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Tiger Brands centenary: From family business to FMCG giant

Tiger Brands, one of Africa's largest independent fast-moving consumers goods producers, marks its centenary this year. As one of South Africa's oldest ongoing businesses, Tiger Brands has housed and produced some of the country's most well-known household brands - including Jungle Oats, All Gold, Koo, Fatti's and Moni's and Black Cat - for up to 100 years.

Source: Supplied
Source: Supplied

Tiger Brands began its journey as a small family-owned business in 1921, based in Newtown, Johannesburg. In 1925 the company, then known as Tiger Oats Limited, launched a breakfast oatmeal brand called Jungle Oats which featured the iconic Tiger in the grass logo that remains a firm favourite on breakfast tables across South Africa.

In the decades to follow, Tiger Brands grew from these modest beginnings through acquisitions and clustering of businesses that cover food, home and personal care brands to become one of Africa’s largest listed manufacturer of fast-moving consumer goods.

The company’s portfolio of products includes many iconic brands, with several in existence for close to a century or more. These include Cross and Blackwell Mayonnaise, Rose’s cordial, Oros, All Gold Tomato Sauce, Fatti’s and Moni’s, Mrs Balls, Jungle Oats, and Black Cat.

Under 100-year-old brands in the Tiger Brands portfolio also include Tastic, Koo, Golden Cloud, Albany, King Korn, Morvite, Beacon, Albany, Ingram’s Camphor Cream and Doom.

“Our quality and affordable brands have become trusted staples in homes, and we are grateful to our South African consumers and customers, farmers, business partners and suppliers for the support that has seen us grow from being a small startup to one of the largest consumer goods companies on the continent. It motivates us to act on our purpose to meaningfully nourish and nurture more people’s lives every day in a way that promotes the wellbeing of consumers and growth in our economy,” says Noel Doyle, CEO, Tiger Brands.

“To have come this far despite everything we have faced as a business and as a country demonstrates the resilience of our company, the strength of our brands and the quality of our people. Over the years, there have been moments during which we have fallen short and we have learned valuable lessons on the way. From these moments, we grow stronger and I commend our people for the commitment and perseverance they have shown.

“We hope that our story will serve as inspiration to the many small businesses and startups that are working tirelessly to create sustainable entities and make a considerable contribution to the local economy and people’s lives,” says Doyle.

Iconic advertising

Some of South Africa’s most recognisable television commercials pay testament to how Tiger Brands products have over decades settled in the hearts and minds of South Africans. From Koo's ‘Mama Themba’s Getting Married’ to All Gold Tomato Sauce’s ‘Tastes real good’ and ‘Thirty-six’ commercials, there are many examples of songs and jingles that are easily recalled from memory by those who grew up when these commercials were flighted.

“We are humbled that through our brands, well-entrenched in the fabric of South African society, we have been part of special and memorable events in the lives of so many South Africans over a hundred years. As we start our next century, we look forward to being part of many more of these moments across South Africa and into Africa,” says Noel Doyle, CEO, Tiger Brands.

Investing in communities

Tiger Brands states that it has worked to entrench itself in South African communities beyond just products. This includes supporting and developing local small-scale Black farmers through its Enterprise and Supplier Development Programmes, which was recently awarded Best Supplier Development Programme at the Absa Supplier Development Awards 2021.

The company also promotes food security and aims to reduce hunger through its CSI initiatives that include: its Food and Nutrition programme in partnership with organisations such as Food Forward, SA Harvest and Gift of the Givers; its university nutrition programme Plates4Days; school and community food gardens in partnership with Food and Trees for Africa; and the Tiger Brands Foundation in-school breakfast programme.

“We are looking forward to continue playing an active role in the growth and development of South Africa and the rest of Africa, and to innovate and produce new iconic brands that will continue to be loved and recalled 100 years from now,” says Doyle.
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