Pure looks at Caribbean market

VAP pours $50 million into Pure expansion

BY KARENA BENNETT
Business reporter
bennettk@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, July 20, 2018

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Very Amazing Products (VAP) Ltd, which trades under the Pure brand, has pumped $50 million into the purchase of pouch and sachet packing machines in a move to drive revenue up 15 per cent over the next year.

The company, which started out producing Pure Bulk Syrup, has plans to expand its product line to include pouch-packaged ketchup and sachet-packaged barbeque and ketchup sauces for sale in the local market.

VAP also hopes to employ an additional 15 staff members, bringing its total employment to 90 individuals from the recent investment.

“Pouch packaging has taken off in the Caribbean and we are hoping it will do very well here. It will be more affordable, but it's also good to change labels and packaging to keep up with changes in the market,” executive chairman of VAP Victor Chin told the Jamaica Observer, during a tour of the company's production facility at the Twickenham Park Industrial Estate in Spanish Town, St Catherine.

“We will also be targeting the fast-food restaurants with the sachet sauces,” he added.

Today VAP produces nine products, with cooking oil and spring water being its latest additions. The 30-year-old company has grown from the production of syrups to include manufacture of Splash beverages, ketchup, Mandingo wine, lime juice, vinegar, bag drinks, cooking oil and spring water under the Pure brand.

The company, which operates from a 35,000-square-foot factory sitting on two acres of land, is bullish on improving export sales and so far has secured contracts with distributors in Barbados for Pure Splash beverages and bottled spring water.

Director of Sales and Marketing Bevan Antonio told the Caribbean Business Report that the company also plans on doing a relaunch of its Mandingo wine to boost sales for the local and export market.

“The Mandingo name — which you know did very well back in the day — we are looking to do a soft relaunch and to expand into some new territories. We have orders for Mandingo to go out to Suriname, Guyana and Belize over the next two to three weeks.

“Interestingly, sales representatives in Belize have been conducting tests on trade of the product in terms of the taste and functionality, and they have found it to be much more palatable compared to the competition. I believe that's because we use fermented wine and add potent extracts,” he said.

Currently, export sales account for 20 per cent of VAP's revenue. But the company wants to move that number up to 35 per cent over the next two years. VAP now exports to the United Kingdom and the United States, but also has its products shelved in parts of the Caribbean through GraceKennedy's distribution company World Brands.

The manufacturer has also started groundwork to get a toehold into Cuba, but is experiencing difficulties with the country's system.

Aside from export sales, Jamaica's wholesale and retail trade accounts for a substantial portion of VAP's sales. The company also benefits from contract bottling arrangements with conglomerate GraceKennedy, Lasco Distributors and Home Choice Enterprise Ltd.

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