Afdis, a local liquor distillery has rebranded one of its popular brandies, Chateau.
Report by By Elizabeth Ndhlovu-Dumbreni
The brandy now has a new, trendy appeal in line with international standards. The product was launched at a colourful ceremony held at the Exhibition Park in Harare, last month.
Popularly known as Chapomba in street lingo, Chateau now has a new, trendy appeal in line with international standards.
Speaking to The Standard, Afdis sales, marketing and distribution director, Albert Chitapi said the product, which has earned huge equity since 1998 still commands its loyalty.
“Chateau, a top brandy in the mainstream market segment, is still popular among the consumers. We haven’t changed, its intrinsic, the taste and alcohol content are still the same,” he said.
Chitapi said Afdis saw the need to rebrand the product because of the desire to attract trendy consumers such as business executives.
Dubbed “the commando”, the new Chateau bottle, is not just any other general bottle, as it has a unique, robust shape, and Afdis is confident that the product can compete with other internationally recognised brandies.
The brandy comes in 750ml as well as 200ml bottles and is reasonably priced.
“Our target market is quite excited, Chateau has been elevated to a higher standard, this is witnessed by the doubling of volumes this year, compared to last year. Response has also been positive as traders and consumers have accepted the rebranded product,” he said.
Chitapi said Afdis had since increased the number of depots (customer collection points) around the country from five to 30, and this was aimed at ensuring consistent availability of products to all areas in the country.
“We have created synergies with Delta Beverages and have set up 25 more depots to ensure improved availability and convenience for our customers.
Now, they don’t have to wait for a particular day to get our products as it is readily available henceforth. This means that traders will not incur transport costs anymore as the products will be within their proximity,” he said.
He said Afdis was planning to rebrand more products in the near future, with Esprit being next in line, followed by Nikolai Vodka, Gold Blend whisky, Gilbert’s Gin as well as Nikolai Sting.
Chitapi said Esprit, an alcoholic flavoured beverage that comes in three different flavours and is packaged in a 75ml bottle, will be re-branded as a local product in the next couple of months.
Chitapi said there would be an improvement in the availability of imported liquor such as Viceroy, Hunters and Savanna among others.
“Our promise to the market is that starting October, there will be consistency in the availability of imported liquor, we assure customers that they are not going to witness shortage of these ciders and wines, especially Amarula which has been in short supply lately,” he said.
He said Afdis now had a compliment of 14 sales reps that go round marketing the products and communicating with customers on a regular basis.
One of the longest serving members, Columbus Guyo, who has been employed by Afdis for 26 years said the rebranding of Chateau from Old Chateau has been a continuous process and has seen the product being distilled in an advanced way.
“The label has been designed in such a way that it gives the bottle a more elegant look and we have managed to create some excitement around the brand,” he said.
Guyo said Afdis was a certified food company that manufactured liquor in line with the Standards Association of Zimbabwe.