SKOL Brewery Rwanda has launched a $10m packaging line, which it claims is the most efficient filling plant in East Africa. The new line increases the Kigali brewery’s bottling capacity from 450,000 hectolitres to more than a million hectoliters annually.
Skol Brewery is a subsidiary of Belgian company Unibra, which operates in brewing and real estate. It also owns breweries in DRC, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Guinea, Mozambique and Madagascar. In January the company revealed that its market share has jumped by 20 percentage points to 25% since 2010, when it had just 5% of the market. By 2015 it had 14% market share. Skol had originally targeted 20% market share by 2020.
A key feature in Skol’s sales growth has been a 30x increase in distribution points. The doubling of its bottling capacity means that on the current market size it has the potential to capture 50% of the beer market in Rwanda. Skol is going after Bralirwa, the Heineken owned brewery which had a near monopoly and which still holds around 70% market share.