The International Wines and Spirits Record (IWSR), notes that whisky consumption in Kenya grew by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.7% in the five years 2013 to 2018. This is expected to grow by another 18.8% in the next four years to 2023.
But whatever is registering a greater notice among the elite Kenyan communities is the growth of aged brands with some Kenyans even requesting for a 72-year-old whisky. This has been categorized as a small group of consumers in the region who have a special taste on premium beverages as well a disposable income allowing populations to have high-end brands during leisure.
Macallan, a premium brand brewed since 1824 has been identified as the global leader in terms of value for whisky in its category.
In October 2018, a bottle of Macallan 60-Year-Old scotch whisky set a record when it sold at auction for $1.1 million. A month later, another bottle of Macallan 60-Year-Old just smashed that record, selling for over $1.5 million.
This brand of whisky has been traded in Kenya since 2012 but is now repositioning itself in the country with a target of a small number of special buyers. Actually, the brand in which the Regional Marketing Manager – Africa at Edrington Sanele Gwala likens to the Rolls Royce of the whisky sector only sold for the first time in their history a million cases.
Well, just a small percentage was actually sold in Africa, with already established markets of South Africa and Nigeria.
But there has been that special group of consumers from Kenya that has made the Scottish company to prioritize the region.
Edrington, the makers of The Macallan Whisky have announced the introduction of the new aged Triple cask series of Macallan Single Malt Scotch Whisky in the Kenyan market.
According to Sanele Gwala, in 2018 The Macallan transformed from the non-aged 1824 series to the new aged Triple Cask Matured Macallan series of 12-year-old, 15-year-old and 18-year-old Whisky.
“The Macallan enjoys a respectable following among single malt consumers in Kenya. Our vision as we launch the new aged series is to grow this loyal following to make The Macallan the ultimate luxury spirit in Kenya, “said Gwala.
With growth trends envisioned to continue in double digits over the next five years, ‘The Macallan’ is currently re-aligning its business with a renewed focus on the growing interest and improving tastes in luxury goods by a new generation of sophisticated consumers in Kenya.
Gwala also announced the appointment of Jeyfine Wines Co. limited, as the distributors of The Macallan Whisky, with exclusive import and distribution rights to Edrington’s single malt whiskies in Kenya.
“The partnership with Jeyfine Wines Co. Limited is anchored on their strength in the distribution of premium & super-premium spirits coupled with their unique E-commerce platform (Mo-bar), that enables them to deliver direct to consumers, noted Gwala.
Joseph King’ori, Chief Executive Jeyfine Wines Co. Limited said the firm services a market universe of over 2,500 bars in the capital city Nairobi, the majority which stock premium brands with over 1,500 outlets buying premium whiskey products on a regular basis. This is in addition to a mobile commerce platform Mo-Bar, a direct-to-consumer mobile platform available for download on both Android and Apple smartphones”, said King’ori.
Jackline Mburu, the Area Manager – East Africa & Indian Ocean Countries, Edrington said The Macallan that hopes to be the leading single malt whisky by value in Kenya by 2025 would take advantage of the growing interest by the Kenyan consumer, in luxury brands.
“In Kenya, whisky embodies the aspiration and status of the emerging young and sophisticated consumer with a keen eye and access to luxurious experiences. With improved access to global brands, consumption has improved considerably and we expect the category to continue experiencing steady growth, concluded Mburu.
Founded in 1824, The Macallan was one of the first distillers in Scotland to be legally licensed. Since then we have built a reputation as one of the world’s leading single malt whiskies. The creation of The Macallan draws on the vital contributing influences of Spain, North America and Scotland – and of their respective natural raw materials, combined with traditional methods and craftsmanship.
An obsession with quality has been the hallmark of The Macallan since its founding by Alexander Reid on a plateau above the river Spey in north-east Scotland. The distillery is surrounded by a 485-acre estate with Easter Elchies House at its heart.