Namanve, Mukono, May 21, 2021:Coca-Cola Africa in Uganda on Friday launched a new product under its brand, Minute Maid, as the company looks to broaden its portfolio of efficient beverages amid the pandemic-induced shift in consumption behaviour.
The unveiled Minute Maid ‘Fruity Boost’ Mango drink has been changed to support the ‘Buy Uganda, Build Uganda’ (BUBU) agenda.
Speaking at the launch held at the Century Bottling Company Namanve Plant, General Manager Melkamu Abebe said the fruit and dairy blend was the first product off a brand new US$15million line installed this year to produce drinks from raw materials made in Uganda.
“We are very happy today to reveal to Ugandans a high quality, tasty and healthy nutritious drink with content that is from Ugandan farmers! We made a promise to Ugandans and to the Government and we are meeting that promise by bottling Minute Maid Fruity Boost Mango containing milk from Uganda!” he said.
Abebe added that the drink was also designed for the health conscious Ugandans who opt for beverages that contain natural nutrients, as well as Ugandans who like vibrant products.
“We talk about health and safety every day in many ways these days. Every contribution that everybody can make to increased health in our society is welcome – and we believe that a dairy juice blend can be added to the list. We are always on a quest to become a total beverage company, meeting all the refreshment and hydration needs of our consumers – Minute Maid Fruity Boost Mango fits the bill,” Abebe said.
Coca-Cola Beverages Africa in Uganda bottles various non-alcoholic ready-to-drink beverages at its Rwenzori and Century Bottling plants in Namanve and Mbarara. The beverages include carbonated soft drinks (sodas), juices under the Minute Mid brand, Rwenzori Pure Natural Mineral Water, and Predator and Power Play Energy drinks.
Conrad van Niekerk, Managing Director of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa’s Central Africa Region, said the decision to go local was premised on the company’s strategy to increase local investments in Uganda.
“I have personally believed in BUBU before I even heard the term, and I fully agree with the government policy. As a company we are walking the talk by buying more and more of our ingredients and raw materials locally from Ugandans to support both the local business community as well as Ugandan farmers,” van Niekerk said.
The government’s ‘Buy Uganda, Build Uganda’ (BUBU) initiative seeks to promote the consumption of local goods and services, promote the use of and conformity to standard to guarantee quality goods and services and to provide capacity programs to local suppliers of goods and services.
“Supporting the communities we operate in is at the centre of our company strategy. We will not stop finding more opportunities to support the economy by doing business the right way,” he added.
Players in the agricultural sector are set to benefit from this development as it will provide a market for their produce. Agriculture remains the major source of livelihood in Uganda and the country is believed to have the potential to become the food basket for sub-Saharan Africa with the right investments in place. According to the Uganda National Household Survey (UNHS) 2016/17, the bigger proportion of the working population is engaged in agriculture, forestry and fishing (65%). It also accounted for the largest share of employment (36%) with a total GDP contribution at current prices of 24.9 per cent in the FY 2016/17 compared to 23.7 per cent in FY 2015/16.
According to data from the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF), Uganda produced 2.7billion litres of milk in 2019/20 an increase from 2.5 billion litres in 2018/19. An increase in milk production earned Uganda $131.5 million in 2018 and $135.9 million in 2019. This is an increase of 6% when the two years’ production revenue earnings are calculated. As Coca-Cola is set to start consuming more of it from the local market, this will increase the demand for milk in the market.
“Unveiling Minute Maid Fruity Boost Mango today is proof that we are ahead of the changing market trends and that we move with agility to meet our consumer’s needs. Innovation is at the heart of everything we do, and is now being presented to Ugandans in this bottle – from the development and design to the raw material and the research that went into combining the fruit juice with Ugandan milk. We are BUBU and proud of it,” said Flavia Nabaasa, Business Development and Commercialization Director.
Raising a toast at the launch, Sales Director Ivan Oboth said Minute Maid Fruity Boost was originally being imported from Kenya but when it became popular with many Ugandans the company decided to develop its production in Uganda.
“Minute Maid Fruity Boost Mango is a high quality healthy infusion of milk and juice that will both refresh and energize consumers. I am keen on health and fitness and I drink it often myself with great effect,” he said.