Pepsi bets on Shs279b plant to boost mineral water production

Mr Nzeyi speaks during the launch of Aquafina in Kampala. Photo / Courtsey    

What you need to know:

  • According to Mr Amos Nzeyi, the CBL executive chairman, whereas CBL already has Nivana, which is its pioneer mineral water brand, Aquafina will be traded alongside Nivana as a premium brand. 
  • Rwenzori Mineral Water, is the market leader, contributing more than a quarter of Coca-Cola Beverages Uganda’s turnover

Crown Beverages Limited (CBL) has added a new product on its mineral water portfolio months after completing its $76m (Shs279b) plant in Kakungulu, Ssisa, in Wakiso District. 

The new mineral water - Aquafina – CBL said, is part of its strategy to innovate products that are relevant to the market. 

Speaking at the launch in Kampala, Mr Amos Nzeyi, the CBL executive chairman, said whereas CBL already has Nivana, which is its pioneer mineral water brand, Aquafina will be traded alongside Nivana as a premium brand. 

“We will not discontinue Nivana water. We shall run the two brands concurrently because Aquafina is different - it is a premium brand,” he said.

Uganda will be the third country after Nigeria and Egypt to bottle Aquafina, which is PepsiCo International’s premium water brand. 

“That Uganda has been considered as the third African country to start bottling Aquafina, is testament to our quality standards,” Mr Nzeyi said.

Over the last two decades, Aquafina has expanded into Asia, United Arab Emirates, and most recently Africa.

Uganda’s bottled drinking water sector has been growing rapidly with more than 100 bottlers holding an estimated turnover of Shs400b.

Rwenzori Mineral Water, is the market leader, contributing more than a quarter of Coca-Cola Beverages Uganda’s turnover.

Coca-Cola took over bottling of Rwenzori Mineral Water in 2014, following an agreement between then owners – SABMiller – and Gutsche Family Investments, the majority shareholders of Coca-Cola, to combine the bottling operations of their non-alcoholic ready-to-drink beverages businesses in Southern and East Africa.  

CBL is Uganda’s oldest beverage company, competing largely with Coco-Cola. 

The beverage sector continues to benefit from an increase in the population, rising disposable incomes and changing trends supported by product innovations. 

Mr Paddy Muramiirah, the CBL chief executive officer, said Aquafina will enrich the company’s product portfolio, coming on the back of completion of a multi-billion shilling plant in Kakungulu, Ssisa, off the Entebbe Expressway. 

“We have invested in a state-of-the-art production plant to ensure quality and consistency,” he said. 

The $76m (Shs279b) plant, which was completed last year, is CBL’s second after the main plant in Nakawa. It was financed by Citibank and Stanbic, to a tune of $50m, while $26m was invested as shareholder equity. 

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