Vimto soft drinks now in 35 African countries – Nichols

British soft drinks maker Nichols plc announced it has launched its Vimto soft drinks in Benin Republic, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Mauritania and Uganda, expanding its presence in Africa to 35 countries.

The company which had $43.6m in overseas sales in its latest results said it has made two new appointments to support its international business as year-on-year growth hit 20.3%.

Nichols said it has been particularly buoyed by sales in Africa which grew 21.2% in 2016.

The Vimto brand which was first exported to Africa in the 1920s and ’30s has grown popular in some African markets and is now been bottled locally under licenses in 29 countries including Nigeria, South Africa, Cameroun, Egypt, Mali and Senegal.

In 2016, Vimto was launched in Angola, Chad, DRC, Gabon, and Sudan.

The company introduced Vimto malt in 2015 to cash in on malt popularity in West Africa, especially Nigeria which accounts for 74% of malt sales in Africa and is said to be the largest malt market in the world, according to a report in 2015 by the Canadean, a market research firm. Nichols said that its malt drinks has enjoyed modest success in West Africa and can now be found in 18 countries.

Other products launched into the African market include Vimto Ginger and Vimto watermelon variants, the company said.

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