Pick N’ Peel firm to produce UK Vimto soft drink in Kenya
British soft drink Vimto will be manufactured locally following an exclusive franchise deal with Kevian Kenya, the maker of Afia and Pick N’ Peel juice brands. The pact will see Kevian produce the drink from its Thika plant and distribute the “Vimto Sparkling” brand, upping competition for control of the soft drinks and juice market currently dominated by Coca Cola.Vimto International has been serving the Kenyan market through imports, and it is seeking a larger presence in Africa and the Middle East.It has a presence in over 85 countries and is owned by Nichols Plc, a London-listed firm“We will be producing Vimto sparkling blackcurrant which is a carbonated drink at our plant in Thika town starting this month,” Kimani Rugendo who is the managing director at Kevian Kenya said in a statement.“The product will be available in 500ml and will be retailing at Sh60 while the 300 ml will sell at Sh45. This is a testament that homegrown companies have come of age to attract global recognition for partnerships,” he addedThe new line of business is expected to create 500 jobs in the production and distribution chain and boost Kevian’s product range.Andrew Milne, Group Commercial Director at Vimto International, said the partnership with Kevian was buoyed by the local firm’s production capability as well as its rich distribution network.“Our brand is performing well globally, and we plan to push the same here in Kenya. We are already in Uganda and South Sudan, and Kevian Kenya will be very central to our expansion in Kenya,’’ he said.