Big fizz

The PNG com­pany that has be­come a cola king

Paradise - - Contents -

Pa­pua New Guinea’s Pa­cific In­dus­tries has cre­ated the wildly pop­u­lar home­grown soft drink GoGo Cola. Now, the com­pany has won the rights to man­u­fac­ture Pepsi prod­ucts in PNG and is also set to ex­pand into China. Kevin McQuil­lan re­ports.

Pa­cific In­dus­tries is one of the old­est fam­ily com­pa­nies in Pa­pua New Guinea with its ori­gins dat­ing back to World War 2, when the orig­i­nal fac­tory was used to sup­ply soft drinks to Al­lied troops.

The com­pany now man­u­fac­tures soft drinks, wa­ter, cor­dial, juice, al­co­hol, ice cream, baked goods and roasted cof­fee at plants in Rabaul and Port Moresby.

Founder Gabriel Chue and son Paul Chue had the fran­chise for Coca-Cola in PNG for about 40 years, but Coca-Cola Amatil took it back in 2008.

In its place, Pa­cific In­dus­tries de­vel­oped its own home­grown PNG cola brand,

GoGo Cola.

“De­vel­op­ment of the brand was ex­ten­sive as we sam­pled hun­dreds of for­mu­la­tions un­til we fi­nally found the right taste,” Everett Chue, di­rec­tor of Pa­cific In­dus­tries, says.

“Launched in late 2014, GoGo Cola is now our largest brand, and sold through­out PNG, in­clud­ing Bougainvil­le, plus the Solomon Is­lands,” he says.

“We hope to con­tinue to grow the GoGo Cola brand so that in the future we will have a true home-grown PNG brand to pass down to our chil­dren and future gen­er­a­tions, just as my grand­fa­ther passed down the Gold-Spot brand, which he cre­ated in 1952.

“We source as many of our in­gre­di­ents as pos­si­ble lo­cally to cre­ate as much of an au­then­tic PNG-made prod­uct as pos­si­ble,” he says.

“Sugar, for ex­am­ple, comes from Ramu Sugar and card­board car­tons come from Amal­pack man­u­fac­tured in Lae, but alu­minium cans are un­avail­able lo­cally and we are forced to im­port from abroad.

“But we are ne­go­ti­at­ing with sev­eral overseas can man­u­fac­tur­ers to bring their pro­duc­tion on shore here in PNG.

“This es­sen­tially will not only bring a large cost of the man­u­fac­tur­ing of bev­er­ages to be born here in PNG but will also cre­ate a fur­ther 500 to 1000 new jobs.”

Pro­duc­tion of Pepsi and other Pep­siCo brands will start be­fore the end of the year at our fac­tory in Rabaul.

Pa­cific In­dus­tries has just re­cently been awarded the rights to man­u­fac­ture all Pep­siCo brands in PNG.

“Pro­duc­tion of Pepsi and other Pep­siCo brands will start be­fore the end of the year at our fac­tory in Rabaul and will be dis­trib­uted all over the coun­try,” Everett says. “We have spent PGK25 mil­lion in Rabaul up­grad­ing our plant and equip­ment, ware­hous­ing and staff accommodat­ion in line for the pro­duc­tion of Pepsi prod­ucts and future growth of GoGo Cola.”

The com­pany is also in the plan­ning process of con­struct­ing a new bev­er­age man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­ity on the PNG main­land, along with a new dis­tri­bu­tion fa­cil­ity in Lae.

Pa­cific In­dus­tries is well set up for ex­pan­sion. It has 11 branches (Port

Moresby, Lae, Madang, Goroka, Ha­gen, Rabaul, Kokopo, Kimbe, Kavieng, Buka and Arawa), each with a full team of sales staff, mer­chan­dis­ers, ware­house staff, de­liv­ery crew and me­chan­ics. Prod­uct is dis­trib­uted via sea and land.

At the same time as pro­duc­ing its own GoGo Cola, the fam­ily set up Duffy’s Cafe & Roast­ery, to cap­i­talise on PNG’s high-qual­ity cof­fee.

Along with roast­ing and dis­tribut­ing its own lo­cally sourced PNG beans, it now has a creperie to serve savoury and sweet crepes, as well as a French patis­serie to bake its own breads, baguettes, and crois­sants, be­ing served in five cafes around Port Moresby.

For the past year, Everett’s brother, Travers – the founder of Duffy Cafe – has been based in China, gear­ing up for a launch into the Chi­nese mar­ket at the start of next year. Travers is cur­rently in the fi­nal de­sign phase for the fit out of the first Duffy store in China.

There are plans to open three stores in the first year in the south­ern Chi­nese city of Guangzhou, with more stores planned for years two and three.

“We will be ramp­ing up our pro­duc­tion of roasted cof­fee here in Port Moresby to be able to sup­ply these stores in China,” says Everett.

“Once these stores are opened, we also hope to be able to do an ex­change pro­gram where we send se­lected staff from here in PNG to China to get ex­po­sure in the Chi­nese cof­fee mar­ket and Chi­nese hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try.

“We want to use our Duffy China stores as a plat­form to be able to man­u­fac­ture pre­mium prod­ucts in PNG for the ex­port mar­ket into China.

“These prod­ucts will con­sist of nat­u­ral spring bot­tled wa­ter, co­conut wa­ter, co­conut food prod­ucts, co­conut health care prod­ucts, and pre­mium choco­late us­ing Bougainvil­le co­coa.”

He also says he has been ap­proached by in­ter­ested par­ties who would like to bring the Duffy con­cept to the In­dian mar­ket.

“We have only had ini­tial dis­cus­sions with in­ter­ested par­ties and are in the process of do­ing fea­si­bil­ity stud­ies.

“PNG has so much to of­fer the world when it comes to ex­ports with our pris­tine wa­ter ways, un­pol­luted air and thriv­ing agri­cul­ture.

“If PNG is to break away from its re­liance on the ex­trac­tive in­dus­try, lo­cal busi­nesses should start to look at what we can of­fer the world and take ad­van­tage of what is unique to PNG such as our di­verse cul­ture and tra­di­tions through tourism, spe­cial­ity agri­cul­ture such as spe­cial­ity cof­fee and high-grade co­coa, value added prod­ucts such as co­conut wa­ter, Galip nut chips and choco­late,” he says.

On the go … (from right to left) di­rec­tor of Pa­cific In­dus­tries Everett Chue, fork­lift driver Alison Akia and Uakari Vagi. Pa­cific In­dus­tries man­age­ment (op­po­site page).

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