HomeBusinessURL goes grocery, eyes regional markets

URL goes grocery, eyes regional markets

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UNITED Refineries Limited (URL) has expanded its range as a food and grocery products manufacturer, focusing on servicing local, regional as well as international markets, an official has said.

BY MTHANDAZO NYONI

URL chief executive officer, Busisa Moyo (pictured) told NewsDay that the Bulawayo-based agro-processing concern intends to position itself as a dominant food and grocery manufacturer in Southern Africa.

“URL has re-launched its old lines of Image Soap, FreshHealth Joy and Vogue which had been constrained by lack of raw materials due to foreign currency challenges. However, the prioritisation of the manufacturing sector by government through various measures has encouraged the company to expand its range as a food and grocery products manufacturer,” Moyo said.

“We have also launched our new mayonnaise line under our “Roil Mayonnaise” brand and an Olive oil brand where olive varieties are grown in the Eastern Cape and we will be bringing in the bulk product and down packing it in Zimbabwe. The market can look forward to more products which we reveal in the next 12 months.”

Moyo said URL has big plans to transform itself from a two-product company (soap and oil) into a fully-fledged food and grocery products manufacturer focused on servicing local and regional markets, with a few select international products in the medium to long term.

“Our value brands include Roil, Image, Star Bar and Olive Green Bar. Our competition has undercut us on price from time to time but we have stuck to the optimal fit between quality performance and affordable price given the dynamic economic conditions, with the consumer’s long term benefits in mind,” he said.

“Cheap is not always cheap when it comes to food, health and hygiene. Our pricing models as a private limited company are proprietary. Efficient equipment and economies of scale in sourcing are key to our strategy and we are continuously improving these.”

Moyo, however, refused to divulge the quantum of investment on new product lines saying “we are a private limited company so these numbers are proprietary. But significant investments have been made in the last four years.”

URL has been in existence for 85 years and Moyo said the company intends to be around for another 100 years.

“We don’t derive confidence in transient economic conditions but have entrenched values and brands handed down and adapted over decades and through multiple dispensations and we have fantastic infrastructure to grow,” he said.

Going forward, Moyo said URL intends to position itself a dominant food and grocery manufacturer in Southern Africa.

“We invest and develop our strategies with this in mind,” he said.

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