The country’s largest alcoholic and soft beverages manufacturer, Bralirwa, has increased the retail prices of its soft drinks from Rwf250 per bottle to Rwf300, saying this is the only way to maintain profits amidst increased production costs that have put pressure on the company’s supply side.
This is the first time, since 2008, that Bralirwa has increased the price of soft drinks. The move, which comes as a slap in the face of consumers who are set to witness high inflationary pressures, puts prices of Bralirwa’s soft drinks at per with Pepsi Cola brands.
Elvis Olivier Castanou, the company’s Marketing Manager, said that the new prices are meant to cover input and business costs following a rise in the cost of raw materials and transport that pushed up the company’s overall overhead costs.
“In order to cover our business costs, we have to adapt to our prices on soft drinks accordingly,” he said, Friday, during a press briefing at the company’s head offices in Kicukiro, Kigali.
This comes amid a critical shortfall in the supply of soft drinks since December last year. Bralirwa attributes the shortfall to high demand witnessed during the festive season.
Bralirwa under license from Coca Cola Company bottles Coca-Cola, Fanta Orange, Fanta Citron, Fanta Fiesta, Sprite, Krest Tonic and Vital’O.
Castanou noted that the company has been grappling with the preceding price following an increase in production costs and inflation asserting that it was the only way the company can maintain profit.
“We are not a charity organisation or a church, so we have to make money,” he added.
However, most shops, supermarkets and small restaurants that are supposed to honour the recommended retail price of Rwf300 were selling a bottle at Rwf400, claiming that the crate jumped to Rwf6,000 from Rwf4,800 in only one week.
“There is no way we can make profits selling sodas at Rwf300 when we are buying at a high price from wholesalers, maybe if they tell those to sell to us at a cheaper price,” Jeannette Akaliza, a retailer in Kigali told Business Times.
Freddy Nyangezi, Bralirwa’s Corporate Affairs Manager noted that distributors and retailers must respect the recommended prices, adding that Bralirwa will take measures to ensure that the prices are respected.