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Of Twiza, Cancer, Dragon plus illicit Msombodia

HARARE – The healthiest drink is clean water – other options may come at a price. As you digest this piece, one of fast-selling beve...

HARARE – The healthiest drink is clean water – other options may come at a price.

As you digest this piece, one of fast-selling beverage products Twizza has bed farewell to the ever-demanding Harare market. The hugely popular drink which had virtually replaced Coca Cola as the number one soft drink due to its favourable pricing is no more. 

Words by Derick Matsengarwodzi: media consultant, author and founder of Aloe Media Group. Let us interact through: Facebook; Email:; Blog:

With the economic meltdown now relentlessly heaving upon the nation, spending money is dwindling. So, what is your favourite drink?

Goodbye Twizza
According to research done by The Aloe News, “Twizza Soft Drinks was founded by Ken Clark in 2003. The soft drink production far surpassed that of the already prosperous dairy – and the factory thrived so much. In November 2012, a second facility was opened up in Middelburg. 

Today, despite competition from international soft drink brands, Twizza supplies loyal consumers in the Eastern Cape and beyond.” Information gained from the official website reveals. However, Harare authorities maintain that nutritional and ingredient contents are falsified to meet local laws. In addition, foreign-manufactured goods use cheaper ingredients as compared to local ones. This non-labelling of products has given rise to disease causing rumours.   

Cancer saga  
Zimbabweans can be easily swayed by rumours. It all began when people peddled lies that Bompies, a plastic-packaged cool drink was manufactured in South Africa. However, this rumour is false. Bompies are a local product and the owners had to run full-page adverts attacking the rumour that their product is cancer-giving. Since then, the product has lost its market status; with children most consumers now shun it for other products. 

The manufacturer had to cough around $4 000 for a full page advert in a local weekly read by The Aloe News in  a bid to counter the news. The rumours regarding the cool drink can be linked to angry competitors who sought to manipulate the market by spreading false news, phenomenon common within many markets in order to discredit a popular brand using social media platforms, noted a company executive.   

Dragon kick   
Red Bull is a leading energy drink – and is believed to give users ‘wings’. Dragon, an imitative power drink was supposed to substitute the expensive product as it peddled around $2 a can. Before long, the energy-providing drink was booted out of the Harare market.

“Dragon was one of my favourite drinks since I stopped taking alcohol. Compared with other energy drinks, its price is fair and affordable.” A customer approached by The Aloe News revealed. Retail groups say most outlets were enforcing government’s directive to discontinue selling the product though some sections are yet to comply.   

Illicit substitutes 

While Twizza exited the beverage scene, beer brewers still face stiff competition from illicit brews such as Msombodia emanating from bordering Mozambique. The brew has found willing takers because of its instant kick prowess, with 43 percent alcohol content – a feature absent in local alcoholic drinks. 

Such is the impact of the illegal brew that Delta a subsidiary of SAB Miller suffered a considerable downfall in consumption in 2013. Lagers cost anything above $1.50 while illegal brew is pegged at only $1.  

“We drink bronco (cough mixture) and Msombodia because they are highly intoxicating and last longer than other substances on the market.” – The Aloe News  

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