South AFRICAN beverages distributor Voltren Investments plans to further develop its brand in Zimbabwe and bottle products locally.
BY BATANAI MUTASA
The company, which trades as Purple Diamond and distributes assorted alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, exhibiting at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF).
Operations and business manager Patrick Bhebe told Southern Eye that the company had already secured several lucrative orders during ZITF.
“The most exciting (deal) is (with) a Victoria Falls company, which has indicated that they would want a truck load of products every week and we are on the verge of sealing the agreement,” he said.
Among the company’s products are ciders, spirit coolers, wines, energy drinks and various non-alcoholic drinks.
The company distributes South African premium drinks like Shap Shap (which sponsors Big Brother South Africa), Caribbean Twist, Side Kick liquor cream, Red Square Ice and Reload, an energy drink.
Purple Diamond is a subsidiary of Palladium Africa, which in turn is an affiliate of multinational corporation Halewood International Products.
Bhebe said the Zimbabwean market had received Purple Diamond products well, while distribution aggregates had increased substantially since the company entered the market.
“We have mainly been operating from Harare with an agent called Equip Solutions and would supply in small quantities, but now we are moving truckloads to the country,” he said.
“I believe we have made such an immediate impact on the market because our alcoholic drinks are fruit-based, while most local brands are alcohol based.
“Despite the fact that we include expensive fruit ingredients, our product prices still compete with local ones and that is one major selling point.”
Bhebe said the company was committed to engaging Zimbabweans in its business.
“We use local people to activate and promote our products in Zimbabwe and our intention is to build educational awareness about what we sell and alcohol in general,” he said.
“That way it becomes a win situation as we offer employment in such a harsh economic environment.”