-usable bottles.
They further stated that manufacturers who have engraved their bottles do not sort out any of the bottles they collect from the market saying they are taken wholesome and re-use the very same ones.
“East African Breweries Limited does not only re-use those bottles they have marked EABL but it also repackages for use those bottles collected from Keroche. Keroche does the same. The market creates a pool where all universal bottles are exchangeable for re-use,” they stated.
The bar owners said engraved EABL marking does not substantially distinguish any of the bottles and are not a recognized or accepted mode of protecting the shape, colour, size and design of the bottle noting that it is the brand label that consumers choose.
They said engraving of universal bottles has resulted to unnecessary problems noting that once collected from the market, their vehicles are stopped, searched and are seized by police officers claiming they belong to one brewer.
“Bar owners are being charged with counterfeiting and selling unaccustomed goods. The manufacturers who are fighting on this issue are not being charged and this criminalizes the way business is run resulting to many hours lost for distributors and bar owners and sometimes our workers sometime spend man hours in police custody or our vehicles are detained,” they decried.
They stated that there are a number of criminal cases that have been instituted against some distributors and retailers, with others losing their consignments based on unfounded that they are dealing with illegal products.