Consumers welcome milk dispensers
It’s close to a month after Inyange Industries, the country’s food and beverage giant, introduced milk dispensers on Kigali streets.
The automated vending machines are the first of the kind to penetrate the Rwandan marketplace and are strategically located in three areas; at City Plaza (City Centre), Kigali City Market and Kisementi outside Ndoli supermarket.
The introduction of the machines with pasteurized milk has been regarded as God-send by those who have so far used them.
For someone to access the milk it requires him or her to put a Rwf100 coin into the slot, and there are disposable plastic cups available.
Despite those who get the milk and drink it instantly others come with small containers to take home. Some of the consumers who spoke to The New Times testified that the machines have changed their lives.
“I walk a lot in Kigali city and it required me to move with bottles of water but now since the dispensers were introduced I just use Rwf200 to get milk and continue with my work”, said Aimable Nteziryayo, who was found at the Kisimenti dispenser.
He observed that the machines were stationed in appropriate places, near supermarkets.
“This place is conducive you can buy a snack and take the glass of milk and call it a day without wasting too much money going to restaurant”, he added.
He, however, requested Inyange to assign a permanent attendant who would help clients use the machines.
He said that even when the machines run out of milk, there is no body to inform the consumers and people continue losing their money because the coins are not ejected from the slots.
Callixte Mbarushimana, an MTN vendor at Kisementi noted the milk is consumed mostly by students, motorcyclists and the corporate ones who come evening after work.
“People start coming at around 10:00 am but when it gets to noon it’s mostly students and taxi moto operators,” he said.
The dispenser milk is cheaper compared to other Inyange milk products like the Rwf1000 milk pint (litre) and the Rwf500 tetra pack.
The machine has two tanks each with capacity of 300 litres, and according to an official at Inyange the two tanks are finished within three days.
Fina Uwimana, another consumer said, “We needed this kind of technology.”
However, though the automated machines are still only in Kigali, Inyange Industries intends to distribute the machines to other parts of the country.
“We bought few machines just to see how people receive them but we now have plans to roll out the machines in the countryside”, Eugene Mukama the Supply chain manager at Inyange Industries noted.
Mukama further added, “The benefit is that consumers will be able to buy pasteurized milk at much lower prices. Our objective was to give all Rwandans healthy, fresh milk.”
He pointed out that the introduction of the dispensers is part of the new marketing strategy that will help in availing market for the farmers.
Contact email: eric.kabeera[at]newtimes.co.rw