Food brands in new-look packaging wave as imports competition refuses to budge

Several local food brands have been introducing packaging make-overs on some of their leading lines.

Earlier in the year, Zimbabwe’s nostalgic jam spread announced a switch to new packaging of their household name product – Sun Jam.

Our checks on social media indicates that the refreshed packaging is being well received.

In the last few weeks, National Foods, Zimbabwe’s biggest food and grain processor also refreshed looks of their popular mealie-meal Read Seal brands of Pearlenta and Roller-Meal.

This upgrade also received huge endorsements from a wide range of commoners, at least online.

They even took huge billboards around town to announce their new skin.

We also recently noticed that Chompkins the popular crisp for many Zimbabweans for many years, also visited a boutique for a tailor-made make-over (new packaging in the image above is to the left).

It’s interesting though that in all cases, non of the brands changed the content of the product but just the outlook.

Of course, its a fight to stand-out on the now overcrowded supermarket shelves due to imports and dwindling number of consumers prepared to take products home (side note – we also notice a high number of shopping trolley abandonments in supermarkets).

Consumers already liked the content of certain but not all local brands but may have gravitated to other competing imported brands due to better presentation backed by equally good taste.

We think Chompkins’ make-over must have long been in the pipes before the unfortunate SI 64 of 2016 which “banned” the South African Lays range among other imports.

We think it’s a make-over made for Lays first and Simba second.

Despite the “ban”, its clear that competition on the Zimbabwean shelves against imports won’t be going away any time soon.

We hear local South African brands distributors are rushing to apply for import licenses to keep bringing in the competition.

The new battle front just have to be quality, price and presentation.

We are certain of witnessing more make-overs in coming weeks and months.

Here are the looks

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Images credit: social media pages of Sun Jam, Read Seal.