Ripples in the drinks category – Retailing Africa


by Louise Burgers. This week, there’s new flavours and variants in the soft drinks and juice category; new pack sizes and innovative new packaging.

Pura grows up

Pura Kids will now be available in a convenient, eco-friendly, 1 litre pack that also features the familiar characters. Pura is low in sugar, with all-natural flavours, colourant and preservative-free. The kid’s product is in four flavours – pink apple, lemonade, mixed berry and peach. “In South Africa, 80% of the volume of juices sold in 1 litre and 200ml pack options come from the 1 litre variant, so this new addition made sense for us, as it also allows for increased drinking occasions for our consumers,” says Greig Jansen, CEO of PURA Beverage Company. “We have definitely seen a demand for the 1 litre option. Parents often purchase the smaller packs for convenience, particularly when it comes to school lunch boxes and outings, but for home consumption, the bigger pack size works best. The 1 litre can be opened, and resealed while being enjoyed throughout the week.” You can find it in all major retailers at R24,99 a pack.

Red Bull green edition

Red Bull has decided to keep its Cactus Fruit flavour in the family, after the new variant found favour with fans. Inspired by the exotic looking Cactus Fruit, the latest taste delivers all the functional benefits of Red Bull Energy Drink, along with an invigorating burst of berry that blooms into an exotic fruit and violet flower. Red Bull Green Edition: Cactus Fruit, can now be purchased any time of the year; and the striking magenta colour and freshness makes for a colourful, ice-cold mocktail too. Available from this month in 250ml cans, as well as multipacks.

Checkers offers free milk alternatives at in-store cafés  

Non-dairy milk alternatives, including soy, almond and oat milk now carries no additional cost at all 218 Foreign Ground Cafés in Checkers and Checkers Hyper supermarkets across South Africa. At R19.99 for a 250ml cappuccino, Checkers already sells one of the most affordable cappuccinos at its cafés, which are named after the Foreign Ground Single Origin Coffee beans available exclusively and sourced from Brazil, Guatemala, Colombia and Ethiopia. As the dairy-free sector booms around the world and consumers increasingly turn to milk alternatives, Checkers has opted not to charge extra for a product many now consider essential. This is in line with its strategy to make premium categories more accessible to shoppers without compromising on quality.

INNOVATION: Heat-seal grape punnet optimises value chain

The fruit industry is vitally important to South Africa as a foreign currency earner and a large provider of stable employment. The grape industry uses rapid cooling and packaging to protect grapes from desiccation and decay. Numerous packaging methods and combinations are used in the industry with each having their own advantages and disadvantages. With the goal of reducing the post-harvest cooling period and eliminating moisture and condensation that results in product spoilage, Mpact Versapak, a division of the Mpact Group, recently redesigned its 100% post-consumer rPET grape punnet to optimise the entire value chain. “This innovation provides a solution to a number of value specific time and environmental challenges posed by value chain members, and highlights the importance of recycling,” says Wessel Oelofse, general manager of Versapak. “Our in-house research, design and development team redesigned the heat seal grape punnet to include 10 additional edge slots on the bottom rim and four base holes,” explains Oelofse. “This led to improved airflow and drainage of ‘free moisture’ that results in a shorter cooling time, and eliminates the risk of freezer damage, especially for punnets located furthest from the cooling fan.” According to Oelofse the innovative solution resulted in a 43% reduction in cooling times when compared to the existing design, and by 49% when compared to the leading international punnet.  “Although the international market specifies a median product weight, our specialist team also managed to produce the punnet 7.5% lighter than the international specification,” explains Oelofse. “Its export rate means that not only is our post-consumer waste reduced, but that within international recycling streams, this light-weighted punnet can enjoy the full recycling status of being 100% recycled and recyclable.”


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Louise Burgers is the Publisher and Editor and Co-Founder of She has spent over 20 years writing about the FMCG retailing, marketing, media and advertising industry in South Africa and on the African continent. She has specialised in local and Africa consumer trends and is a passionate Afro-optimist who believes it is Africa’s time to rise again and that the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) will be a global gamechanger in the next decade.


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