Ms Jane Karuku led East Africa Breweries Ltd (EABL) and the spirits maker Diageo, which before coming in Kenya was facing slow growth in developed economies have promoted alcoholism in Kenya.
Take for instance, East Africa Breweries Ltd (EABL) was producing and selling a beer called Tusker at prices well out of the reach of most Kenyans.
East Africa Breweries Ltd (EABL) and Diageo created a new product – a beer called Senator Keg – to tap the approximately 60 per cent of consumers who drank only locally brewed alcohol which they considered illegal.
Market research done in 2003 by Diageo showed the optimal pricing for Senator Keg needed to be between Ksh20 and Ksh30 Kenyan shillings a glass of (300 ml). When finally introduced, at Ksh15 to 20 shillings a glass Senator cost a fifth the price of Diageo’s mainstream beer, Tusker, and was only slightly more expensive than locally brewed ‘illegal’ alcohol.
The quantity and frequency of deaths caused by the intake of alcoholic beverages has reached worrisome proportions. Many individuals have died and several have lost their eyesight as a result of overindulging.
— Cyprian, Is Nyakundi (@CisNyakundi) June 15, 2021
Diageo and EABL have been spending millions of money on influencers to glamorize and normalize alcoholism. Instead of sponsoring sporting and social activities, they now only sponsor sherehe’s and tippler concerts.
In June last year, KBL MD John Musunga said the Shikisha Form na Senator Ushinde, embodies the Senator customers’ pursuit of better lives and seeks to celebrate and recognize their unbridled loyalty and contribution in establishing the Senator brand as the most successful value beer brand in Kenya.
Kenyans were asked to purchase and drink two 500ml mugs (of either Senator Lager or Dark Extra) to get issued with a scratch card. After drinking, the consumers were then required to SMS a unique valid code found under the scratch panel to a 5-digit short code to get an entry into the competition. One valid code gives one entry!
What Diageo and EABL did not include in their terms and conditions at least for awareness was that for every SMS you send of the code to the 5-digit code, you’re charged Ksh10!
Senator Dark Extra, which was launched early last year and is retailing in almost all outlets in Kenya, has an alcohol content at 7.5 per cent compared to Senator Keg’s 5.8 per cent. Tusker is 5% -5.5%.
What Diageo and EABL also didn’t tell consumers is that buying more mugs to stand higher chances of winning, condition of drinking minimum of two mugs is not only harmful to health but also leads and enables alcoholism.
“EABL should be busy thinking of increasing the number of rehabilitation around the country rather than championing and facilitating the sacking of opinionists like Shafie weru, Dj joe and Naville #BoycottEABL” a Kenyan shared on twitter
“I guess #EABL should focus more on creating rehabilitation centers for those guys who are addicted because of their alcohol instead of ruining lives of young guys who are trying to make a living and provide for their families,” Another Kenya shared on Twitter
Where is Ministry for Health when Diageo and EABL are running such campaigns that are encouraging low and middle-income Kenyans to over-indulge in disguise of being Rewarded?
If such goes unchecked, the CS Mutahi Kagwe led Ministry of Health will record higher cases of Diabetes, increased cases of Liver and Kidney failures. This means more casualties!
In a nationwide survey conducted by NACADA, the consumption of alcohol among people aged under 18 years was rated “high”. “Very high” usage was reported for ages 25 – 34 years (males 79% and females 15%) and 19 – 24 years (males 77% and females 14%).
NACADA reports that alcohol consumption among males aged 35 – 54 years was rated as “very high”
Why is Jane Karuku, the EABL MD using the publicly owned company to harass independent media personalities and legal threats to mainstream houses to silence toxic working condition under her watch and tax evasion cases the firm is facing?
Read more HERE
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