Busha Browne to spice up brand with cof­fee

Jamaica Gleaner - - BUSINESS - Steven Jack­son Se­nior Busi­ness Reporter steven.jack­son@glean­erjm.com

AS­SO­CI­ATED MAN­U­FAC­TUR­ERS Lim­ited (AML), mak­ers of the Busha Browne line of sauces, wants to add cof­fee to its line-up, while also seek­ing out in­vestors to grow the brand in key mar­kets.

“We are ex­am­in­ing a few dy­namic op­tions re­gard­ing the way for­ward with our Busha Browne brand. One of the main strate­gies be­ing con­sid­ered is to seek out strate­gic part­ner­ships in brand eq­uity in­vest­ment to fund greater brand aware­ness and dis­tri­bu­tion reach in our re­spec­tive over­seas mar­kets,” said Sean Gar­butt, mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor at AML.

Along­side Busha Browne, AML makes two other brands which fo­cuses on dif­fer­ent tiers of the mar­ket — Walk­er­swood, whose jerk sauce is in high de­mand in North Amer­ica and the United King­dom; and Ja­maica Joe, which sells at a lower price-point.

How­ever, Busha Browne, which tar­gets the higher end of the sauce mar­ket, doesn’t have the wide dis­tri­bu­tion of a Walk­er­swood, nor the price flex­i­bil­ity of a Ja­maica Joe — a fac­tor that weighs on AML’s con­sid­er­a­tion to di­ver­sify the line be­yond sauces and spices to in­clude lux­ury Ja­maican cof­fee.

The com­pany wants to source cof­fee beans from es­tab­lished producers and then pack­age the prod­uct un­der the Busha Browne la­bel. Gar­butt said AML would choose a spe­cific cof­fee type to in­crease brand dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion.

AML is “also looking to de­velop pri­vate la­bel re­la­tion­ships to al­low us to add some high-pro­file Ja­maican/Caribbean items into our prod­uct range, such as an ul­tra-pre­mium Ja­maican Blue Moun­tain Cof­fee,” said Gar­butt.

BRAND EL­E­VA­TION

“By adding more high end items into the range, we hope to el­e­vate the Busha Browne brand im­age and make it more than just a tra­di­tional jerk line,” he said. The Busha Browne line, founded by Win­ston Stona, in­cludes jerk sauces, mari­nades, jel­lies, pre­serves and chut­neys. Own­er­ship of the Busha Browne, Walk­er­swood and Ja­maica Joe brands are held in a com­pany called New Cas­tle. Share­hold­ers in New Cas­tle in­clude Pan-Ja­maican In­vest­ment Trust, G Ray­mond Chang es­tate, Christo­pher Boor­man, and Ian Gar­butt. “Walk­er­swood con­tin­ues to do very well in our ex­ist­ing mar­kets ‘ with con­sis­tent year-on-year growth. Busha Browne is grow­ing but has chal­lenges, in that it doesn’t have the same level of di­as­pora sup­port as Walk­er­swood and the fo­cus is in the gourmet/spe­cialty food cat­e­gories that re­quire a heav­ier spend to grow in­flu­ence and com­pete with global brands,” Sean Gar­butt said. New Cas­tle earned $1.5 bil­lion in annual sales last year, based on fi­nan­cial dis­clo­sures by PanJam, a listed com­pany. The turnover re­flected 18 per cent growth, year on year, most of which came from a new dis­tri­bu­tion deal in the United States that im­proved con­sumer reach with ma­jor chains. “So this com­ing year is all about con­tin­u­ing to build our brand pres­ence and en­cour­ag­ing con­sumer pur­chase to drive re­tail sales,” Gar­butt said.

The Septem­ber quar­ter, how­ever was im­pacted by wa­ter-sup­ply chal­lenges in the com­mu­nity of Walk­er­swood, St Ann. The fac­tory and a num­ber of farms are lo­cated in the area.

“The com­mu­nity and sur­round­ing ar­eas are sup­plied by a deep­wa­ter well, and ev­ery year, there’s an event which leaves the com­mu­nity with­out wa­ter for weeks, so our agro-pro­cess­ing op­er­a­tions were im­pacted by the lack of wa­ter,” the mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor said.

The com­pany trucked wa­ter to the plant, but it only met half of the fac­tory’s daily re­quire­ment of 12,000 to 15,000 gal­lons of wa­ter. “We hope that in the long-term the National Wa­ter Com­mis­sion can find a way to im­ple­ment changes to in­crease the wa­ter ca­pac­ity in our Walk­er­swood com­mu­nity,” he said.

Since its ac­qui­si­tion in 2009, the fac­tory at Walk­er­swood has been ex­panded three times. It op­er­ates on a sin­gle-day­time shift.

The plan to in­crease pro­duc­tion or add an­other shift at night re­mains con­strained by raw-ma­te­rial sup­plies, in­clud­ing es­cal­lion, scotch bon­net pep­pers and pi­mento berries.

In the last fis­cal year, AML ex­ported 240 con­tain­ers across nine in­ter­na­tional mar­kets. To achieve this, the com­pany sourced 2.7 mil­lion pounds of Ja­maican raw pro­duce from an is­land­wide net­work of farm­ers, Gar­butt re­called.

“As­so­ci­ated Man­u­fac­tur­ers Lim­ited op­er­ates a multi-brand strat­egy that has us utilising three brands to cover sev­eral seg­ments of the sauce, BBQ and sea­son­ing mar­kets — so Busha Browne is the lux­ury brand for ul­tra-pre­mium place­ments such as Whole Foods Fresh Mar­ket and Dean & DeLuca; Walk­er­swood is our flag­ship brand which has ex­cel­lent sup­port in our di­as­pora mar­kets as well as the most po­ten­tial to cross­over into main­stream con­sumer mar­kets; Ja­maica Joe is the fighter brand of the group that can of­fer dis­count prices to com­pete with out­side ri­val brands,” he said.

FILE

Sean Gar­butt

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