South Africa’s ‘Business Day’ reports that new carbonated soft-drinks company Champs Africa was launched in Cape Town yesterday after being awarded the right to produce the Champs soft-drinks brand in SA and the rest of Africa. The group hopes to expand the brand into the rest of Africa and gain share in a market currently tightly held by multinational soft-drinks giants.

The group produces 800 000 bottles or 1,6-million litres of soft drinks a month, but plans to increase this to 12-million litres a month by the end of the year as new production facilities in East London, Johannesburg and Bloemfontein come on line.

The Champs brand is already available at Makro, Metro, the OK and Shield Group retail outlets, and has a production facility near Cape Town.

Champs Africa MD Julius Steyn said the group’s goal was to expand operations into Mozambique and Botswana, and to do business in about 40 African countries within 10 years.
Steyn said the soft-drinks market of 4-billion litres a year in SA was growing at 5% a year, making it one of the fastest growing in the world.

PepsiCo International returned to the South African market in July after signing a franchise a deal with Pioneer Foods reportedly worth R8,5bn a year. Distribution of its Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, 7-Up and Mirinda brands began in October. The group has made two previous entries to the South African market.

Steyn said the Champs brand would be marketed to middle-income consumers, the fastest-growing market in SA. Gaining market share would be made easier by an existing country-wide distribution system and the fact that the brand had “already built up a measure of creditworthiness”.

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