EVER been to Brazil? Yes, that soccer-crazy South American nation, and say you have never tasted that countryâ€™s chicken? Â
Well, you need not travel to Brazil after all. Chances are that if you have chowed Chicken Innâ€™s famous â€œ2-piecerâ€ or chicken from most retail outlets in the country in the past few months, you could have had a taste of Brazilian chicken.
Thanks to an improved air transport system, Innscor and other leading retail outlets have been able to import cheaper and rather tasty chicken from this South American nation.
This is because Brazil, famous for its mastery of the game of football and glittering fashion shows, is now heavily involved in poultry.
Innscor Africa Ltdâ€™s fast foods division managing director Givemore Munyanyi confirmed his company is importing chicken from as far as Brazil and Argentina because the local bird is much more expensive.
A local bird costs around US$3,50-US$4/kg, a price Innscor believes is not viable for its fast food business.
Munyanyi says a kilogramme of Brazilian chicken, which tastes just as good as the local one, costs much less than the local bird.
Although he did not give the actual price of the imported chicken, Munyanyi said â€œit is much less than the local oneâ€, never mind the freight and various charges that accrue before getting the chicken into the country.
The company says it would, however, stop importing chicken once the local price of the bird stabilises or at least matches current import prices.
Munyanyi said: â€œAll major retail players are importing chicken because of the inhibitive local prices. A shortage of maize and soya beans, key chicken feed ingredients, has resulted in chicken production costs going up, which would obviously mean higher prices for consumers.
â€œThis would have resulted in consumers bearing the brunt of exit prices. The imported chicken is landing far cheaper than the local one and once local prices stabilise we will revert to the local chicken.
â€œThe current levels of business growth we are experiencing is because of the imported chicken. Plus it tastes good,â€ added Munyanyi.
But a shortage of maize and soya beans on the local market, could dent Innscorâ€™s plans to resort to the local chicken anytime soon.
A government land reform exercise meant to empower blacks a few years ago left the countryâ€™s farms idle.
Efforts to increase agricultural output have proven to be an uphill task since then, leaving the country to rely on imports to supplement maize requirement over the years.
Innscorâ€™s fast foods division comprises Chicken Inn, Pizza Inn, Bakers Inn and Creamy Inn. Apart from the fast foods division, Innscor owns significant stakes in ZSE-listed National Foods and Colcom, Kunzwana Lobels and TV Sales & Hire.
BY CHRIS MURONZI