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Forget beer, Kenya’s young and rich love their whiskey

The recently released Holla Study by Consumer Insight contains a startling revelation: Kenya’s young and rich prefer high end Scotch and Irish whiskey.

The switch from beer reflects a growing culture of aspiration and desire to enjoy the trappings of middle class.

International brands Johnny Walker and Jameson are the preferred names on the table for them.

Tim Etherington – Judge, a mixologist and Dieageo’s Africa Brand Ambassador, in an earlier interview said that Kenyan’s have come to understand their whisky well just in the past five years.

“About five years ago, Kenyan’s didn’t understand much about single malt or blended whisky. But now they do, which is influencing their choice of drink,” said Judge, who has been in Africa for over five years.

“On the other hand, West Africans, especially Nigerians, prefer the most expensive drink on the counter, not necessarily the quality,” he added.

South Africans also look at the quality of the whisky in the market too, more like Kenyans.

“Whisky mentorships and tasting have made Kenyans become more informed about their choice of whisky,” he said.

Though typically associated with older people, the under 30 clubbers have taken to whisky loyally, says the study.

This aspiration for ‘success’ is confirmed in another section of the study, where ‘being rich’ was the top aspiration in life for 37 per cent of youth.

Surprisingly this desire is much higher among those aged 13-15 years, at 42 per cent.