Innscor invests in beer plant


ZIMBABWE Stock Exchange-listed Innscor Africa Holdings has invested close to US$70 million into a beer manufacturing plant under its Buffalo Brewing Company (Buffalo) with more funds expected to be injected into the alcohol unit in the near future.

The development is set to challenge Delta Beverages decades-long monopoly in the beverage sector on the Zimbabwean market.

Delta got a run for its money when Varun Beverages opened a carbonated soft drink plant in Harare a few years ago and started manufacturing the Pepsi and Mirinda brands that are competing pound for pound with Delta’s well-established Coca Cola and Fanta brands.

Buffalo managing director Richard Mann told NewsDay that they were planning to break into the sorghum beer market with the Nyathi sorghum beer brand.

“We are not yet in the market, but we expect to have our product in the market in December. The alcohol category is very broad. Sorghum and clear beer is common in the southern African region. Clear beer is not a segment of the category. There are some great clear beer brands out there that we would need to compete with,” Mann said.

Innscor has been in the beverages game since 2013 when its Probottlers was launched with the Bally House Crush and cordial range.

A carbonated soft drink range was introduced under the Fizzi brand and more recently, the premium offering of mixers, the St Clairs range; including Indian Tonic and Soda water, Ginger Ale and Lemonade were added to the product range.

Mann said the company had invested in a plant that had the ability to supply a large portion of the Zimbabwean market in its first phase, and would employ 120 people at production capacity.

“We estimate that we will create over 120 new direct jobs.  Our market share ambitions are high; this will eventually require investment into additional capacity. What we do know is that the sorghum beer market will never be the same.  We will see greater innovation, and availability, with competitive pricing,” Mann added.

Mann said Nyathi was the brand name for the traditional beer made from maize, sorghum malt, water and yeast.

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