Business

Jamaican Teas to launch canned tuna

Wednesday, August 27, 2014    

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JAMAICAN Teas is expanding its canned food line.

The food processor, largely known for its hot beverage products, plans to launch a tuna fish product in the local market next month.

This will add to its canned ackee sold in the UK and the east coast of the US, and its line of sardines sold locally.

The company provided no details on its push in canned foods. But it said its focus is on products which have long shelf life and which are used by households across all income groups.

John Mahfood boasts that the tuna which will be branded under Caribbean Dreams will be the most cost-friendly canned product to be found in its category on shelves anywhere in Jamaica.

The product will retail for $99, according to the Jamaican Teas CEO.

Jamaican Teas is also adding five new flavours to its line of Caribbean Dreams teas before the end of the year.

Mahfood said that the company will venture into the production of turmeric, ginger, soursop, moringa, moringa ginger, and medina in addition to the approximately 30 flavours which Jamaican Teas currently manufactures.

The wide array of flavours is primarily aimed at filling the specific demand of the export markets to which they cater, according to Mahfood.

He explained that while Jamaicans tend not to drink turmeric, it is in great demand in Trinidad and Tobago because of its large Indian population. Ginger tea is a hot commodity in Barbados, a country widely known to have one of the world's highest levels of diabetes, having recorded 29,940 cases in 2013.

Jamaican Teas recorded a five per cent increase in exports and a 47 per cent increase in domestic sales for the quarter ending June.

The company, which in June moved into a new 24,000 square feet facility, however experienced 18 per cent year-on-year decline in exports due to the discontinuation of coffee sales in the overseas markets.

Mahfood said that up until recently, Jamaican Teas exported coffee from an American supplier to overseas markets. The company has since ended that agreement and will resume the exportation of coffee sourced locally in the short term.

Jamaican Teas recorded a profit after tax and minority interest of $24.8 million in the June quarter versus $24.1 million in the comparative period of 2013.

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