Forex crisis threatens manufacturer

HARARE - Crippling foreign currency shortages have forced energy drink manufacturer — Power Strike — to change its distinct glossy laminated sachet package to the common penny cool plastic tubing.

Power Strike director Lynne James said their trademark packaging was being done in South Africa but they had failed to pay for the service since February due to foreign currency shortages.

“We have an issue; we can’t pay for our packaging. We now have outstanding payments to our partner in South Africa. Our banks are unable to make payments and we’re unable to do it since February this year and we had to make a decision that if we’re to keep Power Strike on the shelves we had to go with water pack penny cool tubing.

“We have done our best to make our product as different from penny cools as possible.”

James said efforts to find an alternative local packaging company to maintain the same quality had been fruitless since they started producing the energy drink in 2014.

This has been the reason the drink has not been a 100 percent Zimbabwean product.

“It’s not really what we wanted to do but Power Strike is a product that we always wanted to get to everybody. It’s a quality product and previous packaging was all done in South Africa. We tried in 2014 when we first started producing the product in Zimbabwe to have all the packaging done in Zimbabwe.

“We wanted to be a 100 percent Zimbabwean product. But we quickly realised that it wasn’t possible to have the packaging done here and it still isn’t. The big packaging companies are unable to make our packing… no one does lamination packaging,” James said.

Although the new packaging literary took the shine off the high caffeine energy drink, James said it was still the same high-quality product.

“We have a high caffeine drink which is very clear and we’ve used our logos and everything. So, it’s the same quality product just in a different package for the time being while we try to find our way forward in these interesting times.”

James said she was confident the company would not suffer huge loses as she banks on the market to adapt to the packaging.

“We’re doing our best and hopefully Power Strike will remain on the shelf and hopefully people will adapt while we try to get it on the shelves as it always was. Zimbabweans are really good at that and we all do it all the time,” she said.

With smaller and cheaper packaging, the drink now has potential to penetrate a new market, said its sales executive Godwin Sithole.

“We have always wanted to also produce something that would also be very affordable and we hope this new packaging will achieve that as well,” Sithole said.

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