Business

Derrimon Trading set for major boost in sale of healthier drinks

BY BALFORD HENRY
Senior reporter
balfordh@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, November 29, 2019

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Derrimon Trading is relocating to a larger complex at Ferry, Kingston, right on target with a major campaign to boost sales of its healthy, low sugar Fruta Super Kidz brand.


The Super Kidz brand is aimed at satisfying the thirst for sweet drinks among younger Jamaicans, as well as some adults, who have been harbouring fears of their drinks being saturated and less tasty, as manufacturers reduce the sugar content in line with a policy introduced by the Ministry of Health and Wellness earlier this year.


But, there is no longer a fear, at least since Derrimon Trading hit the market recently with its new Fruta Kool Kids flavours manufactured by SM Jaleel, with up to 62 per cent less sugar content, but remaining as just as sweet as the original product.


So it appears that Derrimon, the local distributor of products by major regional producer/exporter of children-friendly drink brands, Trinidad and Tobagos' SM Jaleel, has found the answer to Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton's new policy.


Tufton noted that Jamaica ranks in the top 10, globally, for soft-drink consumption in adolescents, aged 13 to 15, adding that sugary-drink consumption is above the recommended amounts for maintaining good health in Jamaican children.
The minister said that approximately 70 per cent of Jamaican children consume one or more sugar-sweetened beverage per day, and 77 per cent of adults consume one or more sugar-sweetened beverage per day.


“This is a serious problem. Consumption of one or more servings of sugar-sweetened beverages per day is associated with a 26 per cent greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes,” he pointed out.


But, as Derrimon Trading's Chairman Derrick Cotterel, sees it, reducing the sugar content to meet the minister's targets is now a cake walk.


“Childhood obesity and diabetes are two major areas of concern for us all, and we want to ensure that whatever we give to our consumers is of the highest quality, delicious and nutritious,” he told the Jamaica Observer.


“Our recipes include 100 per cent vitamin C, 16 per cent vitamin A and E. We have reduced the amount of sugar in our recipes by more than half to create healthier options for the Kool Kids we cater to,” he explained.


SM Jaleel, a major player in the Caribbean market, as well as a number of other products are being distributed in Jamaica by Derrimon Trading.


Derrimon, in the meantime, is spending some $100 million to shift the focus of its distribution operations from its current operating space at Three Miles, South West St Andrew, to a new site in Ferry, St Catherine, by year-end, and plans to begin operating from its new home by January 2020 in order to meet the increased sales expected from its new brands.


The new package design sports a banner across the top of the package detailing the sugar consumption per serving, as well as Spanish language text. Noticeably missing as well is its trademark, FRUTA logo, though the characters and packaging colors remain the same.


“We are a brand that dreams big. We are proud to say that we have a world-class product that will be able to compete in markets outside of the Caribbean. To do this, we included both Spanish and English text on the design. Additionally, we removed the FRUTA logo from the design, to allow 'Kool Kidz' to be more dominant on the packaging. The brand is focused entirely on children,” he noted.


SM Jaleel & Company Ltd, also known as SMJ, is the largest manufacturer of non- alcoholic drinks in the English-speaking Caribbean. Since inception in 1924, their portfolio of beverages is distributed to over 60 countries worldwide.


Their products, which are for both kids and adults, include: Fruta, Busta, Chubby, Oasis, Freshh, Turbo, Cole Cold, and Island Mist Premium Purified Water.


SMJ says it sticks to very high standard to ensure superior product quality and, as a long-standing manufacturer in the Caribbean, understands what is needed, by way of commitment and technological prowess, to provide these high-quality products to valued customers.


SMJ's blow molding facility is the largest in the Caribbean, where they manufacture their own PET bottles in different shapes and sizes for their numerous products. The company was also the first in the world, in conjunction with Reynolds Metals Company, to fill fruit juices in aluminum cans using nitrogen technology in the 1980s, thus eliminating the need for artificial preservatives in the product.


Currently, SMJ's products are found in over half a million wholesale and retail stores worldwide including Walmart and other international retailers and right across Jamaica courtesy of Derrimon Trading.


Derrimon Trading inked the new distribution deal with SM Jaleel & Company last year, which created potential sales of some $4 billion annually, and which is expected to grow the company's top line sales by nearly 60 per cent. Jamaica Beverages formerly distributed the products.


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