Fri | Aug 18, 2017

Kiss cakes now being made in Jamaica

Published:Wednesday | February 1, 2017 | 2:00 AMTameka Gordon

Jamaica Biscuit Company (JBC) has added a production line to manufacture Kiss cakes, which re-entered the local market after a 10-year hiatus.

Previously, the products were imported from sister company, Kiss Baking Company in Trinidad, but JBC began making the cream-filled treats locally at the beginning of this year, Marketing Manager Peta-Gaye Levene-Thomas told Gleaner Business.

Jamaica Biscuit Company and Kiss Baking Company are both members of Bermudez Group Limited

JBC said the new line is now being commissioned and will create 100 jobs at full operation, but did not disclose the level of investment. It aims to supply cakes to the United States, as well as the local market.

"We have over the years had numerous requests for Kiss Cakes from our customers and this encouraged us to make the investment," Levene-Thomas said.

"At present, we are only just starting and the plant is running at about 20 per cent of its capacity," she said.

The re-entry of Kiss cakes to Jamaica will create rivalry for Honey Bun's Goldie cakes, but CEO Michelle Chong indicated that the bakery company was not unduly worried about the competition.

Honey Bun introduced its cream-filled Goldie around six years ago with good market reception.

Chong was tight-lipped about Honey Bun's plans to maintain its market share or even increase it, but noted that Kiss' re-entry will factor in their strategic plans going forward.

"Competition is inevitable. It's always good for markets to have competition because it pushes everyone to be better than where they are," she said. "No doubt, we will have to share out market, but we will also grow our market."

Chong, who is also the current president of the Jamaica Exporters Association, hailed JBC's investment in manufacturing the product locally, saying "a rising tide lifts all boats".

tameka.gordon@gleanerjm.com