•Tusker has been ranked among the top 100 most admired brands in Africa by Brand Africa, an agency that ranks brands in Africa based on their reception in the continent.
•The origin of the name Tusker came about as a memoriam following the death of George Hurst.
On September 14 last year, Arnolda shiundu, Kenya Breweries head of sustainability and community engagement announced that the company had committed Sh1 million in adopting two elephants.
It is no secret that the African elephant is a species that is under clear and present threat, with challenges such as degrading and declining habitat, ivory poaching as well as conflict that results from humans encroaching on elephants’ habitat, among other challenges.
The initiative which came with the company’s celebration of a century however does not come as a surprise, as the company’s flagship brand “Tusker” is named after the largest existing land animals.
The origin of the name Tusker came about as a memoriam following the death of George Hurst, a co-founder of Kenya Breweries Limited, who was killed by an elephant during a hunting expedition in 1922.
Since then, the brand has evolved and still stands strong as EABL’s flagship brand.
George Hurst and his brother Charles Hurst, natives of Cardiff, Wales, established a small beer brewery in Nairobi.
The company’s first beer was brewed on December 15, 1922. Its first annual general meeting was held in 1923.
George Hurst was killed in an elephant hunting accident and in his memory, his brother Charles decided to name the first beer brewed “Tusker”.
Tusker has been ranked among the top 100 most admired brands in Africa by Brand Africa, an agency that ranks brands in Africa based on their reception in the continent.
It was 73rd of the most admired brands in the continent placing the Kenyan beer shoulder to shoulder with global giants such as Nike, Adidas, and Samsung.
Nike, Adidas, Samsung, Coca Cola, Tecno, Apple, MTN, Puma, Gucci and Airtel make the cut of the top 10 fancied brands in Africa respectively.
“As we celebrate our 100 years, we are proud of our legacy and impact across East Africa. Our vast value chain is unparalleled and its socio-economic effect over the century continues to benefit millions across the region,” EABL group managing director and CEO, Jane Karuku said.
“These celebrations will not only take stock of our heritage, deeply etched in the tapestry of our history but will also look into what the next 100 years hold for us,” she added.
In order to continue to foster the next generation of music talent and sports legends, Tusker has also launched the Tusker Nexters campaign. This campaign is part of a broader initiative to celebrate Tusker’s 100-year anniversary by identifying and rewarding the next generation of musical talent, as well as give a platform to the next era of sport—e-sports, or electronic sports.
E-sports is an industry that’s still relatively new but one thats growing quickly as technology advances and more people take up virtual gaming.
Last month, EABL more than doubled its profit for the year ended June to Sh15.6 billion, buoyed by the reopening of economies after the easing of Covid-19 measures.
This is from the Sh7 billion it posted in the financial year ended June 2021.
The strong performance came with the reopening of bars and the service industry, which boosted sales of beer and spirits during the period.
During the year under review, net sales grew by about 27 per cent to Sh109.4 billion, up from Sh86 billion the previous year.
The Group’s net sales were boosted by double-digit growth across all its markets and categories owing to an improved operating environment as outlets reopened, coupled with sustained investment in marketing and commercial activities.
The Kenyan market recorded the highest sales with revenues growing by 30 per cent-fuelled by premium and upper mainstream segments.
It was followed by Uganda which recorded a 24 per cent growth in sales while the Tanzania unit had a 21 per cent growth.
EABL navigated rising inflation and increase in excise taxes through strategic pricing and effective cost management to deliver its highest profit in five years.
Likewise, it launched the second phase of the ‘Raising the Bar’ program aimed at supporting the hospitality industry which was the hardest hit during the initial stages of the Covid-19 pandemic owing to the closure of bars and restaurants.
According to a survey by the Bar, Hotel and Liquor Traders Association (BAHLITA) more than 250,000 jobs have been lost in the industry since 2020.
The program, which was launched in December 2020, has reached out to over 2,273 outlets and 3,800 people in Kenya and across East Africa providing training on Covid-19 protocols, service skills, management capability and safety and hygiene procedures.
This program has given much-needed impetus to an industry that has over 40,000 retailers employing over 300,000 people and benefitting many more directly and indirectly.
According to management, the company has employed a solid sustainability plan built around the environmental, social and governance (ESG) pillars to guide its journey into the next century.
“As EABL, we are keen not only on enabling the business to become sustainable for the foreseeable future but also strengthening the communities that we work in and with,” management said.