Colcom mulls reverting to original pork pie

HARARE - Zimbabwe's largest meat processor Colcom Foods has bowed down to public pressure and announced it is working on plans for alternative means of producing a pie that includes the aspects of the “original” pork pie but said it could take time.

This comes as the formerly Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed meat processing company — known for its delicious pork pie which was extremely nostalgic for many Zimbabweans — faced raging public pressure over the deteriorating quality and quantity of ingredients in its flagship product.

Majority owned by Innscor Africa, Colcom had come under fire over the drastic slash in the filling used in the pork pie and the pastry which many said was now poor.

Colcom — engaged in the processing and marketing of pork and other protein-based food products including beef and chicken in Zimbabwe — said it was naturally very concerned by the complaints and criticisms that its pork pies are “not what they used to be.” 

Clarifying the changes that have been made, and the reasons, Colcom — which also produces fresh pork, hams, bacons, fresh and cooked sausages, pies, cold meats, polonies and canned meats products — said in August 2015 it commissioned a new, largely automated plant to replace its previous aged and inefficient plant to increase production capacity required to meet the increase in demand.

The pigs and pig-based products producer said while it was anticipated that the new plant would be able to produce similar pies, in practice this was found not to be the case.

“At the same time, we were increasingly conscious that a large proportion of our customers were asking for a more affordable pie.

“In order to achieve this, the plant was designed to produce a 100-gramme pie, which at that time retailed at 39 cents to replace the previous 120-gramme pie which retailed at 60 cents,” Colcom said in a statement.

The current retail price for Colcom’s 100-gramme pies, three years later, is 50 cents.

“It is important to note that we have trebled production to meet the substantial and growing demand for our pies. This would not have been possible if we had not upgraded our pie manufacturing facility.

“We have listened to our customers and are well aware that there is a segment of our pie customers who would like to see the return of the “original” Colcom pies.

“Whilst maintaining the original Colcom pie has been the objective since the commissioning of the new pie plant, and we have committed significant resources to achieve this result including seeking the assistance of international technical experts, it has until now not been possible to replicate all aspects of that product,” the statement said.

“Our technical team is working on plans for alternative means of producing a pie that includes the aspects of the ‘original’ Colcom pie that at present we cannot reproduce. The work to achieve this result is ongoing but the process will take time.”

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