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CrazyFruits » Entertainment Movies Trailors & More Interesting Things » General CRAZY DiscussionS » Sweet and Simply Jamaican

Sweet and Simply Jamaican

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1bat Sweet and Simply Jamaican on Mon 29 Dec 2014 - 6:32



THE Mark Fletcher-led Coffee Roasters Jamaica (CRJ) will start selling its own brand of rum cakes in a move to expand its distribution lines and help counter the loss of the Tortuga rum cake distributorship a year earlier.
Concurrently, CRJ also launched a line of single-serve k-cup Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee product aimed at targeting the fastest-growing segment of the US coffee market.
The cake brand, called 'Sweet and Simply Jamaican', offers chocolate and butter rum flavours. Fletcher is planning to develop coffee as a third flavour. The company expects to get the product into the MegaMart chain for Christmas with plans to enter other supermarkets and gift shops early next year.
Fletcher, who is chief executive, expressed confidence that the cake will find acceptance in the marketplace.
"We know that market because we were a distributor of a brand of cake for years. It's the same customer that buys our coffee. So it's the same market," Fletcher told the Jamaica Observer in an interview last week.
His initial sales projections are not for large volumes. Basically what he hopes to achieve now is to break even by covering the cost of transportation.
He said that the added benefit includes larger margins due to in-house manufacturing compared to distributing another brand.
"It is a recipe we have used at home for years but have been fine-tuning since earlier this year," he said.
The cakes were launched two weekends ago at the Grosvenor Gallery fair. "We sold out everything we had on the first day," he added.
The pulling of the Tortuga contract came after a change in the ownership structure of the Tortuga brand. In December 2011, Jamaica Producers Group (JP), a fruit and shipping conglomerate, purchased a 62 per cent stake in Tortuga, founded by Captain Robert Hamaty and wife Carlene.
In October 2011, JP and Pan Jamaica Investment Trust acquired an equal shareholding in large coffee company, Mavis Bank, which produces the Jablum brand.
Subsequently, in January 2014 Select Brands Limited was awarded the contract to distribute the Tortuga line of products. The contract was previously held by the distribution arm of CRJ, Country Traders Ltd.
CRJ roasted coffee exports are up some 30 per cent year-on-year based in part on new growth markets in China. Fletcher hopes, however, that his just-launched single cup coffee packages will grow overall revenues, especially in the US market. The company has already sold some 100 k-cup cases in the US.
"It won't take over from traditional brewed coffee, but it's growing like crazy in the US," he said of the single cup.

Few local companies have entered that single-cup brewed coffee market with Marley Coffee as one of the pioneers.
"Already we have seen growth based on our one distributor in the US," he said of the k-cup. CRJ was also recently examined for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) renewal which awaits final approval.
"We are pretty sure that everything has gone smoothly," Fletcher said of HACCP.

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