South African-based cigarette manufacturer, Gold Leaf Tobacco is planning to set up a cigarette plant in Zimbabwe after officially registering its presence on the local market. Gold Leaf launched its brand, Rudland & George (RG) in Zimbabwe on Wednesday as part of a broader objective of expanding further into the region.Gold Leaf country representative Tanaka Matimbe told The Herald Business on the sidelines of the launch that the company sees a lot of opportunities in the Zimbabwean market in spite of the presence of established brands.
"Following the launch of our brand in Zimbabwe, I can safely say we are looking at setting up a manufacturing plant in Zimbabwe but it's still in the planning phases.
"We see great potential in Harare because it is central to our bigger market which is the Southern African Development Community region which we have been looking at getting into. So we have plans to be a manufacturing concern in Zimbabwe," said Mr Matimbe.
He said the company sees Zimbabwe as a springboard into the regional market.
Mr Matimbe said Gold Leaf sees itself as a major player in the region in the near future after having been in existence for the past 16 years. The company is looking at registering its footprint in Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique.
"Gold Leaf Tobacco is a company based in South Africa. We started operating about 16 years ago and we thought it was prudent for us to then come to Zimbabwe and mainly use it as a springboard to go into the other surrounding countries in the region.
"We are looking at launching in Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique. We started selling the beginning of last month. We haven't sold much but we have gotten in two containers and we hope to continue bringing at least two containers a month until the end of the year," said Mr Matimbe.
The launched RG brand is a new cross-cutting brand that can be enjoyed by people from all walks of life.
With three variants already in store, RG is poised to set a new standard for mature, sophisticated and fun loving smokers across the nation.
The cigarettes come in three variants namely RG Toasted, RG Menthol and RG Blue.
RG Menthol cigarettes are a cool tasting brand for the discerning smoker. The chill factor compounded by a smooth smoke stream when inhaled, brings it to the forefront of menthol options on the market while RG Blue cigarettes are for high fliers.
"An option on the market for the mid-range taste smokers, this variant brings together smoothness and subtleness in each drag, with a clean finish," said Mr Matimbe.
He said the RG Toasted cigarettes deliver the best heat factor satisfaction level. Coming into the market at very competitive process, RG boasts the most sophisticated taste for market.
Mr Matimbe said as a Zimbabwean based and owned company, GLTZ is excited at the prospect of creating more jobs.