May 28, 2021
(Source- CNN Travel)
May 28th, 2021- 18:00 PM
COVID-19 Resulted in a Major Shift in Alcohol Consumption in Kenya.
A Kasi Insight survey of approximately 4,500 Kenyans on their alcohol consumption depicts a significant shift in alcohol consumption in Kenya during the COVID-19 pandemic from April to December 2020. In April, those who were purchasing less alcohol than before the pandemic heavily outweighed those who were purchasing more alcohol than before the pandemic at 28% to 18%, respectively. In October, this flipped with 15% of respondents purchasing less alcohol than before the pandemic and 19% purchasing more. By December, 19% of respondents were purchasing less alcohol and 21% were purchasing more.
The Closing of Bars and Pubs Drove the Change in Alcohol Consumption.
In March 2020, the Kenyan government choose to close bars and pubs in the face of the recently declared global pandemic, in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus. The following month coincided with the highest percentage of respondents indicating they were purchasing fewer alcoholic beverages than before the pandemic, at 28.47%. Clearly, the shutdown of bars and pubs was not going to stop Kenyans from enjoying an alcoholic beverage.
In September, the Kenyan government reopened bars, and restaurants were allowed to sell alcohol again. September was also the month the lowest percentage of respondents indicated they were purchasing more alcoholic beverages than before the pandemic, which increased to a peak in November. Those purchasing less alcohol than before the pandemic also increased after bottoming out in October, which could be explained by the fact that Kenya also raised the excise duty collections on alcohol in October.
With the Most Recent Lockdown Lifted in Kenya, Alcohol Brands Should Focus on Pushing Their Beer Products.
The biggest difference in higher consumption of a particular alcoholic beverage was other spirits, which increased from 10.48% in April to 19.09% in December. The percentage of respondents who indicated they were purchasing more tequila increased from 8.43% in April to 15.88% in December. However, the alcoholic beverage that, overall, the highest percent of Kenyans indicated they were buying more of was beer, at 15.45%. While beer is more popular overall, due to the ban on alcohol sales in restaurants and the curfew, spirits became more popular over the pandemic as they are easier to transport and beer “is less likely to be taken home”.
While the popularity of spirits skyrocketed during the lockdown, at the beginning of May 2021, the Kenyan government lifted the latest lockdown, allowing restaurants and bars to reopen. In light of this, alcohol brands should be heavily advertising their beer products. Especially Guinness, which has long been a very popular beer in Kenya but has recently been experiencing growing competition.
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