Efuta to fully penetrate the market
Said Pieter Greeff, Managing Director of Etosha Fishing, “From the beginning we said this [Efuta] would be a ‘Truly Namibian’ product. The name Efuta implies ‘from the sea’, the colours will be directly related to our country, caught and processed by a Namibian company, and canned by a Namibian labour force.”
Etosha Fishing courted around with the idea of processing and canning horse mackerel as early as April 2012 and research and development followed through. Efuta was officially launched in November 2013 after it was granted a 36 month shelf life by the Namibia Standards Institute (NSI).
Added Greeff, “We thought in the beginning that our biggest challenge would be selling the product because Efuta is a new product and that it would have to compete against Pilchard on the shelves. The market response was unbelievable and we ran out of stock early March. We anticipated a market share of at least 10% of canned fishing in Namibia but it has moved to between 20 and 25%.”
Efuta is currently being distributed in a number of established retail outlets such as ShopriteCheckers, U-Save, OK Sentra and MegaSave Outlets and the product will soon be distributed to neighbouring Southern African Development Community(SADC) countries and Greeff expects to gain significant market share in these countries.
“The NSI is happy with the way in which we have been able to cook the scoot bones to make them softer and it will not be a problem canning the horse mackerel. Acidity is prevalent even with pilchard so we do not anticipate problems,”said Greeff.
The NSI has given Etosha Fishing its stamp of approval and Efuta will bear the NSI trademark after passing numerous audits. About 250 people have gained employment as a result of the product according to Greeff.
The first attempt at canning horse mackerel was made by the joint-venture company Namsov around 1994. Practical problems encountered with the product notably the removal of the scoot bones, and the high acidity of horse mackerel, eventually led to Namsov abondoning the idea.