Dutch brewer Heineken has opened a regional headquarters in Nairobi to drive growth of its brands in the East African beer market. The office will be headed by its East African arm’s general manager, Koen Morshuis.
Heineken’s move is expected to kick off new round of beer wars against its rivals in the region, SABMiller and Diageo (through EABL), Business Daily Africa reported.
Morshuis said this office will take care of the East African region which includes Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Southern Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Djibouti, Madagascar, Comoros, Seychelles and Eritrea.
Earlier, Heineken bought Ethiopian Harar and Bedele for KES14.6bn ($163m), with plans to use these units to enter South Sudan. The company supplies its Heineken beer to Kenya through local distributor Maxam.
SABMiller, through its Nile Breweries, and Diageo’s EABL, through its Uganda Breweries, are already battling for market dominance in Uganda.
As the beer sales are on rise in these emerging markets, major global brewers are making huge investments to gain a larger foothold in the region.