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SA winemakers date Bulawayo

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By SHARON SIBINDI

SOUTH Africa-based JK Investment Group is preparing to penetrate the Zimbabwean market and will hold its first wine tour in Bulawayo at the end of this month.

Winemakers under the group will be interacting with customers in Bulawayo on October 23 before heading to Harare on October 29 and 30.

During the tour, JK will offer brands such as Ukhamba beer, Matawi Mead-(gin, bubbly and craft beer), The House of Mandela, Aslina Wines, Sesfikile Wines, Mosi Wines and Egoli Distillery under its stable.

JK told Southern Eye: “JK Investment Group is a brand that strives to offer its clientele unique experiences through wine, gin and beer brands that celebrate African stories and legacies.

“At the present moment, our investment and marketing strategy is informed by the Zimbabwean business terrain as we see it.”

The company added: “It is our observation that although Zimbabwe is spoilt for choice in as far as wine, beer and gin are concerned, there are award-winning innovative brands which celebrate African identities, stories, and legacies, that have not penetrated the market. Therefore, the Zimbabwe wine tour aims to avail the aforesaid.”

JK said its brand promotion and consumer engagement drive would seek to ensure existing and prospective consumers interact directly with the brand owners.

“So far, preceding the actual event, the upcoming Zimbabwe wine tour has managed to proactively engage up to 20 individuals on short-term contracts. Only three people are employed on a permanent basis in Bulawayo for now. We hope to engage and employ additional personnel as we gain a foothold and expand our tentacles.”

JK said some of the brand owners were Zimbabweans and the company chose Zimbabwe as the launch pad for its vision owing to an appreciation of its strategic location as it seeks to penetrate the Sadc market.

“The proximity between Zimbabwe, South Africa and other neighbouring countries makes cross-border trading logistically feasible,” the company said.

“Further, despite the current economic challenges, we believe our offerings will be well received.

“As much as gaining a competitive edge is essentially a numbers game, we envision breaking even and making sure that the business is sustainable through a different approach.

“We are centred on education of the wine field, linking brand winemakers with the consumers through several activities, with the immediate one being the upcoming Zimbabwe wine tour.”

  • Follow Sharon on Twitter @SibindiSharon

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