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FMCG News South Africa

Shoprite launches private label range sourced from local SMMEs

Shoprite has introduced a new private label range of food products, dubbed Homegrown, primarily sourced from local small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs).
Renaldo Phillips (Shoprite), Eunice Nyobole (Khayelitsha Cookies), Renee de Sousa (Khayelitsha Cookies), Maude Modise (Shoprite)
Renaldo Phillips (Shoprite), Eunice Nyobole (Khayelitsha Cookies), Renee de Sousa (Khayelitsha Cookies), Maude Modise (Shoprite)

The Homegrown label has been designed to create opportunities for emerging enterprises to thrive in the retail space. With access to market via Shoprite’s 534 supermarkets nationwide, the retailer says the initiative enables SMMEs to get their products onto shelves, increase turnover, and impact their local community by creating more jobs.

This development follows the launch of Shoprite Next Capital in June last year, a business division dedicated to giving small suppliers access to its consumer market.

"‘Homegrown’ speaks to the products within the new private label being 100% made in South Africa by local businesses, while the product range consists of everyday favourites including chutney, tomato sauce, atchar, biscuits, chips and candy. It also provides an opportunity for customers to buy a more quality range at Shoprite stores, without compromising their budget," the retailer said.

All products under the new label are MSG-free, tartrazine- and azo dye-free and made using sustainable palm oil.

The following businesses form part of the initial range of Homegrown products launching into stores. The range will continue to grow as new products and suppliers are added.

Exotic Taste

Exotic Taste was started in 2006 by single mother Amina Abrahams in her home kitchen. Her longstanding relationship with Shoprite began when she started supplying Exotic Taste’s mix vegetables and lemon atchar, cooking sauces and frozen samosas to selected stores.

The business has since expanded to a 200m2 factory in Kensington, Cape Town. Being part of Homegrown has enabled Abrahams to employ more than 30 people, which includes disadvantaged learners from the FoodBev Seta Learnership Programme.

The Homegrown range includes Exotic Taste’s mango and vegetable atchars.

Wonder Snacks

Wonder Snacks is a family-owned and operated business that started in 2017 with a few small popcorn poppers. At the time, all flavouring and packing was done by hand and since then the company has progressed to operating a fully automated popcorn plant in Parow, Cape Town. Wonder Snacks has grown its staff complement by more than a third to 11, excluding directors, by being part of Homegrown.

“Every business wants to make money. For us, it went beyond that, leaving behind a legacy, showing the community that with hard work, you can succeed. Unemployment is a big problem in the country. We want to create a platform to employ more people and contribute meaningfully towards the economy. We have managed to do that in a small way, along the journey,” said co-founder Mubeen Ebrahim.

The brand's Homegrown popcorn flavours include uShatini, Sticky BBQ Chicken, Salt and Vinegar and Butter Salt.

Khayelitsha Cookies

Established in 2011, Khayelitsha Cookies is co-owned by former employees Adri Williams, who bought the indebted company for R1 in 2013, and Eunice Nyobole, who brings 18 years of experience with the business to the table. They have turned it into a thriving Cape Town baking business with 87 employees, who share ownership of the business through a trust.

Khayelitsha Cookies is devoted to empowering and training unemployed women from the local community to hand bake and pack cookies at the company's factory in Parow, Cape Town. The brand's range includes hand-baked Strawberry Flavoured Cookies with White Chocolate Chips, and Lemon Flavoured Cookies.

Gordons Sweets

Adam Gordon is a third-generation confectioner at the family-owned Gordons Sweets. His grandfather, who had a wholesale business selling milk and other products to convenience stores, dreamed of manufacturing his own candy. He soon started selling pulled candy at fairs and trade shows.

Over the past 30 years, Gordon’s Sweets has grown its product range substantially, and now employs approximately 50 staff in Epping, Cape Town. Gordons Sweets still uses the old-school method of single-batch production in copper pots.

The company's sugar candy selection includes quenchers in Fizzy Tropical Fruit, Fizzy Cherry & Apple, and Condensed Milk flavours.

Le BonBon

Johannes Schueler is the founder of Le BonBon Foods, a snack foods and confectionery manufacturer he started in Cape Town in 2012. Le BonBon products are inspired by international trends but based on traditional recipes and manufacturing techniques.

According to Schueler, the company perfected its kettle-popping passion following a visit to San Francisco in 2017, and he returned to Cape Town to put his learnings into practice and create home-tailored recipes with a strong focus on the South African consumer. In the process, Le BonBon has grown to include some 200 employees across several divisions.

LeBonBon’s popcorn flavours include Butter Toffee Flavoured Caramelized Popcorn, Milktart Flavoured Caramelized Popcorn, and Peanut Brittle Caramelized Popcorn.

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