The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

By Toni Ni­cholas

On Wed­nes­day May 13, 2015 SMJ Saint Lu­cia Limited launched a new prod­uct to add to its al­ready ex­ten­sive prod­uct line. SMJ, a man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pany based in Vieux Fort, pro­duces Fruta Juices, Chubby and Busta car­bon­ated drinks, Cran-Wa­ter and Clas­sic Cola. The new prod­uct, which will be man­u­fac­tured at the com­pany’s plant in Vieux Fort, is Cool Run­nings Wa­ter.

By way of in­tro­duc­tion, Reisha Ram­nar­ineLewis, group mar­ket­ing manager of par­ent com­pany SMJ Trinidad, re­minded those at the launch that SMJ Saint Lu­cia was not a new player in the man­u­fac­tur­ing busi­ness, hav­ing been around for more than 16 years. “I now call on you to ap­plaud Sam Augier (the man­ag­ing direc­tor) for cham­pi­oning the re­cent com­mis­sion­ing of the Cool Run­nings Wa­ter plant at Vieux Fort,” she said. “The bot­tled wa­ter cat­e­gory is experiencing rapid growth glob­ally, grow­ing at a rate of 4.1 per­cent be­tween 2013 and 2014,” she ex­plained. Ac­cord­ing to her, this was due to the as­so­ci­a­tion with healthy life­styles, con­ve­nience and value. Th­ese, she said, were all ideals shared by SMJ.

Brian Louisy, the Ex­ec­u­tive Direc­tor of the Saint Lu­cia Cham­ber of Com­merce, also spoke at the of­fi­cial Cool Run­nings launch on Wed­nes­day. “We are all aware that the busi­ness com­mu­nity has had some chal­lenges over the last few years. Notwith­stand­ing, we have seen com­pa­nies like SMJ in­no­vate, find­ing ways to op­er­ate not at the same level, but to ex­pand in­no­vate and we have no choice but to sup­port and en­cour­age them,” Louisy said.

Adding her words of com­men­da­tion was Emma Hyp­polyte, Min­is­ter of Com­merce. “I am very happy to see Mr. Sam Augier reach­ing this very im­por­tant mile­stone,” she said. “As Min­is­ter, I am de­lighted to see that the man­u­fac­tur­ers, es­pe­cially the bot­tled wa­ter in­dus­try, is (sic)re­spond­ing to the ini­tia­tives, es­pe­cially the one put in by the Gov­ern­ment and by that I am re­fer­ring to ar­ti­cle 164,” Hyp­polyte said. “That par­tic­u­lar ar­ti­cle for coun­tries of the OECS al­lows them to look at se­lect prod­ucts that they are able to man­u­fac­ture on is­land,” she ex­plained.

Sam Augier ad­mit­ted in his re­marks that at first he was not too fond of “ar­ti­cle 164” since it meant that the im­por­ta­tion of Cool Run­nings from Trinidad came with a 70% im­port tar­iff. This, he said, forced SMJ Saint Lu­cia to in­vest in its own bot­tling plant. “And so be­cause of the pro­hib­i­tive cost, we were com­pelled to look at op­tions and last year we took the bold de­ci­sion to in­vest EC$1.1 mil­lion in the estab­lish­ment of the most mod­ern state-of-the-art bot­tle wa­ter plant,” Augier said. “Our to­tal SMJ in­vest­ment at Vieux Fort and Cas­tries to date is well over EC$21 mil­lion,” he added. The com­pany now ex­ports to sev­eral coun­tries in­clud­ing Do­minica, St. Vin­cent, Bar­ba­dos, Belize and Hol­land, among oth­ers.

The GM of SMJ then gave those present on Wed­nes­day an ex­ten­sive slide pre­sen­ta­tion of what went into the pro­duc­tion of Cool Run­nings Wa­ter. This, he said, was done to the strictest in­ter­na­tional stan­dards.

First in­tro­duced to Saint Lu­cia in 2012, Cool Run­nings has been on the mar­ket of­fer­ing Cran-Wa­ter (Cran­berry flavoured wa­ter) for al­most three years. Cool Run­nings Pomegranate Flavoured Wa­ter was in­tro­duced in Fe­bru­ary 2015. With the launch this week of Cool Run­nings Pre­mium Pu­ri­fied Wa­ter, comes more di­ver­sity to the bev­er­age port­fo­lio of SMJ St. Lu­cia Ltd. Cool Run­nings is avail­able in three sizes: 300ml, 500ml and 2 Litre.

The me­dia launch for the Cool Run­nings Wa­ter co­in­cided with the sym­bolic rib­bon-cut­ting cer­e­mony to open the wa­ter pro­duc­tion plant.

Caribbean Brand Manager Krista-Lee Lookit stated “The Cool Run­nings brand has a rich le­gacy here in Saint Lu­cia and has been a part of the cul­ture for some time now. Cool Run­nings Pre­mium Pu­ri­fied Wa­ter gives you a con­sis­tently great, crisp taste and we are proud to launch this wa­ter from a plat­form of qual­ity, con­sis­tency and power, the kind of hy­drat­ing power that is es­sen­tial for ev­ery­day life.”

Plans for spon­sor­ship for the brand in­clude Morne Stars Ath­let­ics Club; Dane Ma­gloire, Coach and for­mer Na­tional Record Holder for Long Jump and Triple Jump; Cul­tural and So­cial Com­mu­nity Events and Youth Pro­grammes and School part­ner­ships.

Sam Augier (sec­ond from left) presents a bas­ket of SMJ prod­ucts to Min­is­ter of Com­merce Emma Hyp­polyte. They are flanked by two SMJ ex­ec­u­tives

from Trinidad and Tobago.

The Cool Run­nings Morne Stars with coach Terry

Fin­is­tere (right) and Sam Augier (left).

Cool Run­nings Wa­ter now pro­duced


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