A Guide to Verifying a Genuine or Counterfeit Drink in Kenya

Fake or genuine alcohol. How do you know?


In recent years, we have seen the market get flooded with counterfeit alcoholic drinks. You are out with friends and take a sip of your favourite drink. The first sip tastes like “mabati”. You are taken back so you take the second sip to confirm and you are like “kwani ni ya kariobangi.” Who has found themselves in such a situation?

Now more than ever before, authenticating the genuineness of a drink by Kenyan consumers is imperative. Counterfeit products pose health risks and undermine the reputation of genuine brands. 

Fortunately, there are several features available to help consumers verify genuine alcohol. Let us explore the various methods including the KRA scanner, to determine the genuineness of any alcoholic drink in Kenya.

1. Bottle and Label Inspection

Check the bottle’s quality, including the material, cap, and seal. Genuine drinks have consistently high-quality packaging. In case of a change in packaging, the manufacturer usually lets the public know.


Inspect the label for any signs of tampering, such as mismatched colours, uneven printing, or peeling edges. Genuine products have well-designed and securely attached labels.

Authenticate the KRA sticker using SOMA LABEL by Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA)

2. Barcodes and QR Codes

Scan the barcode or QR code on the bottle using a smartphone or a dedicated scanner. Genuine alcohol have valid and consistent codes.

In Kenya, we use the KEBS sticker and barcode which are often difficult to replicate and indicate authenticity.

Authenticate the KRA sticker using SOMA LABEL by Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).

How to use Soma Label:

  1. Download the Soma Label app from Play Store
  2. After accepting the Terms & Conditions, click on the “scan” option.
  3. Click on “Scan QR Code” OR “Scan Data Matrix” depending on the type of sticker and align the code within the frame to scan
  4. Also, scan the barcode
  5. You will be asked for confirmation of the sticker. If it is the right sticker, click yes. The information about the drink will be displayed
  6. If there is an issue with the stamp, report it.

3. Check the Expiry Date

Boxed wines, beers and cream liqueurs have expiry dates. Manufacturers are required by law to display the expiry date on the packaging, making it essential for consumers to carefully read and verify it. 

By avoiding expired drinks, you can protect their health and ensure they are purchasing a drink that is safe to consume. Taking the time to check the expiry date is an important step in making informed choices in ensuring the genuineness of the drink.

4. Check the Alcohol Content

To verify the authenticity of liquor, you can examine its alcohol content. In Kenya, the law stipulates that alcoholic beverages must not exceed 60% alcohol content. If the measured alcohol content exceeds this limit, it may indicate that the liquor is counterfeit.

5. Taste, Smell and Colour

This method is subjective but can be useful. Familiarize yourself with the taste, smell and colour of the genuine drink by trying it from a reliable source. If the drink’s taste, smell or colour significantly differs, it could be an indication of a counterfeit product.

6. Purchase from Trusted Sources

Buy drinks from the manufacturer or authorized and reputable outlets. These sources are more likely to sell genuine products.

At Jays Wines, we are bringing you a wide variety of genuine products.

How to Help Curb Counterfeit Drinks

1. Consumer Feedback and Reviews

Everyone is encouraged to share their experiences and provide feedback on the alcoholic beverages they have purchased. Online platforms, social media, and review websites can serve as effective channels for consumers to share their opinions and warn others about counterfeit products. 

By sharing your experiences, you can alert authorities like the Anti-Counterfeit Authority, manufacturers, and fellow consumers about suspicious or fake drinks, helping to raise awareness and prevent others from falling victim to counterfeit alcohol.

Additionally, supporting and promoting reputable brands and establishments like Jays Wines, known for their commitment to quality can help in discouraging the production and distribution of counterfeit beverages.

2. Reuse the bottles

Reusing the bottles helps curb the counterfeiting of the said brand of alcohol. There are several ways to reuse an alcoholic bottle creatively. Here are a few ideas:

a) Ash Tray

To use an alcoholic bottle as an ashtray, clean the bottle, remove labels, and cut it to remain with the bottom quarter (you may seek help from professional bottle cutters). You may fill the bottom with sand or pebbles for stability, and place it on a flat surface. Tap ashes and cigarette butts into it, and remember to empty and clean it regularly. Dispose of cigarette waste responsibly.

b) Liquid Dispenser

 Convert the bottle into a stylish liquid dispenser. Clean the bottle thoroughly and attach a pour spout or dispenser pump to the opening. Fill it with liquid soap, hand sanitiser, or your preferred liquid for easy and convenient use in your bathroom or kitchen.

c) Candle Holder

 Clean the bottle and remove any labels. Insert a long candle into the opening, allowing it to stand upright. Light the candle to create a cosy and ambient atmosphere.

d) Artistic Display

Use the bottle as a canvas for your artistic expression. Clean the bottle and paint it or decorate it with your preferred designs. Display your artistic bottle as a unique piece of decor or give it as a personalized gift.

Remember to thoroughly clean and sanitise the bottle before repurposing it for any new use. 


Ensuring the genuineness of a drink is of paramount importance to avoid unknowingly indulging in counterfeit products. By observing the above methods, consumers can protect themselves from health risks and support genuine brands.

By being vigilant and informed, consumers can make educated purchasing decisions and support legitimate manufacturers and resellers. Collaboration between consumers, regulatory bodies, and law enforcement agencies is crucial in combating the proliferation of counterfeit beverages.

Remember, while no method is foolproof, combining multiple verification techniques increases the likelihood of identifying genuine alcohol. Let us remain vigilant and champion the genuineness of our favourite beverages.

How To Order

At Jays Wines, we bring you a wide range of genuine alcohol. Explore the different options of drinks on our website and place your order here. We shall promptly deliver them to your doorstep.

Alternatively, reach us via Call or WhatsApp at 0705570066 for inquiries or to place a direct order.

We are located along Biashara Street and Accra Road within Nairobi CBD. 

You are welcome!

By Roseline Maina: Digital Marketer




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