Wisynco to push flavoured Wata into Caribbean markets
Chairman of Wisynco Group Limited, William Mahfood points to the audience in acknowledgement of a question asked at the 2019 Annual General Meeting on Wednesday.
A plan put forward by Wisynco a year ago to sevenfold revenues from the export market should get on track by June 2020 from a push of its sparkling fruit-flavoured beverages into the Caribbean markets.
“The opportunity is big because it’s a unique product. There is really nothing like it in the market,” Chairman of the Wisynco, William Mahfood told shareholders during the company’s second annual general meeting on Wednesday.
“Historically the biggest challenge we’ve had with export sales was being able to keep the demand satisfied locally, we get much higher prices relative to the exports on the local market and just last year, with the installation of three new lines the production of the group was able to maintain. We completely supplied the market and had additional capacity for the international markets,” he continued.
Wisynco diversified into cranberry-flavoured beverages in 2008 under the line Wata Wid Wow.
The original product uses six per cent imported cranberry juice and water. With its success in its first year on the market, the company later added Cran-Peach, Cran-Grape, Cranberry, Cran-Strawberry. Wata Wid Wow newest additions are the Cran-Melon wata, Sparkling Cranberry Wata and Sparkling Cran-Grape – both of which contain dissolved carbon dioxide.
“We are working towards building a portfolio of flavoured and sparkling Wata with more indigenous products. We are looking at local fruits and have been trying sorrel for some time but we just have not gotten it right,” Mahfood said.
Ultimately, Wisynco hopes to have export sales account for at least 10 per cent of its overall revenue which up to end June stood at $28.4 billion. Today, export sales run at roughly 1.5 per cent.
“We have gotten much more aggressive in that area and we are also looking at the US and Canada. Realistically to grow the export business with products like these is very challenging because they are very low priced products. So we are focusing on some of the new innovations, our Sparkling Cranwata for example and the Tru Juice. Our target is to get to 10 per cent but realistically that is going to take a few years,” the chairman reasoned.
Wisynco currently offers its products through distributors in Jamaica, Antigua, Bahamas, Trinidad, Grenada, Dominica, St Lucia, Canada, Barbados, St Vincent, Guyana, Belize, Curaçao, Grand Cayman, the United Kingdom, the United States, Aruba, Panama, St Kitts and Suriname.
The listed company distributes 147 brands including imported brands such as Kelloggs, Häagen Dazs, Yoplait and M&Ms, as well as locally manufactured products from Trade Winds, Worthy Park Estate and JP Snacks, and has a direct customer base of over 12,000 customers made up primarily of supermarkets, retail wholesale channels, schools and food service outlets.
Wisynco currently produces its own brands of beverage products including Bigga soft drinks, Wata, Cranwata, Sparkling CranWata, Ironade and BOOM energy drink, as well as synthetic packaging products under the Sweet brand. In addition to their owned brands, the company is the exclusive bottler and distributor for the popular brand portfolios Coca-Cola and Squeezz beverages.