ZIMBABWE – Olivine Industries, one of the largest consumer goods manufacturing companies in Zimbabwe has introduced a new spread margarine, Buttercup Lite, specifically designed for health-conscious consumers with only 40 percent fat.

Speaking at the product launch, Ms. Charmaine Munetsi, Olivine’s marketing manager, stated that the introduction of Buttercup Lite, a low-fat spread containing 40 percent fat, was driven by the growing concern for health and wellness, as well as the need to address the rise in lifestyle diseases.

“To meet the needs of consumers, we are introducing a low-fat spread that can you indulge guilt-free,” Munetsi said.

Established in 1931 and incorporated in the Wilmar Group in 2017, Olivine Industries is known for its main products: cooking oil, margarine, and soaps.

Ms. Munetsi said the new investment would also see the company increasing its investment in contract farming to secure soya beans, a key ingredient in the manufacturing of margarine and cooking oil.

Mr Sylvester Dendere, the Group Corporate Affairs Executive, added that the move aligns with the government’s call for private players to secure 40 percent of their annual raw material requirements from local farmers.

“The government has said we need to secure most of our inputs locally and we would like to support our farmers to produce soybeans, which is a raw material for the manufacture of cooking oil,” said Mr Dendere.

According to Dendere, the introduction of the Buttercup Lite was a turning point for the locals as it will not only empower their livelihoods through contract farming but also cater to the health-conscious population “because it has low fat”.

“The taste is the same but this is just to make sure the conscious consumers can still enjoy the margarine without worrying.”

Speaking on the sidelines of the launch, Ms Munetsi said the new product was of the same quality and use as the original buttercup that has been in the market since 1958.

According to the Herald, the new investment, and product, come at a time when local products have been dominating shelf space in most local supermarkets.

Following a spot survey with the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) that ascertains market trends, it has been observed that new products were competing with traditionally known brands in the local markets.

Mrs. Rosemary Mpofu, chief executive of CCZ explaining the survey said that the new products have expanded the options available to choose from thus providing competition and resulting in lower prices.

“Competition has resulted in lower prices on offer and an increase in product promotions by both producers and retailers has benefited consumers through reduced prices,” said Ms Mpofu.

The company’s chief operations officer Mr Neeraj Vaidya said the market should expect four to five new products soon.

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