Ugandan Rena Beverages launches Hibiscus Tea Bags, SA Rooibos tea maker Bos Brands bags investment

UGANDA – Uganda-based Rena Beverage Solutions has unveiled hibiscus tea bags that contain vitamins, iron, and antioxidants among others for healthy living.

Regina Nakayenga, founder and managing director at Rena Beverage Solutions said during the launch that the product targets young adults who are becoming increasingly health conscious and striving to combat lifestyle diseases that are on the increase.

To ensure availability of the raw materials, Rena Beverage has mobilized over 400 hibiscus framers in Tororo, Pallisa, Arua, Luwero, Nakaseke, Noya, Gulu, and Kasese.

“We are working with farmers in these regions both to increase acreage and also to train them in post-harvest handling of hibiscus so that we can maintain quality and consistency in supply.

“In the next five years, we expect to have over 10,000 farmers involved in growing hibiscus,” said Nakayenga.

Professor William Kyomuhangire, Manager of the Food Technology and Business Incubation Center at Makerere University, said hibiscus is a traditional product that has been approved by the Uganda National Bureau of Standards and is now available for all markets.

“This healthy product is not medicine but is used in daily life to prevent these non-communicable diseases.

“I urge Ugandans to emulate such products getting them from the kitchen to markets so as to create value addition in the society,” he said.

RENA Beverage Solutions processes a number of hibiscus-based products such as Ready-to-Drink Juice, Concentrate, Wine, Seed Snacks, and Seed Coffee. Its other herbal products include Okra Coffee, Mpirivuma Coffee, and Rosemary Powder, among others.

SA’s Bos Brands bags investment for UK expansion

Meanwhile in South Africa, beverage firm Bos Brands has secured additional growth equity from an investment consortium to fund the expansion of the Bos Ice Tea brand into the UK from its established base in Europe.

The new investment consortium includes South African Springbok Captain Siya Kolisi, his wife, business director and CEO of the Kolisi Foundation Rachel Kolisi, the Banducci family (which includes the CEO of Woolworths Australia), and a follow-on investment by the Ferguson family in the UK. Investment specialist Shaun Bryans will join the board as part of the deal, representing the consortium, reports Bizcommunity.

“This latest round of funding demonstrates faith in the brand and is critical to entering the key UK market and continue growing one of South Africa’s best-loved beverage brands internationally,” explains Will Battersby, CEO of Bos Brands.

After launching in South Africa in mid-2010, Bos Brands entered the European market in 2013, launching its Rooibos iced tea in the Netherlands, France and Belgium.

Battersby expects Bos Ice Tea drinks to roll out into UK retail outlets during spring 2023.

“We are excited to support Bos Brands during its next phase of growth, leveraging the strength of the brand to help capture the significant market opportunity in the UK.

“All of the members of the consortium are enthusiastic about partnering with management and Invenfin to continue its global expansion journey,” said Shaun Bryans.

Invenfin, Remgro’s corporate venture capital company, partnered with Mazars and Cala Capital Africa to advise on the equity raise. The sum of the latest equity raise was undisclosed.

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