Keroche banking on CAK to resolve beer bottle wars
Intrigues continue in the protracted battle over beer bottles against East African Breweries Ltd by Keroche Breweries and other distributors after the High Court dismissed a case they had filed.
However, the petitioners are optimistic that even as Justice Alfred Mabeya directed the Competitions Authority in Kenya (CAK) to determine the euro-bottles case within 120 days, things look up.
Keroche and six beer distributors have accused EABL for embossing the universal bottles with their logos thus limiting their market access and production.
They said such a move was meant to lock out other investors from using the famous 500ml brown euro bottle from the liquor business.
Speaking in Naivasha yesterday, Keroche Breweries chief executive officer Tabitha Karanja said the firm will abide by the High Court decision to have the case resolved by CAK.
However, she insisted that the bottle was a universal packaging material that had been used by other brewers in the country and neighbouring countries.
“We welcome the decision by the High Court to have our case resolved by the Competitions Authority in Kenya within four months,” she said.
Karanja at the same time noted despite unfair competition grounds, they were keen to capture ten per cent of the market share.
Other stakeholders in the case namely Alexander Mugo, Jacob Wamiti, Phasty Wanjitu Wachira, Samuel Kamau, Catherine Wanjiru and Herman Mwaura claim they had spent millions of shillings setting up their distributorship businesses.
They further observe that the fight between the two beer makers has interfered with the flow and return of beer bottles from companies who use the 500ml brown euro bottle.
“For years we have worked under unfair grounds but we thank Kenyans for believing in our products and promoting local investments,” Karanja said.
She added that the company was keen to introduce another strong beer in the market to bridge the current gap among consumers.
Last week, the company launched Vienna Ice Strong Lager which has an alcohol content of 10 per cent.