Roberta Katunga, Senior Business Reporter
NESTLE Zimbabwe has tabled plans to start production of cremora strip sachets for use in the hospitality sector which are part of consumable guest supplies being imported by the sector.
Nestle corporate affairs manager Mr Farai Munetsi said plans were underway to start manufacturing the strip packs in three months after a successful joint venture with CPL, a local manufacturer, which saw the company launching new 30g Cerevita and 40g Cremora packets.
“In the last five years, Nestle has invested over $30 million in production and meeting new market demands. We recently jointly developed the new single serve Cremora and Cerevita packages with CPL,” said Mr Munetsi.
Mr Munetsi said partnering a local packaging company meant they would not import plastic sachets and instead localise packaging of products to meet market demand.
He said Nestle Zimbabwe increased its production capacity of powdered milk from 3 000 tonnes to 7 500 tonnes annually against a national demand of 8 000 tonnes with the deficit being of the strip packets that are required by hotels.
“We will soon be able to produce those packets locally. The taste profile for our local Cremora powdered milk is different from the South African manufactured product and our new packaging differentiates the two. We are, however, still yet to roll out the new 40g Cremora and 30g Cerevita to the rest of the country,” said Mr Munetsi.
He said the single serve packets were also affordable at 25c. Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe president Mr George Manyumwa confirmed that some of the guest supplies used in the hospitality sector were imported although he added that hotels and lodges do not buy directly from outside but buy from local distributors of foreign companies.
Mr Manyumwa said having a local company manufacturing the products was a welcome development.
“As a sector we are willing to support local manufacturers but we want them to produce good products that are priced competitively. We do not want them to come up with expensive products,” said Mr Manyumwa.
He said the hospitality sector uses a number of products that are not manufactured locally.
“We buy foreign products from local companies that distribute on behalf of those foreign manufacturers but we support local production as the economy is subsequently taken to another level and employment is created,” he said.