Wisynco Group has entered into an arrangement with Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPS) to distribute several of its juice brands as well as manufacture new flavours of Hawaiian Punch.
Wisynco Managing Director William Mahfood said the new contract will help plug the gap created by the loss of the Ocean Spray distributorship to Pepsi Bottling Jamaica.
The deal with Dr Pepper Snapple includes bottling of juice drinks, he said, whereas under the Ocean Spray arrangement, it was to import and distribute.
Mahfood also told Wednesday Business that Wisynco has a special arrangement with DPS – whose business model is to manage the entire value chain from innovation to the shelf – to manufacture three of five flavours of Hawaiian Punch distributed in Jamaica.
Since February, the Jamaican beverage company has produced Green Berry Rush and Lemon Berry Squeeze, and more recently, the Fruit Juicy Red flavours. It also imports Orange Ocean and Blueberry Typhoon.
Mahfood said the sales performances of the new flavours are excellent, and that the Green Berry Rush is outperforming the others.
“It is going faster than the Red. These drinks were mostly targeting kids, but we find that even the adults are drinking the Green Berry Rush. I think it is mostly because of the taste, though,” he said.
Wisynco also manufactures the three flavours for Caricom markets such as St Lucia, Grenada, and Dominica. He said there are plans to enter the Barbados and Trinidad markets soon.
Mahfood said the contact with Dr Pepper Snapple was established “sometime last year” and is to last for “either two or three years”.
“It is a renewable contract and we are optimistic of an automatic renewal because the products have been performing very well since the start of the arrangement,” he said.
Dr Pepper Snapple’s roots extend to 1783, with the creation of the world’s first carbonated mineral water by Jean Jacob Schweppe. The company has evolved into a leading beverage maker, with a portfolio of some 50 brands of carbonated soft drinks, juices, teas, mixers, water and other premium beverages.
Popular brands include 7Up, Mott’s, Schweppes, Canada Dry, Mr & Mrs T mixers, Crush, Hawaiian Punch and Sunkist soda.
The arrangement with Wisynco gives it distribution rights for Mott’s, Mystic, Schweppes and Hawaiian Punch brands.
Mahfood said Wisynco has pumped J$500 million of capital into its operation to accommodate the DPS contract and other aspects of the operation.
“Since the start of the year, we have been doing several expansions, such as additional plant capacity because the juices and other beverages are doing very well. People are really taking the products off the shelves,” he said.
Brands owned by Wisynco are Bigga, Boom, WATA and CranWATA.
As for the snacks and other food products, Mahfood said the company is working on several projects and plans to make announcements about them in less than two weeks.
“I can’t say anything right now. We operate in a very competitive market, so I can’t divulge any information until we are ready to make the announcements,” he said.