The core of our business is the relationships we have with our brand owners and the work we do to ensure their brands perform in our markets, so we will be periodically releasing some details of our successes in this new Showcase section.
When setting up a relationship with a brand owner we will often take a sample of all of their different products and test them in market to see what demand we can create, or which established brands we can compete with. Sometimes a product will not work in our markets for a variety of reasons, but learning why, and if this perception can be changed is all part of our marketing development process. We believe sharing our findings with brand owners is important as simple changes can often boost sales and allow a product to take off, such as; introducing Non-Refillable-Fitments(NRF) to increase consumer confidence in all-inclusive resorts, changing bottles from plastic to glass for easier local recycling, or decorating a jar of coffee to appeal to the culture of reuse.
Finally, with new brands being created, sold and acquired every year it can be difficult to keep track of which brand owner is responsible for which brand. Sometimes brands are created under licence by someone other than the brand owner in different markets, so here we delve into which brands we receive from which owner.
We are really pleased to announce a new distribution partnership with Beluga Group, starting with their range of premium vodkas.
The Beluga Group was founded in just 1998, however their attention to every detail, and dedication to creating the finest vodka available has catapulted Beluga brand to stand shoulder to shoulder with the best luxury brands in the industry.
Their first batch of Noble Vodka was completed in 2002, using a combination of malt spirit, the purest Siberian artesian well water, traditional ingredients which are of primary importance in the Beluga vodka production.
As soon as the beverage is ready, the thirty-day 'rest' period starts. This kind of technology has been proven for centuries. This eliminates the strong spirituous smell and provides Beluga Noble with a flavourful taste and soft aroma.
Xorta and our subsidiaries are very pleased to have the opportunity to continue the same attention to detail in our distribution of this fine product.
AbInbev started working with Xorta in 2018 and we were confidently able to forecast 250-300 containers in the first year due to existing distribution chain, increasing demand, and territory expansion.
AbInbev lines such as Budweiser, Corona, Stella Artois and Beck’s are already proving to be in-demand products and have increased orders in the market without impacting our competitive lines, something that can only be achieved with a robust and varied supply chain.
light advertising of these brands has already increased sales due to increased consumer conversion from local brands.
In terms of containers shipped Heineken is one of our biggest suppliers. Xorta has been working with Heineken since 2009, and we have learned a lot since we sent our first container of 33cl Heineken bottles to Gambia. The first thing we learned is we should have sent a few more containers, as Africa loves beer, and as the African economies have grown so has the emerging middle class, who are watching Bond films and aspiring to drink a cold glass of Heineken.
While traditional advertising from billboards and shop displays has a major impact on sales in Africa, Heineken’s international presence in western media which is being consumed, especially in West Africa, has undoubtedly influenced consumer demand.
Since that initial container we have seen progressive year-on-year growth which has resulted in Xorta shipping over 1000 containers a year to virtually every country we cover in Africa. Heineken Export is by far the most recognized product, but other Heineken brands have continued to grow to create huge demand for Desperados, and Sol.
The current range of products include Heineken Export, Desperados, Sol, Fayrouz, Kingfisher, Strongbow and Tiger.
Our first showcase brand owner is one of the biggest branding success stories. Xorta has been working with Unilever for over 10 years, distributing the Unilever range in West Africa sourced from Unilever France and Unilever South Africa, as well as traders.
We started direct cooperation with Unilever UK in 2013 and currently cover the territories of Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, Mali, Niger, Mauritania, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, and Guinea-Conakry.
The current range of products include Dove (shampoo, conditioner, roll-on, deo-spray), Axe deo-spray and aftershave, Sure (roll-on and deo-spray), Impulse Deo Spray, Knorr Cubes and Pots, Pot Noodle, Brut Deo-Spray and aftershave.
We plan to extend the range to include more personal hygiene and food lines in 2018 as well as increasing investment in A&P ahead of the competition, to bring products to market in new countries including Benin, Togo, Gabon and Cameroon.
Our close partnership with Unilever has meant we are well ahead of our plans to increase year-on-year distribution turnover by 20%-30%.