HARARE Beitbridge Juicing which was recently acquired by Schweppes Zimbabwe has spread its wings into neighboring South Africa and has already started supplying products to the lucrative market, Schweppes CE Charles Msipa has said.
In an interview Msipa said the company is also looking at diversifying its product range.
Beitbridge Juicing has started supplying products to the South African market. They have already acquired orders and are currently supplying guava puree and passion fruit juice among other lines. This presents new business for the company.
We are also looking at how we can diversify their product range. They primarily supply Schweppes with orange juice concentrate. They have now identified a range of other products they could supply such as passion puree, grape juice and tomato paste which will be value addition on some of our agricultural products, he said.
Msipa said Schweppes is currently operating ahead of prior year, however behind the company’s aggressive plans. He said margins have grown thinner due to price reductions which where effected in 2013 and 2014, although volumes and capacity utilization have been consistent. He said the company has been pushing 500 000 physical cases on a monthly basis locally.
Externally, Msipa said Schweppes has been exporting consistently to Botswana and Zambia while efforts are underway to enter the DRC and Angola market.
Our exports to Botswana and Zambia have been steadily growing in the last year. We are currently trying to penetrate the DRC and Angola market. However the latter has presented us with significant logistical challenges. A container load takes up to three days before it arrives to the distributor. The consignment also does not travel well. So we are looking at other routes besides the Johannesburg, Luanda route, he said.
Msipa said the company is also looking at ways of improving the landing price of its products in DRC and Mozambique to make it more competitive.
We are also not immune to the weakening of other currencies to the US dollar which means our price is not as competitive as South African products. We have therefore seen a competitive gap in DRC and Mozambique arising from our strong currency situation. We are looking at ways of how we can improve our efficiencies and supply chains and even the freight logistics so that we make the landed price of our products more competitive, he said