The announcement that drinks giant Diageo has selected African drinks distributor Kato Enterprises as its strategic partner and sole distributor of its extensive African beer portfolio, has put the company firmly in the enviable position of being the expert and key supplier of drinks from the African Continent.
Established over a decade ago to “Share the Taste of the world” Kato Enterprises now has a far reaching range which also includes exclusive distribution arrangements with Guinness Nigeria Plc, Nigerian Breweries and East African Breweries. This offers a wide selection of styles (premium African flavours). and abv’s to suit both food service and retail customers.
With a huge growth in consumer interest in world food and premium imported beers, and with both showing volume and value growth, the chance to offer a whole spectrum of African drinks brands delivers a huge sales opportunity for the trade.
Says Adejare Adesanya Kato Enterprise Marketing Manager, “traditionally iconic brands like Diageo’s Guinness Nigerian Foreign Extra Stout and the non alcoholic Malta Guinness have been consumed by the Afro Caribbean and African community in the UK and with the massive rise in interest in African and Afro Caribbean cooking we are working hard to introduce the brands to a wider community. At the same time with lager brands like Tusker lager from Kenya and the number one Nigerian beer “Star” lager in the portfolio, consumers not wanting a dark beer can still explore the African Continent in a bottle.
For retailers looking to add a real point of difference to the beer fixture, Bell Lager the award winning flagship brand from Uganda Breweries and Gulder, a strong flavoured beer from Nigerian Breweries, will offer a wider choice to satisfy beer drinkers looking for something different.
Continues Adejare, “We appreciate that outside the African community, many of these brands will be unknown. So we have put together an “Out of Africa” Awareness campaign which is targeting key events and sponsorships. The campaign is designed to both keep in touch with our core customers and to reach out to adventurous beer drinkers with sampling and information about these great brands. As part of the “Out of Africa” Awareness Strategy, Kato Enterprises has just exhibited at the prestigious Taste of London consumer event in Regents Park. The four day show attended by over 50,000 foodies offered Kato a great opportunity to reach a wider consumer group. Many of those consumers attending had never tasted African beer before and they were extremely impressed after sampling. Many purchased on the day and a lot more bought to take home as well and all were directed to look out for the brands in both retail and food service outlets.”
Kato Enterprises plans to run promotions and sampling to leverage such events as the Notting Hill Carnival, Black history events and key community events. Impactful POS material will also be deployed in the trade to support the awareness campaign.
The Company has also now launched its own brand of malt drink, Ultimalt. This premium non alcoholic malt drink packed in 330 ml glass bottles and is designed to deliver the best of both worlds. Brewed in UK to the highest EU brewing standards however, using a traditional authentic African recipe and method, the brand is designed to appeal to Africans that have embraced the British way of life while still wanting to adhere closely to the African taste delivery. Available in cases of 12 bottles, the brand has won a listing in many London Tesco Super Stores and Extra’s and at least 58 Tesco Express. A Notting Hill Carnival promotion is already planned with the multiple to capitalise on the interest in all things African over the August Carnival weekend.
Says Adejare “We are planning to sample Ultimalt in key retail outlets and at major on-target consumer events and occasions throughout the summer in order to drive trial and awareness. We know that Malt drinks are a specific choice of the African and Afro-Caribbean community however by launching a “Brewed in UK” option we believe we will be reaching the younger consumer that may have previously moved away from the product”
Continues Adejare, “We believe that retailers and foodservice operators increasingly are looking to companies like Kato Enterprises to deliver opportunities to differentiate their offerings and to maintain and grow the bottom line. With our current and growing exclusive range of premium packaged beer brands from the African continent and our commitment to delivering superior service and value to support our customers both new and established, we believe we are now the leading African beer supplier – the African Beer People.”
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