SCHWEPPES Zimbabwe Limited will soon resume production of its iconic Mazoe Orange Crush brand, with the product expected on the market within the next month, after the company secured a steady shipment of raw materials from Turkey, the business digest can report.
Production of the enduring 88-year-old iconic drink, that occupies a pride of place on the shelves of most retail outlets in the country and beyond, ground to a halt last year over a US$10 million debt Schweppes owed to the Coca Cola Company for unpaid deliveries of key raw materials. Though oranges which make the juice are produced locally, the Coca Cola company supplies Schweppes with key raw materials that include concentrates.
Subsequently, Zimbabwe endured a dry festive season, as most retail outlets ran out of one of the country’s remaining products which still command global appeal.
A company source last week told the business digest that it had taken delivery of a sizeable shipment of concentrates from Turkey, following negotiations with suppliers from that country, with the Mazoe Orange Crush juice expected on the market within the next month.
“As Schweppes, we are pleased to announce that following negotiation with suppliers in Turkey. We will be receiving shipments of concentrates which are a key ingredient in the production of Mazoe Orange Crush.
The product will be back on the market within the next month,” the source said, highlighting that the company was geared to produce the popular product.
Schweppes, the source said, was now engaging with local farmers to ensure the consistent production and supply of oranges, which constitute the key raw material of Mazoe Orange Crush.
Schweppes exports Mazoe Orange Crush to various countries, which include Namibia, Zambia, South Africa, and Botswana. In 2018, there was an uproar on the market when Schweppes tweaked its Mazoe orange recipe to reduce sugar levels.
The new recipe did not appeal to consumers, who demanded the company to restore the original manufacturing formula.
Schweppes Zimbabwe then bowed down to pressure from customers and promptly pulled the new product off the shelves while pledging to bring back the original Mazoe Orange Crush taste.
Mazoe Orange Crush has been part of Zimbabwean history since the 1930s, with strong roots in the Mazowe Valley where one Arthur Sturgess, a drink factory owner from Bulawayo, christened the concentrated drink at the peak of colonial settlement in Zimbabwe. Since then, the brand has over the years become part of the country’s heritage, which is purchased by numerous households nationwide.