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Champagne maker, Chandon to expand Kenyan presence

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By Steve Remie///


French winery Moët & Chandon has announced plans to expand the scale of its operations in the Kenyan market in an effort to tap into the growing market demand for its products as well as boost profit margins.

The sparkling wines producer said it has lined up strategies to grow its distribution dealership through beverage company, Viva Productline limited with a combined introduction of a new range of champagne brand, Nectar Imperial, expected in the country in two months.

Business Development Manager, Private Clients for Moet & Chandon Pierre-Louis Araud said in an interview that the global brand had carefully studied the Kenyan consumers, and will be looking at tweaking the flavor of the wine to appeal to local taste buds while tailoring marketing strategies to pique local merrymakers.

“We are expanding our local dealership with Viva Productline but above all we are introducing a new brand of champagne which should be in the country in the next two months,” said Araud.

The Nectar Imperial will have an initial retail price of Sh6, 000 and is foreseen to charm consumers due to its syrupy taste.

“The market is ready, our distribution is ready, our team is ready, so everything is good,” he said.

Araud said the firm will take advantage of the growing retail market and spread-out world-class malls to dispense the new brand as well as other iconic champagne brands namely; Moët Impérial, Grand Vintage Collection and Moët Rosé Impérial which are popular among local buyers.

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The expansion strategy is focused at putting Kenya in the competitive league with South Africa and Nigeria, according to Moet Hennessy market manager for Eastern Africa, Alexandre Helaine.

South Africa and Nigeria are said to be the highest consumers of Moet & Chandon champagne in continent with Kenya now poised to join the alliance on its growing upper-class and upper middle class as well as sound economic status.

“We believe that soon Kenya will be in the top three markets in Africa together with Nigeria and South Africa,” said Araud.

The firm however declined to disclose the amount it has set aside for the local expansion drive nor its sales volume for the Kenyan market, due to the fact that it is listed at the Johannesburg stock exchange which by law bars it from sharing other market plans particularly on figures.

“We are not ready to share figures, this is simply due to the company’s policy,” said Araud.

Kenyan market has seen a surge of champagne lovers and sparkling wines enthusiasts over the last few years and the momentum is predicted to carry on judging by the recent market trends.




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