Dry Spell: Zimbabwe has a Week's Supply of Drinks, Beer

Harare - Zimbabwe is left with only a week's supply of soft drinks and beer due to severe shortages of raw materials.

The shortages experienced for a week, has forced retailers to resort to black market to source supplies, with consumers paying heavily for the scarcity.

Delta Corporation (Ltd) - the largest beverage manufacturer confirmed the news, saying Coca-Cola could be off the shelves in a week.

“We advise that the supply of Coca-Cola concentrates and other imported materials remain critical for the business.

“We were able to pick up a small order of concentrates from the available credit last week with the supplier which we are currently running,” said Delta spokesperson Patricia Murambinda to the Herald.
Forex Shortages Affecting Beverage Manufacturing 

She added that available raw materials for Coca-Cola products can only last for one week with the pipeline for packaging the product continuing to run dry.

“This (available raw materials) is expected to cover production for a week and is not sufficient to cover the end pipeline that has become very dry,” she said.

The same challenges were also affecting the production of the nation's favourate opaque beer due to a backlog of paying suppliers.

“This is a similar situation with Chibuku where our supplier of Chibuku Super bottle has to import resin, a key component of the bottle. This is impacting on our production operations. We continue to make presentations to RBZ and our banks for priority forex payments,” she said.

In 2017, the country faced a similar predicament due to foreign currency shortages. Delta a subsidiary of SAB Miller, say lager beer consumption declined from August 2013 as in response to the prevailing liquidity challenges.

“Lagers seem to have now become some form of a status symbol as few now afford them.Not so long ago most people would avoid being seen holding and drinking opaque beers as they were considered a brew for loafers and the less enterprising,” Delta’s finance director, Matts Valela during an analyst briefing in 2016.

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