Tameka Gordon, Business Reporter
Beverage company Coldfield Manufacturing has changed the packaging of its Pure Country brand in the latest of a series of product makeovers aimed at improving local market share, as well as tapping into the Caribbean and North American markets.
The J$15-million investment in the new-look container is a continuation of the Kingston-based company's path to overhauling its product packaging since 2012 when it overhauled its Big Jo and Country Style brands.
Managing director of Coldfield Manufacturing, Brett Wong, says the company is making a bigger play for the local chilled juice market, as well as positioning itself for expansion of its exports.
"We were always number two in the (local) market and we are making a concerted push to be either very, very close to number one, or number one," Wong told Wednesday Business, adding that the company currently counts itself with a 30 per cent market share.
Pure Country, which was launched over a week ago, is the company's premium product and "we wanted to differentiate the product in the space where everyone looks a little bit the same with the juices in the big jugs with the handles", Wong said.
The company contracted a London-based brand designer to make "our own bottle design and we did specialised printing of the labels, among other things", he said.
NO SUGAR ADDED
"In terms of juices with the handles, everybody had those and we wanted to do a packaging that really showed what the brand is all about, which is super premium," the managing director said. He added that the company currently has the "largest family of no-sugar-added juices locally".
"We found it kind of hard for the customers to notice us, especially since the incumbent has been there a long time, so that's why we changed the packaging," Wong explained.
The makers of the Big Jo, Country Style and Fruit Jazz, Coldfield is also hoping the move will set Pure Country apart from its competitors in overseas markets.
Coldfield hopes to make a foray into the markets of the Cayman Islands, Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados by the second quarter of next year, Wong said.
"We are looking to export throughout the Caribbean. We've contacted a couple of suppliers who are very interested and sent samples to them. So now we are basically working on logistics," said Wong.
Of the reason behind the targeted markets, he said: "The logistics for these countries are simpler than going into small islands straight away. Usually you have to go into one of those (larger) countries first then leapfrog," he explained.
The company currently exports 1,500 cases of its products to the United Kingdom on a weekly basis. "This will be ramped up now following the rebranding. We were kind of holding it until we changed the look of the brand," Wong said.
Coldfield will also target the diaspora in Canada while it awaits certification to enter the Unites States market.
The label design and the new bottles, which are blown up at the company's plant, as well as "various parts change to the manufacturing line", accounted for the $15 million spent by the company and financial partners, National Commercial Bank.
"In anticipation of increased sales, we have also revamped a lot of our processing line to ensure consistency of quality," said Wong.
The original Pure Country bottle held 16 ounces of fruit juice compared to the 12 ounces the new bottle contains. "It's a smaller size so the price point is a little lower, which makes it more affordable," he said, adding that market reception so far showed that "a lot of people think the product is an imported product because of the new look".
Coldfield plans to use the diaspora to make its entry into the new markets initially, Wong said, while noting the mainstay juices of the targeted areas.
"When it comes to exports, the label is designed so we can cut across most cultural barriers. We don't want it to just be diaspora product, although originally it will be used as the entrance into the markets, but we would like it to be taken up mainstream," Wong said.
"There are flavours, of course, with which we cannot compete, like orange juice, which is a staple of most markets," he said. However, he is hoping that "our Caribbean flavours like June plum and tamarind can go mainstream without any competition".
Pure Country's current manufacturing line of 20 staff will be doubled "if it goes the way we expect it to", the managing director said.