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South Africans Getting Kiwi Wake Up Call

The South Africans are getting a big wake up call from New Zealand and we're not talking about tomorrow's Rugby World Cup playoff match!

Australasia's number one energy drink V, manufactured and marketed in New Zealand by Frucor Beverages, is about to take the South African beverage market by storm.

V has just been launched nationwide in South Africa and orders there already total 50 percent of the number placed for V in Australia where the product was launched just six months ago and now commands more than 50 percent market share.

V was developed in New Zealand and launched onto the local market two years ago and now leads the category with more than 60 percent market share.

Frucor Beverages' chief executive officer Mark Cowsill says V, the 'mid-afternoon wake up call', was immediately well received by the South African trade with initial orders quickly being increased and the country's biggest supermarket chain, Pick'n Pay, listing the product.

"V is our runaway success story and we are confident, given the initial interest in V and the high calibre of our South African distributors' Rouxcor, V will be every bit as much of a hit there as it is here and in Australia," Mr Cowsill says.

"Based on the New Zealand experience where the market is worth around $60 million we estimate the South African market will be worth between $90 to $100 million in the next 12 months. The energy drink category emerged a couple of years ago and the market is well suited for V because there is an increasing population and the economy is growing."

Rouxcor manufactures and markets South Africa's number one RTD 'Hooch', has its own brand of soft drink called Pride and an extensive distribution system and is Coca Cola's main competitor in the local market.

The South African launch of V by Frucor Beverages whose other brands include Fresh-Up and Just Juice comes just weeks after the announcement of the company's acquisition of certain assets of Pepsi-Cola Bottlers New Zealand and its exclusive franchise holding in the local market from Pepsi Cola International.

The acquisition, the South African launch and V's remarkable growth in New Zealand and Australia are directly attributable to business strategies and resources implemented when Frucor Beverages was sold by the New Zealand Apple and Pear Marketing Board to a consortium of international investors just over a year ago.

At the time of the sale the new owners, headed by New Zealand investment bankers Fyers Wickham and Pacific Equity Partners of Australia, said Frucor Beverages would have the capital and international business expertise to build on its successful track record in the branded beverage market.

ends

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