The powerful story of Keringet Water

Occupying a top position in the beverage industry, Crown Beverages Limited is the firm behind Keringet Water and now banks on innovation to cement its top position.

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The powerful story of Keringet Water

With 24 years of trading behind it, Keringet Water, a Crown Beverages Limited brand has evolved to become a true leader in its field.  Crown Beverages was one of the first companies to diversify into bottled water trading under the name Crown Foods Limited.

 

Their story is dated back to 1992, when the firm produced the first bottle of Keringet Water to the Kenyan market.

“This was after three years of enormous geological research and continuous testing for consistency,” reveals Ellis Muhimbise the general manager of Crown Beverages Limited now a subsidiary of SABMiller plc, a leading brewer in the United Kingdom.

Over the years, the Crown Beverages Limited has metamorphosed to become a force to reckon with. In 2011, the company received a fresh impetus expanding its beverage portfolio.

“We changed our name from Crown Foods Limited to Crown Beverages Limited after   acquisition of the company by SABMiller.”

With increasing demand of bottled water, Keringet is as focused as ever to give Kenyans the best quality of water. It is a choice that has informed the source of their mineral water. The water plant is located in Molo, a town 8,000 feet above sea level bordering the expansive Mau forest.

“Our vision is to continue transforming the lives of our consumers and the community. We pride ourselves in our proven track record and we are focused to ensuring that our water has a positive, long-term, impact on the lives of not only consumers but also to Kenyans in general.”

This location was carefully selected for its unique geological conditions. This is because in this location, water undergoes a long natural filtration process through deep strata of chalk, sand and gravel as well as layers of fine porous rock and hard volcanic stone created by the intense seismic activity that formed the Great Rift Valley.

Crown Beverages’ water is bottled at source under stringent hygienic conditions to deliver water of exceptional purity. The firm runs the state-of-the-art bottling plant at Molo to ensure absolutely no human contact with the water until it is bottled and sealed. It also produces its own plastics and packaging machines to ensure the purity of the water and operates the most technologically aseptic filling technology system in the region. This has led to the firm emerging as leader in maintaining strict hygiene conditions to assure a long shelf life and top notch quality.

With a solid distribution network across Kenya Crown Beverages has continued to deliver their products to clients in a timely manner. The firm has depots in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Molo and Nyeri.  They also have mini Depots in Embu, Meru, Diani and Mtwapa

“Our vision is to continue transforming the lives of our consumers and the community. We pride ourselves in our proven track record and we are focused to ensuring that our water has a positive, long-term, impact on the lives of not only consumers but also to Kenyans in general.”

The company sells a wide array of bottled water for individuals and large organizations. In their latest innovation drive, Keringet has come up with flavoured water to serve demand of clients. The beverage dealer also boasts of being the first firm to sell 20 Litre bulk bottles which is supplied to most work places in Kenya.

This they say ,is in line with The Kenya Employment Act which provides that every employer must provide wholesome water for employees at the workplace. Keringet Water is approved by the Kenya Bureau of Standards and meets the highest standards of quality. Crown Beverages Limited was the first ISO 22000 certified bottled water company in East Africa.

Yet, the bottled water industry faces a myriad of challenges. Keringet Water is no exception. For example global climate change continues to negatively affect its business and the communities where Crown Beverages operates.  However, it is a challenge that the company is facing heads on.

The firm is committed to reducing waste and carbon emissions. They are therefore working with suppliers, distributors, retailers, counties and consumers to reduce emissions and waste across their value chain as well as reuse and recycle waste and packaging.

It is an initiative that the beverage company wants to lead from the front. Their staff regularly engages in water saving practices ie recycling, economic use of paper, maintaining international sanitization and hygiene standards and waste management.  We advocate for conservation of water resources.

“We constantly seek to lessen the impact of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) on our environment. Keringet is now packaged in recyclable bottles that are better for the environment. This bottle uses 20% LESS plastic material in manufacture for a lighter carbon footprint.

But the manufacture of bottled water by illicit companies has been a growing concern negatively affecting the bottled water industry. Because they do not pay tax they flood the market with low priced water that is not fit for human consumption.

Although KRA have tried to address this issue through registration of manufacturers of bottled water, a concerted effort is required to crack down on illegal companies.

Tackling this issue says Ellis, it is important for government to work with registered companies.

“Crown Beverages Limited is a registered manufacturer of bottled water. We are working hand in hand with KRA to fight this menace.”

Like any other market, the bottled water industry is full of Counterfeit products. This may include refilling of a registered company’s bottles with another product. Fortunately, Keringet Brand is well known and this has helped mitigate this issue.

Despite the challenges, Crown Beverages is not only working to ensure that it cements its position as a leader in the bottled water market but also a front runner in giving back to the society.

The firm recently signed a Mau Partnership with the Kenya Forest Service where they adopted and will nurture trees on a portion of the Mau Complex for the next 3 years.

“We chose to support the Mau Complex which is one of the largest water catchment areas in Kenya to enhance rainfall and reduce carbon dioxide emission.  It is a project that has benefitted the surrounding community as they are able to cultivate crops on the piece of land as the trees take root – they are also employed by KWS to maintain and protect the trees.

Crown Beverages Limited is supporting the First Lady’s Beyond Zero Marathon by providing water to the participants. It is an initiative that has seen the lives of thousands of mothers and infants being saved through the provision of the much-needed mobile clinics in remote regions across the country.

Crown Beverages Limited donated 2 water tanks to neighbouring school in Molo- Sulugwita Primary School in a bid to ensure accessibility to clean water which is important for children to focus on education.

As the country marks International World Water Day, Keringet Water reckons that It is a day to meditate on water management. This year’s theme is water and jobs and seeks to show how water can be a major contributor to the economy through employment.

“Our Direct Sales Distribution model allows community members to be part of the business at the same time empowering them economically,” discloses Ellis.

Looking into the future, Crown Beverages intends to bank on innovation and technology to continue leading this crucial industry.

“Innovation will be key to maintaining our top position in this industry. Our past track record speaks for itself and we promise nothing less,” he says.