BULAWAYO City Council’s Ingwebu Breweries plans to introduce a pasteurised and carbonated traditional beer into the market amid reports that its mahewu flavours have been approved by Government Analyst Laboratories.
According to a confidential council report dated June 4, Ingwebu Breweries expects to go into a joint venture in manufacturing the new product.
“A proposal to develop a pasteurised and carbonated traditional beer product (is) being developed. It is expected that a non-returnable container will be used for the product. Consideration is being given to going into a joint venture to achieve this objective” part of the confidential report reads.
According to the report, the mahewu plant is currently being constructed and is projected to be completed during the second quarter of the year.
“All the four mahewu flavours have been certified by Government Analyst Laboratories. Permission to use artificial sweeteners was granted by the Food Standards Advisory Board” the report reads.
The report stated that the name and label of the mahewu product has been finalised and registration is in progress.
Based on the report, traditional beer sales in the first quarter was 19% below the same period last year and 21,90% below target.
Clear beer sale volumes were 23,77% above the same period last year and 12,52% above budget.
“Sales declined by 9,05% over the first quarter compared to the first quarter in 2013 and were 13% below the budget for the quarter,” the report added.
“Shake It volumes were softer than anticipated in the first quarter due to the failure by suppliers to deliver orders on time”.
Ingwebu said suppressed demand due mainly to lack of market liquidity resulting from unemployment inspired drastic reduction in disposable income.
Recently, Ingwebu announced a plan to expand its market base over the next 24 months after years of concentrating mainly on Bulawayo and its immediate environs.
It targets expansion into the Midlands and Matabeleland North and South provinces by mid-2014. Ingwebu has been in operation for 100 years.