TANZANIA – Watercom has invested US$99 million (€100 million) in KHS beverage line in Tanzania to meet the demand for water consumption in Tanzania.

The two new lines are much more energy efficient than past versions, reducing energy consumption and blowing air by up to 40%.

The KHS sister lines stand side by side – with the practical added advantage that the blow molds for the various bottle formats can be easily swapped between one line and the other as the production plan dictates.

The Dortmund systems supplier installed the first water line and carbonated soft drinks for Watercom.

This system allows up to 40,000 0.5-liter bottles to be filled in an hour. The Bottles & Shapes program also worked with Watercom on a distinctive bottle design for various formats that use less material and aim to boost brand image.

The Dortmund setup includes all components from the syrup room through a stretch blow molder/filler block and labeler to packers and palletizers.

Palletizing is not a common practice in the African region as palletizing – if performed at all – is usually manual due to low personnel costs and more modest line outputs.

Watercom believes it needs to add the lines to meet Tanzania’s rising demand for beverage bottlers. Currently, Tanzania has the highest bottled water consumption of any African country.

“The line performance has us convinced, as does the fact that our expectations regarding efficiency, optimum use of resources and waste management have been met,” says Salum Nahdi, Director and CEO of Watercom.

The move comes at a time when Tanzania’s bottled beverage market is expected to continue to grow as the country remains the highest consumer of bottled water.

Tanzania’s economic system has experienced a growth rate of 5% to almost 8% since 2000, making the country one of the most dynamic markets in sub-Saharan Africa.

The population in the East African country is proliferating along with the middle classes, specifically in urban regions.

The rise in the middle-class population has led to higher demands in the beverage industry, with more citizens able to afford the items.

This provides opportunities in the F&B industry, which has been expanding for a year now, according to Watercom. Several multinational companies are now starting to migrate their businesses into Tanzania.

Another primary reason why the water industry in Tanzania is booming is that the government is making an express policy to encourage people to drink clean bottled water to prevent health risks.

No African country has as much packaged water consumed per capita as Tanzania, according to Watercom.

Despite these efforts, only inland conglomerates benefit the most from the booming beverage industry, as they can significantly divide up the market between themselves.

This is partly due to Tanzanian consumers being loyal to local products and brands they recognize. As a cause, it is harder for foreign businesses to create consumer loyalty and trust in the country.

KHS previously collaborated with Watercom to create its original beverage line. Watercom claims its “use of up-to-the-minute high-tech from Europe is considered a unique selling point.”

“In the last two years, we’ve sold most of our machines in the East Africa sales region to Tanzania – both to big companies and smaller suppliers, more and more of whom are entering the market,” concludes Denise Schneider-Walimohamed, Managing Director of KHS East Africa.

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