Maheu craze hits Zim

HARARE - While maheu is traditional African brew, the beverage has in the past year gained popularity and claimed prominence across all walks of life in Zimbabwe.

Maheu is a traditional drink made from maize meal, sorghum, sugar, milk solids, lactic acid, preserved with potassium sorbate and natamyncin.

Many may argue it is because of tight liquidity conditions that people have resorted to the cheaper alternative, but the fact remains clear that the beverage is steadily replacing many sparkling beverages and manufacturers have confirmed they are making a killing from        maheu sales, salvaging poor performing bottom lines.

Whether one is drinking commercially packaged maheu or homemade maheu, one should always remember that the highly nutritious and fulfilling drink has been around for as long as its people.

Competition in commercialising maheu has already intensified with beverage makers fighting for space and relevance in a highly healthy conscious consumer market.

Apart from being affordable, maheu is a highly nutritious drink and recommended for the sustenance of good health.

Dairibord Zimbabwe Limited (Dairibord)’s chief executive Anthony Mandiwanza last week said at an analysts’ briefing that for the year to December 2014,  there had been an overwhelming response to their maheu product named Pfuko-Udiwo.

“When we launched maheu in June last year, we were doing a number of around 300 000 and we were completely overwhelmed by the market response which outstripped our processing capacity in the next two months or so. As a result, we quickly put in additional investment to double the processing capacity but still the demand for that product is growing significantly,” he said.

Mandiwanza added that the introduction of maheu is part of the company’s strategy to increase the contribution of its non-milk value adding product lines in line with the “more than just milk” strategic thrust they have.

Beverage giant Delta Corporation Limited has established a maheu plant in Harare in order to localise production of its well established Shumba Maheu brands.

Before local production, Delta used to import the starch-based non-carbonated and non-alcoholic beverage from an associate company in Zambia.

The Shumba Maheu brand has since established itself on the market as a reputable product largely benefitting from the shift from importation to local production.

Bedra Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd which runs the Revive brand claims that their maheu product is produced to the same standards that are used from traditional folklore.

In maheu, it is all about food and drink at the same time and that probably explains its popularity.

The health consciousness that has pervaded society has also inspired the beverage makers to exploit opportunities in the market through commercialising traditional finger millet malt drink.

Maheu has become a hugely popular traditional non-alcoholic beverage in most sub-Saharan countries.

Fermentation provides a distinctive acidic or sour flavour to the drink and most people usually add sugar to taste.

If one is unable to buy packaged maheu which costs an average $0,50, the easiest option is to do it yourself.

Comments (24)

Thank you very much to have this issued discussed in our daily papers yes sure we have seen a number of these products on the market but there is one thing that I have noticed as I tend to buy all brands on the Market from Delta , Daiyboard. Revive etc etc the REVIVE Product I have noticed at the end of the drink you feel Sand or Majecha in it which I think is not good for our teeth. Then the Dairyboard PFUKO Brand is so rich to the extent that you can actual feel the soghum granules on your throat which is very uncomfortable at times as you end up coughing. So please can these 2 companies improve on the aspects specified DELTA thumps up for Shumba maheu as there is nothing to talk about.

Maheu - 24 March 2015

pfuko kumberi kwekure, thumps up for dairy

DE MARIE - 25 March 2015

Well said Maheu. I am seconding you.

wellsaid - 25 March 2015

Shumba maheu ndiwo chete mahewu anonaka zvemhando yepamusoro.Big up to you Delta muri kumberi especially the Traditional flavour ummmm i like it

ome - 25 March 2015

I believe you want to say "thumbs up" as in the shorty fat stubby finger ... thump means something else

Ini Zvangu - 25 March 2015

Dairiboard makuchepesa sorghum and you are the chief culprits panyaya dzemajecha in your udiwo. Not withstanding that your product is the best so far but can you consider one rine sugar shoma or none l don't know if it argurs well with your production processes koz isu ne sugar takamakana

Nyimo - 25 March 2015

Thankx very much Wellsaid for the support these guys are into business so I just think its our duty to advise them One Minimarket in Highfield have actually stopped ordering Revive or Bedra Maheu because customers have been complainging of this MAJECHA issue

Maheu - 27 March 2015

the mahewu products are good but please have some without sugar. its not everyone who takes sugar.

jaunda - 31 March 2015

Pfuko is just perfect zvairi. Majecha iyavo ndokunaka kwacho. Don't change a thing Dairiboard.

Jonasi - 31 March 2015

maheu ndizvo, pfuko zvairi izvozvo kaone.

samanyika - 1 April 2015

Pfuko, Shumba's Traditioal flavour kaone. they must produce ma1litre or even ma2litres

dzaida - 2 April 2015

Personally I prefer the homemade stuff. Been drinking it for as long as I have remembered. But I guess there is more to this sudden popularity. A view I will hold for another day.

Just Saying - 4 April 2015

Pfuko is the best!!!!Great job Dairibord

lebo - 6 April 2015

My complaint is abt shuka yakawandisa in all maheu products

kembo - 9 April 2015

I wish hotels could also introduce maheu as one of the beverages because of its nutritional value compared to the soft drinks.

connie - 9 April 2015

Shumba and pfuko are fine but please make the bottle transparent so that we can see what we are drinkin. maheu emupaper tradional flavour ine sugar yakawanda plus akakoresa. thank you

connie - 9 April 2015

Kana muchida original maheu endai paNhapitapi Restaurant, John Boyne House opposite Joina City munaInez Terrace.

Mukahanana - 17 April 2015

Well done Dairy Board your product Pfuko is so good keep it

Noah - 23 April 2015

Well done Dairy Board your product Pfuko is so good keep it up

Noah - 23 April 2015

@jonasi ....seriously majecha and healthy?....these two dnt sync at all......pfuko magranules esorghum kukachidza hey.....

wellaz - 24 April 2015

pfuko ndizvo. but guys introduce a recycable container for sake of our environment & job recreation

mwach - 5 May 2015

maheu epfuko takumatya ne that saga which happened.... Is it true.... tsvina bodo hamaweee

lolo - 14 October 2015

Good Day Sir/Madam Please give more info as to how to obtain this product for resale in South Africa. Urgent samples or info needed with certificates.

bobby naidoo - 26 August 2016

muasite chi salad pa mahewu guys ..

KADA - 13 February 2017

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