Jamaica Observer | Sunday, February 05, 2012
The eleven graduates of National Bakery's first Bold Ones campaign say it has helped them brand awareness, increase respect and market penetration, and gain local and international contracts.
National's chairman, Butch Hendrickson, introduced the $25 million investment in those "Bold" enough to go into manufacturing in an effort to revitalise the sector.
"We wanted to encourage Jamaican manufacturers to come to the forefront and position themselves at par with the best in the world," Hendrickson said.
"This is an initiative to highlight and showcase the people who are into manufacturing, and are working towards creating opportunities and contributing meaningfully towards the country's economy."
The company is now looking for a new crop of companies for Bold Ones 2012.
"We are now working on plans to launch a 2012 campaign, in which a new batch of 'Bold Ones' will be selected and encouraged in a practical way," he said.
"There are many promising manufacturing companies in Jamaica. We have only begun to uncover the depth of talent and innovation that our local manufacturers have to offer, and we are expecting even bolder initiatives in the future."
In 2010 eleven companies were selected to be 'Bold Ones' from a shortlist of 18. Selection was based on four criteria: each had to be no more than seven years old, employing at least five persons, using indigenous resources in the manufacturing process, and being tax compliant.
They were: Spur Tree Spices Jamaica Ltd, producer of jerk seasonings and sauces; Home Choice Enterprises Ltd, producers of peppered shrimp, guava cheese, boneless saltfish and curry and jerk sauces; Chocolate Dreams, offering a range of chocolate delights; Yono Corporation, which manufactures cleaning agents, toiletries and cosmetic supplies; AMG Packaging, producing packaging materials; Pastry Passions, with a range of pastries and cakes; Country House Products, offering lemon grass products, tea, body care products, shampoos and candles; Banyan Creations, also producing candles and bath products; Adduci Jamaican Cigars, reviving what was once a major Jamaican industry; West Indies Gypsum Company, manufacturing ceiling tiles, and Jerk Place & Restaurant, producers of Matie Sauce, a multi-purpose jerk dipping sauce.
These companies benefited from broadcast and print media features, advertisements on National trucks that travel the island, and a grand showcasing of their products at Expo Jamaica 2010. The programme also underwrote full photo shoots and the production of a 5-minute video for each manufacturer to use in their marketing and promotions efforts.
Dr Andre Jones, principal of Yono Industries said that he recently signed a contract with a distributor to manufacture mouthwash, shampoo and conditioner. Once this is implemented, he says, he expects to see a significant financial increase.
And he encouraged other manufacturers to join the programme: "The Bold Ones campaign will increase your visibility with the public and will help to give validation to what you are producing."
George Hugh, CEO of AMG said his company's profits have "definitely" increased. In June of 2010 AMG became the tenth company to list on the Jamaica Stock Exchange Junior Market. The packaging and paper company won the confidence of hundreds of investors, raising $213 million in its initial public offering.
Brian Walks, Managing Director of West Indies Gypsum, credits the Bold Ones campaign with enabling his growing company to gain "a manufacturing and supply contract with a major marketing and distribution company"..
Spur Tree Spices has also ramped up international marketing, and its products have won a number of awards, including the Jamaica Observer Food Award for Best New Sauce for 2010/2011.
Home Choice Enterprises has redesigned its website and created a presence on Facebook and You Tube, using video clips and features sponsored under the Bold Ones campaign. Managing Director Kareema Muncey notes, "These moves have helped us to target the overseas market as well".