UK supermarket group sells 40 000 vuvuzelas

WHEN UK supermarket group Sainsbury's announced it would increase trade with Africa, few thought this meant they would add vuvuzelas to their product line.

WHEN UK supermarket group Sainsbury's announced it would increase trade with Africa, few thought this meant they would add vuvuzelas to their product line.

Spokesperson for the group, Thomas Knorpp, said so far they have sold 40000 vuvuzelas, at £2 (about R22) each.

"We figured that it was going to be part of the World Cup given that it is such a traditional instrument for South Africa. We have sold over 40000 since May 19. We were confident enough that they would do well."

The instruments form part of the company's World Cup special promotions, which include recipes of the favourite dishes of competing countries.

They even got a special mention in the first quarter trading statement by chief executive Justin King who said yesterday: "Our World Cup range is selling well and our vuvuzela horns are a 'must-have' item for football fans."

Knorpp said they had a few of the trumpets in the press office but, "we have not been allowed to play with them".

The use of the vuvuzela has created intense debate over whether they should be allowed into the World Cup stadiums. Fifa has said it would not ban them, unless fans blew them during the singing of national anthems or used them as weapons.

South Africa is the third largest supplier of fruit to Sainsbury's, which said it planned to increase trade with Africa by £250 million (R2,82billion) over the next five years.

Earlier this year, President Jacob Zuma paid a visit to one of their shops in Greenwhich while on his state visit to the UK. - Sapa

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