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Alcohol lovers will pay between Sh10 and Sh500 more on various brands and quantities of liquor after the East African Breweries Limited’s (EABL) revised some of its prices upwards.
The price revision affects spirits, which are manufactured under United Distillers Vintners (UDV) Kenya, such as gin, vodka, liqueur and whisky.
The brewer has cited tax increases on alcoholic products and the rise in fuel costs as the reason for its latest move.
“We haven't increased prices since 2019, despite the excise inflationary adjustment in 2020. We have absorbed costs over this period. There has also been a rise in fuel costs during the last two years, which has driven our KBL (Kenya Breweries Ltd) operational costs up,” the brewer’s corporate relations director Eric Kiniti said.
Mr Kiniti added that KBL increased the prices following the 4.94 percent tax increase on alcoholic products by the government last October, and the government’s subsequent move in January this year, to end Covid-19 tax incentives announced last year to cushion people and businesses from adverse effects of the pandemic.
“When the government increased taxes in October, we decided to maintain our prices at the same level since we understood that our customers were going through hard times as a result of Covid-19. During the Covid-19 period, we have also seen rising costs in our raw materials, resulting from logistical challenges and inflation in the last year,” he said.
Corporate tax incentives
When the government took away the VAT and corporate tax incentives, the brewer said its costs of production rose by big margins “despite continued restrictions in our trading environment” that have seen bars and pubs operate on limited hours since March 2020.
Some of the affected drinks are Gilbey’s, Black and White, Johnie Walker and Singleton.
Drinkers of Gilbeys, a popular gin in the country, will pay between Sh10 and Sh50 extra, after EABL increased prices for the Gin brand from Sh420 to Sh430 for a 250ml bottle, from Sh580 to Sh600 for a 350ml bottle and from Sh1200 to Sh1250 for a 750ml bottle (popularly known as mzinga).
In an advert published in the Daily Nation newspaper, the brewer has also increased prices for Johnie Walker whiskies by between Sh30 and Sh500, depending on the quantities and makes.
A 375ml bottle of Johnie Walker Red Label, which has been costing Sh950 will now cost Sh980, a 750ml bottle of the same make cost Sh1,850 from 1,800, while a 750ml of Johnie Walker Black Label, which costs Sh3,500 will now cost Sh3,600.
Johnie Walker Blue Label, the most expensive of the Johnie Walkers, will now have its price hike from the current Sh23,500 for a 750ml bottle, to Sh24,000.
The vodkas will also witness price increases with prices for Triple Ace increasing by between Sh5 and Sh20, while prices for Smirnoff Red increase by between Sh10 and Sh100.
A litre bottle of Smirnoff Red, which currently costs Sh1,500, for instance, will now cost ShSh1,600.
The price for V&A cream liqueur, will also increase from Sh270 to Sh290 for a 250ml bottle and from Sh710 to Sh750 for a 750ml bottle.
But even amid the new price shakeups, drinkers of some brands have been left unaffected after their prices were retained.
These include Chrome gin and vodka whose price remains at Sh220 for a 250ml bottle and Sh600 for a 750ml bottle.