Over the last several years, SonySugar has evolved into the symbol of sweetness in many retail outlets and countless households. Consumer market surveys indicate that consumers easily resonate with our brand’s sweetness and value proposition.
SonySugar is packed in both bulk format and 25/24kg shipper bales of branded sugar to address the demand by our distributors across the country.
The target niche for SonySugar is a broad demography, comprising of males and females aged twenty years and above; high and low income earners residing in the urban, periurban and rural areas. The market is mainly segmented by size of consumer pack and type of sugar. The larger consumer pack sizes of 5kg and 2kg are targeted at the upper and middle income group, whereas the smaller consumer packs of 1kg, ½kg and ¼kg are targeted at the lower income group.
In terms of market segment sales, the two sectors have an equal share of market penetration. However the smallest pack size – the six gram sachet - is mainly a hotel, restaurant and institution pack where convenience, hygiene and individual pack integrity is demanded. Because of these attributes, it is a ready pack for airlines and hospitals.
The type of sugar - white or brown - is segmented by geographical considerations and usage. SonySugar white is generally chosen for table use, whereas SonySugar Brown has established a loyal customer base in the rural areas and in certain geographical zones in the Rift Valley and Southwestern regions of Kenya.
The brand’s growth in the branded pack variant market has increased steadily over the last several years especially following the Superbrands award and marketing investment of years 2009 to 2011. Company gross sales turnover, including sales of bulk sugar in 50kg and 25kg pack format, have grew significantly into billions of shilliing and projected to stabilize above Kshs.7 billion annually for the next five years.
The brand has made in-roads in the sugar market and become the un-disputed number two brand in terms of consumer preference and market presence. The only limitation to the brand growth has been inadequate production capacity of the manufacturing plant. The 6gm sachet pack variant continues to be the only sugar miller packed sugar sachet in the Kenyan market commanding a significant share of retail sales, and hospitality industry consumption – hotels, restaurants and other entertainment joints. Prior to its launch, in 2004, sugar sachets were packed by commodity middlemen, but SonySugar sachet has proved that the segment has a good return on packaging investment (ROI). The SonySugar sachet continues to be the sugar sachet of choice for the hospitality industry and Nairobi Hospital in-patient use. These outlets fall in the category of respected institutions who demand top quality products, thus affirming the high quality standards of SonySugar sachets.
The brand communication has received accolades in the local sugar industry throughout it’s advertising years as the most interesting and memorable. The brand communication has evolved from the original sugar mouth mnemonic in 2002, into two television commercial versions, one strongly positioning the brand on a sweetness platform and the second developing an emotional appeal as the brand that savours life’s sweet moments. The brand’s underlying message “My Sweety” is commonly used in conversation among young consumers. The brand advertising is set to be re-freshed in the coming years to further uniquely position the brand and strengthen its heritage.
The Company achieved ISO 9001:2008 certification in July 2009 and the Diamond Mark of Quality in April 2010, demonstrating its commitment to international and national standards in its continual improvement in products and service delivery. In its quality policy statement, the Company commits to provide quality products and services that meet and exceed customer requirements and expectations through continual improvement of the Quality Management System (QMS). The Company attained ISO14001 certification in environmental management in year 2010 signifying its commitment to conduct its business with due consideration to sustainable use of natural resources so as to conserving the environment for progeny. In the year 2015, the Company attained certification in Laboratory Management System to ensure that its laboratories are internationally accredited.
SonySugar is a unique granular sugar made from clean, fresh, mature cane. SonySugar offers two choices to the consumer. The irresistible SonySugar White with an appetising aroma is tastefully packed and stands out on the shelf.
SonySugar Brown has added nutritional value as a result of minerals derived from residual molasses content. The presence of trace molasses gives SonySugar Brown its distinctive colour and sweetness. SonySugar is packed in consumer packs ranging from 5kg, 2kg, 1kg, ½ kg, ¼ kg, to 6gm sachets.
Recent retail trends have seen growth in consumer traffic into supermarkets and hypermarkets, and the key strategy for SonySugar is to grow its share of supermarket shelf. This is the underlying reason for the consistent marketing spend behind the brand which, coupled with factory optimisation, should increase SonySugar share of market in the branded consumer pack segment.
In its endeavor to develop partnership with its customers, the Company opened a regional sales office in Kisumu City in November 2009 and established a depot to effectively serve this market in June 2012. The office and depot play a significant role in closing gaps in distribution and ensuring that the brand is consistently available on the shelves. Sales in the region served by the Kisumu depot have increased fourfold, thus significantly contributing to overall profitability.
The Company’s strategic plan 2009-2014, which formed the strategic direction in the years of the brand’s re-launch, has been replaced with strategic plan 2014-2019. The 2019-2024 corporate strategy focuses on building the brand’s market locally and abroad, expanding the sugar product range and creating value addition in the by-products of the sugar process. The new expanded revenue streams are envisaged in electric power cogeneration, ethanol production and its derivatives and conversion of bagasse to other value adds such as briquettes and fibre board.
SonySugar is recognised in the market as the brand with a unique and interesting advertising campaign. The television advertising campaign, developed in 2008, was revamped in year 2010 with the objective of developing a strong brand image and creating an emotional bond with its consumers. The popular soul track “You are my sweety.…” struck a nostalgic note with the older target group yet remained exciting for younger consumers who continue to enjoy soul music of the 1970s. The brand slogan “Simply The Sweetest” is true to the brand, as SonySugar is known for its distinctive sweetness and delivers on the brand promise of sweetness.
A new advertising campaign is in development to further strengthen the brand and develop its e-motional heritage. The new campaign will close the marketing gap resulting from the functional brand positioning. The brand is advertised across all media - television, radio, daily newspapers, billboards, sales vans, shop branding and in-store. To capture the young tech-savvy consumers, the band will maintain a strong social media presence.
SonySugar brand stands out on the shelf as a clean, high quality and authentic product. The brand values are quality, aspiration, value for money and integrity. It is perceived as a brand that delivers on its weetness promise. A survey conducted in October/November 2009 indicates that it is the brand that is most associated with distinctive sweetness. SonySugar’s personality is:-
- Authentically Kenyan
Annual customer satisfaction survey carried out in Febuary/March 2015 indicated that the satisfaction index is on a growth trend with 74.8% of customers interviewed indicating they are satisfied with the brand. A significant 72% of customers interviewed indicated they were likely to recommend the brand in future.
The brand logo - two stalks of healthy sugarcane joined by a gold ribbon - conveys its rich distinctive quality, a key commitment of the brand. The brand colours of gold, chocolate and green are appetising and make SonySugar an easy pick from the shelf.
The Company has implemented a stringent system of quality checks right from receiving of cane, through the entire milling process and packaging to ensure that each pack of sugar reaching the final consumer is consistent in all aspects of quality