Africa’s Big Seven (AB7) and the Southern African International Trade Exhibition have gained an international reputation as the perfect portal to business and trade opportunities throughout Africa. One of the best supported sectors of the joint show was the beverage segment of , which saw many new products being introduced to the South African market via DrinkTech Africa, a component show of AB7.
“FMCG goods and products form the backbone of retail sales in South Africa, and indeed the world,” says John Thomson, managing director of Exhibition Management Services (EMS), organisers of the show. “Many of the food and beverage products were on display in Africa for the first time. One of the most interesting was RC Cola.”
Royal Crown Cola International is an American company based in Georgia with its beverage roots going back to 1905. It exhibited at AB7 this year for the first time. Visitors to the RC Cola stand were treated to samples of its flagship drink, and all were highly impressed by its sparkling quality and pleasant taste. The company also produces many other drinks brands in a variety of flavours, including diet versions of its most popular products.
“Our RC Cola was a big success with visitors to the stand,” said Moshy Cohen, vice president Marketing, RCCI. “We met with several high-quality contacts at prospective companies from South Africa, Nigeria and Zimbabwe; they were all very impressed with the taste and quality of RC Cola, and several expressed interest in distributing RC Cola in Africa. Our first experience of AB7 has been very positive; we are here to gain regional knowledge and find strong bottling partners for RC Cola in Africa, as we continue to grow our business,” added Cohen. “We also showcased the very comprehensive support programme we offer our bottlers, which includes technical support, quality control and marketing services. Royal Crown Cola has become a part of American popular culture; it has featured in magazines, movies and even television shows.”
UK-based Kiss Mix Drinks introduced its brand to the Southern African market for the first time with samples for visitors to taste. The young company was created in 2008 from an idea to enter the fast growing alcoholic ready to drink (RTD) market at the premium end of the sector, and is already established throughout Africa, Europe and Asia.
“The response from visitors was overwhelmingly positive,” said Robert Millar, the company’s managing director. “We’ve had a lot of enquiries and some serious discussions with several potential buyers, and AB7 has given us the opportunity to present our brand image and taste to a whole new region of consumers.”
Back for its second appearance at AB7, Angolan drinks producer and distributor Refriango attracted huge interest from show visitors with its bright, colourful display stand. Its flagship soft drink brand, Blue, took pride of place with very prominent illuminated displays. Other popular products include Nutry, a nectar fruit juice; Tutti fruit juice, one of the world’s first readymade juices, including their new Tutti Baobab flavour; Pura bottled water and Sangria Tropicana, a delicious blend of wine and fruit extracts. Refriango also showed off its Dom Cacho wine brand in new packaging, its Welwitschia beverage combined with both tonic water and ginger ale mixers; its Speed energy drink and its Red Cola brand in classic, coconut, lime and zero flavours.
“It was great to be back at AB7 and we took the opportunity to introduce several new products at the show – Tutti Baobab, Nutry Guava and Welwitschia Ginger Ale,” says company spokesperson Ana Mikaela. “We also got numerous enquiries from possible customers and distributors, which is very positive.”
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