Retailers buy by the box full

When we were designing the ColaLife Trial in Zambia (COTZ), we agonised over the unit of sale to retailers. We had some information on the working capital that remote, rural retailers had. But not much. We finally settled on a pack size of one bag of 5 kits as the unit of sale to a retailer. The cost to the retailer of one bag is K18.50 (that’s 18,500 old Kwacha) which means each kit costs him/her K3.70 giving a gross profit margin of K1.30. The contents of 2 bags of Kit Yamoyos (10 kits) would fit in one Coca-Cola crate.

However, we have succeeded in generating such a high demand for the kits – which make money for those who sell them – that the retailers are buying them not by the bag (5 kits) but by the box (35 kits).

Alfred Siachoobe, retailer in buys Kit Yamoyos by the box full
A Kalomo retailer leaving the wholesaler with 2 boxes of Kit Yamoyos. Image credit: Charlotte Mwanza

In Katete, since 5/1/13, our registered retailers have made a total of 47 purchases of Kit Yamoyos from the wholesaler. All but 4 of these purchases were for full boxes. The lowest number of kits bought by a retailer in one transaction was 15 (3 bags). The maximum number of kits bought by retailers in one transaction was 4 boxes (140 kits) and 3 transactions were for this amount.


  1. Well done – what a promising development! Again a situation as so often in life where you spend much time in thinking through so many scenarios about the future and then reality turns out quite differently. In this case so positively.

    All the best with your good work!


  2. Wow, fantastic to hear that demand for the kits with retailers is so strong. They will provide a strong stimulus in the market. I guess the challenge will be ensuring that this is education and needs led, rather than simply satisfying the retailers’ profit incentive. But, that’s a nice challenge to have.

    Best wishes, as ever


  3. Maxwell Tembo says

    How may I buy for my area in Mkushi?

    • Hi Maxwell

      Thanks for your question. We are working on a plan for national scale-up now and this will start in December this year. Are you an individual or part of an organisation we might be able to collaborate with?