By Nyemudzai Kakore
Schweppes Zimbabwe Limited yesterday announced that the original Mazoe recipes for all flavours will be back on the shelves beginning July 31. The company faced resistance from customers after it added three artificial sweeteners to the Mazoe concentrated drinks.
Addressing a Press conference, Schweppes Zimbabwe Limited managing director Mr Charles Msipa said the delay in bringing back the original Mazoe was as a result of label preparation and printing for the distinct original and reduced sugar Mazoe.
He said both the original Mazoe and the reduced sugar Mazoe will be available on the market with distinctive labels.
“About two months ago, we reduced the sugar level in Mazoe to the demands of some of our consumers who were telling us that they want more drinks that taste great, but also have lesser sugar and lower calories,” said Mr Msipa.
“The amount of sugar was reduced and a blend of sweeteners which are approved by national and international food health authorities was added to the recipe.
“The initial reaction since the announcement of the original Mazoe re-introduction on 20 June has been incredible. The Schweppes Zimbabwe Facebook page was inundated with positive feedback of consumers thanking us for bringing back Mazoe’s original recipe.”
Mr Msipa allayed the health hazard fears on the sweeteners touted as potentially causing cancer and brain cell damage, among other diseases.
“All the ingredients, including the sweeteners that we used are thoroughly researched and are certified and approved as safe for use by both local, as well as international and global health and food regulation authorities,” he said.
“So, we stand by the safety of all the ingredients, the sweeteners that we use. However, I should also point out that what came out from the consumers’ feedback is that we needed to provide a choice. Zimbabwean consumers have deep emotional connection to the Mazoe brand, so we decided we will provide a choice. “
Mr Msipa apologised for any discontent caused as their intention was not to disappoint.
“Before we effected the recipe change, we conducted extensive consumer research with those who participated expressing satisfaction with the reduced sugar Mazoe,” he said.
“We are humbled by the overwhelming feedback that we got from consumers and stakeholders. We are bringing back the original Mazoe recipe. We are committed to providing our consumers with a wide range of products for them to make choices.”