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New Guidelines to dictate how Kenyans buy alcohol

May 28, 2021
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A global alliance on responsible drinking that includes local players has published a set of standards to guide the sale and delivery of alcohol by online alcohol retailers.

The International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD) also recommends that online retailers verify the age of buyers and prevent deliveries to minors or intoxicated buyers under the new self-regulatory standards.

IARD has also recommended that the traders work with agents who adhere to the set standards and take an active role in educating drinkers as well as monitor the implementation of the standards.

IARD is a global partnership of the 12 leading beer, wine, and spirits companies. The first-ever standards were developed in partnership with 14 prominent global and regional online retailers, and e-commerce and delivery platforms.

There has been an increase in acceptance of e-commerce in Kenya over the last year, with the OdipoDev Consumer Report for 2020 indicating that 78% of consumers who have used a home delivery service are ready to use it in the near future.

The standards were developed in response to the acceleration in the shift towards e-commerce in the sale and delivery of alcohol. New data from Euromonitor International shows that e-commerce grew by 33% globally, even as alcohol sales reduced by 6%.

Henry Ashworth, IARD’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “IARD is proud to have united the world’s leading drinks producers with leading online retailers and e-commerce platforms to enhance safeguards for the online sale and delivery of alcohol.”

The e-commerce trend in the sale and delivery of alcohol has also grown in Kenya over the course of the pandemic, with Kenya Breweries Limited noting it as a significant shift.

The increase in e-commerce, home deliveries and consumption has spurred expansion of the formats, and now more beers are available in cans, as well as partnerships with e-commerce platforms.

Kenya Breweries Limited Managing Director John Musunga said the standards by IARD reflect the sentiments of the company and the work it has been doing locally since the pandemic shifted operations.

“The e-commerce explosion has played a significant role in growing off-trade contribution and we realized early on the need for online retailers to adhere to certain standards. Minors should not drink alcohol and we have been working in partnership with online retailers and delivery platforms to improve safeguards to help prevent online alcohol sale and delivery to minors,” said Mr Musunga.

The standards outlined in the document include:

  • ·      Improving safeguards and security measures that aim to prevent minors from being able to buy alcohol
  • ·      Putting in place mechanisms to prevent beer, wine, and spirits being delivered to minors, to individuals showing visible signs of intoxication, or where prohibited by law
  • ·      Providing tools, information, and education, or other support to drivers to empower them to deny delivery
  • ·      Enhancing consumer information and control
  • ·      Promoting global standards as a resource to support the development of national level codes and practices for the online sale and delivery of alcohol that build on local and national regulation

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