There has been a silent war between arguably the country’s largest conglomerate Innscor Africa and Varun Beverages, the manufacturers of Pepsi products locally.
Innscor has been off late increasing its footprint in the beverage industry as is witnessed by the introduction of a brewer which has begun to churn out the Nyathi Beer an opaque beer. However, they seem to be determined to attack all angles of the beverage industry by fighting Varun Beverages through their subsidiary ProBottlers.
Pro Bottlers has raided Varun beverage top employees responsible for the distribution and marketing of the Pepsi products. This is a move made in order to improve the sales and reach of the Fizzi drink brand.
Upon arrival at Pro Bottlers, the new team ordered that Fizzi be the only carbonated drink to be sold at US50 cents at Simbisa Brands outlets and drive Pepsi products to US80 cents as a way to drive sales.
Varun Beverages however reacted by reducing prices of their drinks around Simbisa Brands outlets to US33 cents per unit. The project which was being driven by Varun chief executive officer Mr Vijay Bahl was code named ‘Operation FS’.
A Pepsi vendor, Simbarashe Mauyangwe stationed outside Chicken Inn corner Kwame Nkurumah and Park Street said, “The operation came as a surprise as we were suddenly ordered to sell our products at US33 cents meaning that a dollar now gets you 3 units instead of two”
One customer who only identified himself as Herbert said, “This is ridiculous, we are now being charged US80 cents per each Pepsi in Chicken Inn. Now I buy my 2 piecer and buy my Pepsi drink from the vendor stationed outside the building for almost 60% less price.”
However, with the war going on, Simbisa Brands has moved to return the price of Pepsi products in their outlets to US50 cents per unit, but Varun Beverages seems to be continuing with ‘Operation FS’ at the moment – Harare