THE reduction in the prices of Mazoe Syrups has resulted in overall sales of the product increasing by 60% compared to the same period last year, a top Schweppes Zimbabwe Limited (SZL) official has said.
SZL managing director Charles Msipa said the company was operating at 60% capacity utilisation levels.
“As is the case with other consumer goods companies, we are constantly reviewing and innovating on product, package and pricing to maintain preference and demand for our brands. On Mazoe Syrups, the introduction of a more affordable 1l package as well as reduction of retail price on 2l Mazoe Syrups from $3 to $2,50 has resulted in a 60% increase in overall Mazoe Syrups sales volumes over prior year during 2014,” Msipa said.
“Overall, the reduction in aggregate demand has resulted in generally more subdued sales. We do not expect 2014 total brand portfolio sales to exceed 5% over 2013,” Msipa said.
SZL has been reducing its prices since last year when a 2-litre bottle for Mazoe Orange Crush was pegged at $3,50 and was reduced to $3,00 before if went further down to $2,50.
SZL volumes for 2013 declined as compared to 2012 due to the softening of the demand
on the back of a weakened economy.
Msipa told NewsDay that 2013 was the most difficult year for the country as a whole as compared to 2012 and 2014 due to the tight liquidity conditions in the economy.
In 2014, average capacity utilisation shedded off 3,3 percentage points to 36,3%.
Most companies in the manufacturing sector require funding for retooling and recapitalisation, which is not readily available in the market as most financial institutions have put a cap on credit.
The financial sector has non-performing loans that are affecting operation and this has resulted in liquidity challenge.