Sales volumes of Etosha Fishing’s locally
caught and canned horse mackerel product, Efuta Maasbanker, have increased
nearly five fold since its introduction to the local retail market at the start
“We are absolutely delighted by the uptake of
Efuta Maasbanker since its inception. During the first year of production we
sold an estimated 80,000 trays. This more than doubled in 2015 to 180,000 trays
and again in 2016 with an estimated 390,000 trays sold,” Etosha Fishing MD
Pieter Greeff says. This translates to nearly 4.7 million cans sold in 2016 as
a tray holds 12 cans.
Efuta Maasbanker was born out of a joint
venture agreement between Etosha Fishing and Erongo Marine Enterprises in
November 2013, which resulted in the canning of 200 metric tonnes of locally
caught horse mackerel as a trial run. The newly canned product was officially
introduced to the Namibian retail market through Shoprite in December 2013 and
is currently distributed by CIC Grundleger to nearly all local retailers.
The new value addition venture was in direct
response to an on-going appeal by the Namibian Fisheries Ministry for
employment creation and value addition in the horse mackerel sector, which is
in line with the Government’s Vision 2030 policy framework. The venture also allows
for a more sustainable fisheries operation with secure, long term employment
for more Namibians.
“The project was driven by Minister Esau’s
vision to put Namibia’s most abundant fish resource in a can, offering the
nation an affordable, nutritious meal from the sea delivered in robust
packaging that has a long shelf life. But to can horse mackerel and think that
your product will take a major share of the market is nothing short of
ambitious. We had to ensure that we introduce a quality product,” says Greeff.
He adds that Efuta Maasbanker was the first Namibian canned product to receive
the Namibian Standards Institution’s (NSI) Standard Mark of Conformity product
endorsement. It is also Halaal certified and carries the Team Namibia product
Since Efuta Maasbanker’s introduction, Etosha
Fishing has responded to market research and feedback to optimise sales. The
product was initially launched in three flavours, namely tomato sauce, chilli
and salt water – the latter being discontinued in recent years due to poor
sales. In 2015 the smaller 155g jitney can was introduced, but was withdrawn
shortly thereafter due to poor uptake. Efuta Maasbanker is now only sold in the
400g can size. Plans are on the cards to introduce a curry flavour. The label
design has also since been refined to make it more attractive to
Despite the short term success of Efuta
Maasbanker, Greeff cautions that the profitability of the product only really
becomes viable with sales in excess of 2 million trays. He adds that the price
is kept as low as possible to ensure affordability, which makes effective
marketing and market expansion into foreign markets extremely difficult. Focus
therefore remains on the local market.
“Despite past and current challenges, Etosha
Fishing is extremely proud to produce a quality product such as this, caught
and canned in the Land of the Brave. Through this endeavour we have once again
committed ourselves to the creation of jobs and value addition to one of
Namibia’s most valuable fish resources,” Greeff concludes.
Established in the 1940s, Etosha Fishing
Corporation is a leading player in the Namibian fishing industry and is
considered to be one of the major round can production facilities in the world.
The company subscribes to the vision "excellence in food processing"
and operates under HACCP compliance and EU Accreditation. All its products
comply with the South African National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications
(NRCS) and Namibian Standards Institution (NSI) regulations and standards.