Company to step up innovation, drive economic empowerment and environmental stewardship over the next 70 years
The Coca-Cola Company recently celebrated its 132nd birthday globally, 90 years in Africa and 70 years of operation in Kenya. Marked as Founder’s Day, 8th May 1886 was the day Dr. John S. Pemberton sold the first Coca-Cola bottle for just 5 cents in Atlanta, Georgia USA.
In 1948, the company established its operations in Kenya by selling imported Coca-Cola beverages from its plant along Addis Ababa Road, in the Industrial Area of Nairobi, before starting to manufacture and bottle the iconic beverage. For seven decades, the company has been a cornerstone of special moments- bringing people together, and being at the core of their celebrations, while providing refreshments.
“We take great pride in being a part of Kenya’s fibre for over 70 years and a celebration by families and individuals who enjoy ice-cold refreshment on a sunny day. Coca-Cola has also been a part of national celebrations, including the events to mark the attainment of the country’s independence in 1963 among other milestones,” said Ahmed Rady, the general manager, Coca-Cola East and Central Africa franchise during the celebrations. “But we offer more than just refreshments: we prioritize our value chain and contribute to the nation’s socio-economic aspirations and conservation of the environment,” he added.
With our three bottling partners – CCBA Kenya (Coca-Cola Beverages Africa), Almasi Beverages and Coastal Bottlers – the Coca-Cola system in Kenya employs over 10,000 people directly. It also supports an estimated one million people through its vast supply chain. This ensures that Coca-Cola products are always available ‘within an arm’s reach’, through a network of more than 340,000 outlets across the country.
Daryl Wilson, Coca-Cola Beverages Africa, Kenya MD observed: “70 years ago – you could buy a bottle of Coke for just under Kshs. 5. It was then and remains today – an affordable way to quench your thirst and celebrate magic moments in life. Thank you for making all of us at Coca-Cola Beverages Africa in Kenya – a part of your memories, good times, family gatherings and important occasions over the last seven decades. We are proudly Kenyan and look forward to continuing refreshing your daily meals, milestone moments and special occasions for years to come.”
The last decade has seen Coca-Cola in Kenya diversify its product range to include water and juice categories, giving customers more beverages to choose from. To complement this, in 2016, The Coca-Cola Company announced its aspiration to become a total beverage company, which has ushered in more innovations, leading to new products in the market. Some of the new beverages provide benefits like nutrition and hydration, while the company takes deliberate action to reduce sugar in beverages by reformulating products.
“Our key focus in the coming years is innovation leading to new products. However, in addition to offering refreshments, we are firmly committed to Kenya’s socio-economic advancement through investments in the communities we operate in. We have programmes focused on water stewardship, women’s economic empowerment, environmental stewardship and responsible waste management, among others. We believe that social investment makes good business sense,” Rady further said.
He emphasized: “For instance, water is a key resource in our business and a lifeline for the communities around us. That is why we have implemented a water efficiency programme in all our plants.” In that regard, at the CCBA Nairobi Bottlers Limited, the company was using 3.36 litres of water to make a one litre product in 2010. Nevertheless, by the end of 2016, it was using 2.54 litres of water to make a one litre product. All in all, it has provided clean drinking water to over 190,000 people in Kenya since 2010.