Jamaica’s Caribbean Cream, the manufacturer of Kremi ice cream and novelties, is planning to expand its distribution network on the island as part of a drive to increase sales volumes.
For the financial year 2019-20, the company reported a 10 per cent increase in sales, which General Manager Ryan Peralto credited in some part to the launch of new products.
“Amid it all, the company has in the current financial year proven to be resilient in that during COVID-19 half-year sales grew six per cent to JM$891 million. This is primarily because of the efficiency of the company’s distribution model which takes the products to the consumer through wholesale depots, household vendors and ‘fudgies’ — the bicycle and motorcycle vendors,” Peralto shared during Caribbean Cream’s annual general meeting, held Tuesday at the Knutsford Court Hotel in St Andrew, Jamaica.
During the year under review, Kremi established a partnership in Portmore for the opening of a depot to complement its partnerships which cover downtown Kingston and parts of St Andrew.
At present, Kremi controls three wholly owned depots in Montego Bay and May Pen, with two in St Andrew, and during the year added a new depot in Ocho Rios.
“We are looking to open more depots as we identify those opportunities,” Peralto stated.
The company has also invested in up-to-date cold storage facilities at each wholly owned depot.
As a result of this sustained growth, Kremi’s profits for the first half of the year increased by JM$38.7 million or 110 per cent compared to the previous year. Notwithstanding, profits for the year overall dipped to JM$54.5 million as the price of raw materials rose by 12 per cent. The marketing of the companies new line of products also impacted profitability.
Peralto noted that in response to the higher input cost, the company decided not the pass on the added cost to its consumers but rather, source raw materials at stable prices.
Despite an increase in demand for Kremi products that exceeded the company’s expectation, the general manager said it was able to sustain supplies thanks to Caribbean Cream’s hard-working staff and management team.