Olivine launches Buttercup Lite, plans five more products Some of the people that attended the Buttercup Lite product launch following Olivine’s US$15,5 million investment into a new plant.

Business Reporter

In line with Government’s industrialisation and value-addition thrust, Olivine Industries last week launched a new product, Buttercup Lite, following the commissioning of the US$15,5 million plant.

Speaking at the launch of the product, Olivine marketing manager Ms Charmaine Munetsi said the launch of Buttercup Lite, a 40 percent low fat spread, was motivated by the need for health wellness and to curb the increase in lifestyle diseases.

“In order to fulfil these needs that the consumers have, we are introducing a low fat spread which we are saying you can indulge guilt-free,” she said.

Speaking on the sidelines of the launch, Ms Munetsi said the new product was of the same quality and use with the original buttercup that has been in the market since 1958.

The new investment, and product, come at a time when local products have been dominating shelf space in most local supermarkets.

Last week, the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) said that based on weekly price surveys to ascertain market trends, it has been observed that new products were competing with traditionally known brands in the segment of beverages, in-store brands, and several basic commodities including cooking oil and bathing soaps

CCZ chief executive Mrs Rosemary Mpofu said the new products were giving consumers a wider pool to choose from thus providing competition and resulting in lower prices.

“Competition has resulted in lower prices on offer and an increase in product promotions by both producers and retailers has benefited consumers through reduced prices,” said Ms Mpofu.

Ms Munetsi said the new investment would also see the company increasing its investment in contract farming to secure soya beans, a key the ingredient in the manufacturing of margarine and cooking oil.

Speaking on the sidelines of the launch, group corporate affairs executive, Mr Sylvester Dendere said the company was supporting farmers to produce ingredients required for its products, particularly the production of soyabean.

The Government recently said private players must secure 40 percent of their annual raw material requirements from contracting farmers.

“The Government has said we need to secure most of our inputs locally and we would like to support our farmers to produce soybeans, which is a raw material for the manufacture of cooking oil,” said Mr Dendere.

Under the programme, farmers are supported with fertilizers, chemicals, and even fuel.  Mr Dendere said the introduction of the Buttercup Lite was to cater to the health-conscious  “because it has low fat”.

 “The taste is the same but this is just to make sure that people that are health conscious can continue to enjoy the margarine without worrying.”

The company’s chief operations officer Mr Neeraj Vaidya said the market should expect four to five new products in the near future. Of late, Olivine has been re-introducing some of its old products.

According to Mr Dendere, the aim is to bring in all the products ‘that have gone away”.

“They had gone to sleep but now we are revamping them. We now have Jade, Big Ben, Dolphin, Perfection on the market.

“We also have Olivine baked beans and now we have our two spreads that are now on the market, Buttercup Lite and the usual Buttercup margarine,” he said. 

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