Small Businesses The Backbone Of Shoprite’s New Homegrown Private Label Range

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Small Businesses The Backbone Of Shoprite’s New Homegrown Private Label Range
Credit: © Reuters.

Shoprite (JO: SHPJ ) is the first South African retailer to introduce an exclusive private label product range primarily sourced from local small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs).

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

This comes only months after the launch of Shoprite Next Capital, 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 following businesses form part of the initial range of Homegrown products launching into stores.

Wonder Snacks is a family owned and operated business that started in 2017 with a few small popcorn poppers. Today it houses a fully automated popcorn plant in Parow, Cape Town. The business has grown its staff complement by more than a third by being part of Homegrown, to eleven. Their product range consists of popcorn in various unforgettably tasty flavours such as uShatini and Sticky BBQ Chicken. Co-founder, Mubeen Ebrahim says that with the support of Shoprite, the business has fulfilled its original vision, having gone from supplying its products to independent wholesalers, to partnering with the biggest retailer in Africa.

Wonder Snacks has increased its staff complement by more than a third, to eleven, 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,” says Ebrahim.

“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.”

Their Homegrown popcorn flavours include uShatini, Sticky BBQ Chicken, Salt and Vinegar and Butter Salt.

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. and Eunice Nyobole. They have turned it into a thriving Cape Town baking business with 87 employees. 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 partnership between Adri and Eunice has resulted in a thriving bakery with 87 employees, who share ownership of the business through a trust. “Shoprite and Homegrown have made the impossible, possible. Most SMMEs don’t have direct access to market or the capabilities to be on the shelves of the biggest retailer in Africa,” says Adri.

Eunice adds: “We’re also able to employ more people and through buying our products, customers are supporting many families.”

Khayelitsha Cookies’ range of Homegrown products includes Strawberry Flavoured Cookies with White Chocolate Chips, and Lemon Flavoured Cookies.

Exotic Taste (JO: TASJ_old ) was started in 2006 by single mother Amina Abrahams in her home kitchen. Being part of Homegrown has enabled Amina to employ more than 30 people. Ignite your tastebuds with Exotic Taste’s delicious mango and vegetable atchars. 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 the Homegrown range is the next step in this journey that has not only enabled Exotic Taste to grow but has helped Amina change the lives of the people living in her community. The business now employs more than 30 people, which includes disadvantaged learners from the FoodBev Seta Learnership Programme. “We’re blessed that the largest retail group in Africa has chosen us to manufacture products that will form part of the Homegrown range,” says Amina. Her range includes delicious mango and vegetable atchars.

Le BonBon

Johannes Schueler is the founder of Le BonBon Foods, an innovative snack foods and confectionery manufacturer he started in Cape Town, in 2012.

Their products are inspired by international innovative trends but based on traditional recipes and manufacturing techniques.

According to Johannes, Le BonBon 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.

With a focus on innovation and price point, LeBonBon Foods align perfectly with Shoprite.

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

Gordons Sweets

Adam Gordon is a third-generation confectioner at the family-owned Gordons Sweets.

“My grandfather had a wholesale business selling milk in glass containers, amongst other products, to convenience stores.

“My father had a dream to manufacture his own candy. He started selling pulled candy at fairs and trade shows,” says Adam.

And over the past 30 years, Gordon’s Sweets has grown its product range substantially, and now employs approximately 50 staff in Epping, Cape Town.

“Flavour and quality lie at the heart of what we aim to do. We still stick to the old school method of single batch production in copper pots, using as many popular south African flavours as possible,” says Adam.

Gordon’s sugar candy selection includes quenchers in Fizzy Tropical Fruit, Fizzy Cherry & Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ), and Condensed Milk flavours.

All products under the new label are MSG free, Tartrazine & Azo Dye free and made using sustainable palm oil .

The range will continue to grow as new products and suppliers are added.

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