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Soft Drinks Compete For Consumers’ Palates

20 Sep

ImageCompetition is a clear feature of every free economy; as is the case with the top providers of soft drinks in Cameroon: Brasseries du Cameroun and Source Du pays (SP), trying to gain the palates of prospective soft drink consumers.

An analysis on the market situation reveals trends in what we would like to term, cut-throat competition between these two companies.

First, Supermont Company, previously solely engaged in the production of bottled water, went temporarily absent in the market, for much but speculated reasons. 

Until last year, the Lebanese Company, Source du Pays, took over Supermont water, obtained a licence and introduced four new soft drink brands.

These new brands are seen to compete directly with brewery giant Brasseries du Cameroun soft drink brands. They equally introduced a new bottle size, 0.35 litres in addition to existing sizes of Brasseries du Cameroun. These sizes were more affordable to consumers.

The coming of SP drinks saw a sharp shortage in Brasseries du Cameroun soft brands during the past year. SP products have secured a larger share of the market, as put forward by Vincent, soft drink retailer, Malingo Street, Buea.

This new company, is estimated to have made over FCFA 27 million from the just past University Games in Buea. The increasing demand for SP products has sparked a stiff competition in the soft drink market.

Recently, SP introduce new brands to counter the rest of Brasseries du Cameroun soft beverages. Brasseries du Cameroun has equally reacted by introducing 0.35 litre bottle sizes for their soft brands and adopted more aggressive sale techniques.

Brasseries du Cameroun in a bid to promote these new sizes, have launched a sales promotion campaign in Douala and Yaoundé, offering a free 0.5 l soft drink for every 1.5 litre bottle bought. They have equally reduced the price of small coca-cola (glass bottles) from FCFA 300 to FCFA 200.

Also, they have placed hostesses at most sales points for soft drinks, create awareness and to convince prospective soft drink consumers to purchase Brasseries du Cameroun products

The Post sampled the opinions of some soft drink consumers in the Molyko community, Buea, on their preferences for both company brands.

Respondents showed preferences in both company brands, even though affinity for SP brands slightly went above those of Brasseries du Cameroun.

A consumer of soft drinks who consumes both brands says she prefers Bubble Up to Sprite a similar Brasseries du Cameroun product. She also prefers Fanta and Coca Cola to Planet and American Cola.

Another consumer says he drinks Reaktor a Source du Pays product which is an energy drink for energy but does not consume American Cola and Bubble Up because to him they taste like water mixed with sugar.

Another consumer says he has no special preference between both products but prefers Bubble Up to Sprite because it is softer in taste.

A consumer goes ahead to say that she does not drink coke because she was told it is not healthy for women but not know why but drinks other brands of soft drinks.

Some buyers of the drinks do not consume them they buy for their families or friends and so their choice mostly depend on what is available or whatever the sales person give them.

By Oben Carl A. Image