Malawi has been hit by the recurring shortage of soft drinks on the market a situation which occurs every year during the summer.
Since last month there has been shortage of soft drinks such as Fanta, Sprite, Ginger, Cherry plum and other products with retailers and vendors forced to scramble for whatever available soft drinks on the market.
The only products that are abundantly available are alcoholic beverages.
The acute shortage supply of soft drinks has resulted in some vendors and retailers scrambling with retail consumer for supplies available in main retailing outlets like Peoples and Mc Cornell shops.
But Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) Executive Director, John Kapito has lambasted Carlsberg Malawi for failing to improve the situation which occurs almost every year.
“It is indeed becoming a habit by Carlsberg Malawi through its subsidiary Southern Bottlers Limited that as we approach the hot season every year there is shortages of drinks of all kinds. The question is why we continue having the very same scarcities year in year out, and why they are failing to learn and improve on their
weaknesses?” wondered Kapito.
Kapito also wondered why the company was still protected when the market was liberalised; arguing the company is as good as dead despite the protection it gets from State or economy.
“The Malawi market we are told has been liberalised why then do we continue to protect non-performing industries? Infact the protection that this company has been unfairly given has failed us other than
assisting the industry to improve. I am sure this company would have a regional power by now exporting within the region if it was given some competition,” said Kapito.
He added: “Competition plays a big role in the improvement of services by industry. It’s now fifty years with a non-performing Southern Bottlers Limited. Fifty years of a company that cannot compete regionally, fifty years of a company that has failed to develop new exotic products for the new growing market and generation; it still
produces drinks with a lot of foreign materials.”
The consumer and human rights activist said time was ripe for SBL to improve and introduce new and innovative products on the market, wondering why it is failing to meet the demand of a small market like Malawi.
Last year Carlsberg Malawi staged the campaign “Bring Back a Glass” to help the company have enough bottles for packaging and thereby address a shortage of soft and alcoholic drinks in the country.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :