Stocktake: Weekly news roundup
It’s been a busy few weeks as Covid regulations end; SA grapples with Stage 6 loadshedding; and dire economic indicators. Yet the sector is growing and interesting refurbs and colabs are underway.
It’s been a busy few weeks as Covid regulations end; SA grapples with Stage 6 loadshedding; and business moves across the industry show an industry trying to consolidate operations and grow, despite the dire economic indicators and everything increasing – from petrol to food to interest rates.
Respite for the canning industry as Tiger Brands extends operations
Tiger Brands will extend operations at its deciduous fruit business Langeberg & Ashton Foods (L&AF) for a further season. The decision was taken after a compact was agreed upon with organised labour, L&AF employees and members of the Canning Fruit Producers Association; that allows the company to undertake the significant risk required to operate the business for the forthcoming season. Tiger Brands will continue to engage with interested parties towards executing a transaction that could provide for the continuation of a sustainable deciduous fruit processing operation beyond the 2022/3 season. In May 2020, Tiger Brands announced its intent to exit the deciduous fruit business, and attempted to find a buyer for the L&AF business, with a view to ensuring a controlled exit through a disposal of the business. In a recent statement, Tiger Brands said it had begun consultations and engagements on the future of the business in June, in the absence of any reasonable prospects of a viable transaction at the end of an exhaustive two-year process: “In recent weeks, a significant number of parties have expressed an interest in further discussions on the possible acquisition of L&AF. However, the conclusion of any transaction would not have taken place in time for any successful buyer to put the required preparations in place to process the upcoming 2022/3 season’s crop. The company, therefore, engaged its key partners on an urgent basis. The flexibility, open-mindedness and good faith shown by all parties in reaching this compact will allow for the rigorous exploration of any new proposals in respect of the company’s deciduous fruit processing operations; while securing the jobs of 250 permanent employees and 4,300 seasonal workers directly employed by L&AF for a further season,” says Noel Doyle, Tiger Brands chief executive officer. “While the processing and marketing of deciduous fruit remain subject to the vagaries of weather, exchange rates and global pricing dynamics, the compact meaningfully contributes to mitigating the risk of significant operating losses in the forthcoming season.” The Company will explore all options while assessing the viability of current interest in the facility. In parallel processes, Tiger Brands will continue engagements with the relevant Provincial and National Government departments, as well as talks with potential buyers who are able to meet the working capital requirements of the business; and have a long-term commitment to ensure the sustainability of the South African deciduous fruit processing industry. Based in the Western Cape, the Langeberg & Ashton Foods Division produces canned fruit (peaches, pears, apricots, apples and guavas) and fruit purees largely for the export market. It also supplies Tiger Brands’ Culinary division (canned fruit under the KOO brand; pulps for All Gold and Hugo’s jam; and KOO Baked Beans); and the baby category (purees for Purity); and 85% of the canned fruit and puree products are exported to markets that include Europe, China, Australia and Japan.
Imperial takes controlling stake in Nigerian FMCG distributor
Imperial, owned by DP World, has announced its Market Access business has completed the strategic acquisition of a controlling stake in Africa FMCG Distribution Ltd (AFMCG), which is part of the Chanrai Group of Companies. AFMCG is a multi-faceted business, distributing products that positively impact the lives of consumers in Africa every day. The business offers a nationwide and best-in-class route-to-market solution across multiple channels in Nigeria. Its services also extend to co-manufacturing, co-packing, sourcing and value-added services in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector. Representing some of the world’s leading multi-national FMCG companies and their brands, AFMCG has a wide-ranging product portfolio and is managed by an experienced, efficient and highly professional team, supported by robust technology and infrastructure. Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, group chairman and CEO of DP World, said: “This transaction is aligned with our ambition of becoming the leading market access and logistics partner in Africa by connecting trade flows into and out of Africa. AFMCG boasts unmatched route-to-market solutions in Nigeria and also offers strategic value to DP World from a supply chain and fintech perspective, in line with our strategic objective of leveraging assets and logistics to create an integrated global supply chain – from factory floor to customer door.”
RocoMamas Drive Thru launched
Spur Corporation has just launched its first RocoMamas Drive Thru in Little Falls, Johannesburg. This follows the launch of its first Spur Drive Thru in 2021. This is another step in the group’s strategy of expanding convenient and profitable channels to meet customer requirements for easy accessibility to preferred dining options. RocoMamas, famous for its Smashburger, will feature custom vibrant visuals and graffiti by local artists to pull through the bold design ethos of the brand. Spur Corporation CEO, Val Nichas, comments: “There are widespread changes in the trading environment, as well as shifting consumer trends. These create opportunities for innovation, which include providing alternative trading channels, such as drive through offerings, new meal solutions and expansion of restaurant formats. As the largest contributor to takeaways in the group and an innovative brand, RocoMamas was the perfect choice for our second drive thru offering.” Nkululeko Zulu, COO of RocoMamas, adds, “This is a key milestone in RocoMamas’ development on the eve of our tenth anniversary next year. We believe the ‘rockstar’ experience of our brand and the different and fresh flavours of our food and ingredients will set us apart from most traditional drive through restaurants. We will also provide value for money offers and a redesigned menu to further expand on our successful product range.”
Design Quarter refurbishment includes new brands
Almost 20 years after its 2005 launch, Design Quarter is upgrading and repositioning itself as a niche lifestyle centre focused on home, dining, leisure and convenience. “The expansion of marque retailers to a more holistic offering will provide customers with a shopping experience that is convenient, accessible, safe and enjoyable,” says Darryl Mayers, joint chief executive officer of Investec Property Fund, Design Quarter’s owners. “The ethos behind the upgrade has been to create a space that is carefully curated, bespoke and connected to Design Quarter’s clientele.” Design and décor have always underpinned the Design Quarter’s offering, and this category is expanding. Cielo, the online furniture and homeware retailer, recently launched its flagship 1,300m2 store; @home will be growing; and European kitchen manufacturer Fabri, Iconomy Design Experience and the relocation of Mr Price Home complete the category offering. The reconfiguration has also facilitated the creation of a ‘Food Street’. The double-volume industrial design concept will create a buzzing food area that spills out onto an outdoor piazza. This will serve as the heart of the entertainment area with greater pedestrian access, landscaping, living sculptures and a water feature. Convenience retailers include Checkers’ new concept store; and Samsung which will showcase the latest in high-tech home appliances. The first phase of the redevelopment is due for completion during August 2022 and the final project scheduled for completion mid-2023 with MDS Architecture.
V&A Waterfront signs plastic pact
The V&A Waterfront has reaffirmed its commitment to lessening the impact of plastics on the environment by signing up to the SA Plastics Pact; as well as hosting a new research study with restaurants in the precinct on ways to eliminate harmful plastics. The Plastics Pact aims to change the way plastic products and packaging are designed, used, and reused. This is to ensure that plastics are valued and not regarded as cheap and easily disposable waste. V&A Waterfront’s custodial services senior manager, Petro Myburgh, said joining the SA Plastics Pact was one more step the Waterfront was taking in striving to be “a neighbourhood free of single-use plastics”; and a world leader in systems-based circular design and innovative plastic waste management practices. And, in partnership with Ocean Pledge, the Waterfront is due to launch a research study involving five tenant restaurants in its food court area where most of this single use plastic is found, to try and eliminate the most harmful of it; while implementing campaign that encourages a shift in consumer behaviour. “Similar programmes in the US showed the potential annual cost saving per restaurant of around R57,000 and 891 kilogrammes of plastic,” said Ocean Pledge’s Diony Lalieu. SA generates 2.4 million tons of plastic waste annually – 41kg per person per year. The global average is 29kg per person. While 70% of plastics waste generated is collected, only around 14% is recycled. A total of 3%, or 79,000 tons, leaks directly into the environment where it manifests in the ingestion, suffocation, and entanglement of marine species.
One of America’s most iconic toy stores is returning to brick-and-mortar retail just in time for this year’s holiday season, reports NBC News. Toys”R”Us will open shops inside every Macy’s store in the U.S. by mid-October, part of a rollout that began last year, the companies announced in a recent release. The in-store shops will range from 1,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet, with the ability to expand up to an additional 3,000 square feet to offer an even wider assortment of products.
Victoria’s Secret & Co has cut about 160 management roles, or 5 percent of its home office staff, and hired a former Amazon.com executive as part of a reorganization following its separation from L Brands last year. The company also named executives to three key leadership roles reporting to chief executive officer Martin Waters. The corporate overhaul includes bringing together the company’s three lines of business — Victoria’s Secret, PINK, and Beauty — under one umbrella. The changes are expected to result in $40 million in cost savings for Victoria’s Secret.
*Additional sources: AdWeek, Total Retail Report, Perch Interactive, CMO Council.
Hard relate to this meme. Ah well, they also make great shoe bags; extra bags for stuff needed at school; bags to carry library books; bags to organise charitable donations; and everything BUT the damn groceries, because I forget. Every. Time!
This week in numbers
8 million tons
Recent statistics show that globally at least 8 million tons of plastic end up in the world’s oceans annually, constituting a mammoth 80% of all sea debris. Among the most common plastic items which end up in the world’s oceans are shopping bags, coffee cups and lids, straws, water bottles, earbuds, sweet wrappers, and take-away containers. “We know that a total of 94% of waste on South African beaches is plastics, with 77% of it being single-use plastics,” said Ocean Pledge’s Diony Lalieu.
QUOTE of the week:
“The products consumers are seeing on the shelves today will be followed by a wave of cleaner, healthier, and tastier alternative proteins, as technology allows for increasing innovation… leading to an overall better consumer product range [in protein alternatives],” comments Bjoern Witte, CEO of Blue Horizon, on Retailing Africa.
Main image credit: Supplied.
*Stocktake is a weekly roundup of current FMCG retailing and brand news, curated and edited by Retailing Africa Publisher & Editor, Louise Burgers. Keep the industry updated and send your announcements and news to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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