R20m investment in producing that valued commodity: chocolate

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1 of South Africa’s most significant sweet and candy suppliers, Richester Foodstuff, has invested R20 million in new chocolate production services at its factory in Centurion in Gauteng.

The owner-managed personal business that started in 2005 presently provides an considerable assortment of confectionery – together with chewy and tricky-boiled sweets, toffees, eclairs, lollipops, bubblegum, chewing gum, ball gum, marshmallows and sherbet – and describes by itself as owning come to be “one of the most important gamers in the sweet sector in Africa”.

It released a domestically manufactured chocolate referred to as Coco Bongo, costing just R2.50 per 21g bar (the exact same body weight as a Chomp or Bar One Mini), in January – and has now marketed around half a million bars.

The Coco Bongo bar is built of milk chocolate and has a creamy centre. Graphic: Provided

The corporation aims to develop its generation capacity to 20 million Coco Bongo bars for every thirty day period more than the up coming two several years.

This is predicted to see the manufacturing unit make use of an added 150 employees to its present workforce.

Richester Foods proprietor and MD Dr Hussein Cassim suggests the economical value tag of the Coco Bongo chocolate bar will improve income along the benefit chain, including for numerous firms, spaza shops and compact vendors.

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“We’ve reverse-engineered the price tag to ensure that our consumers are equipped to make up to 100% profit, even though concurrently marketing Coco Bongo at a remarkably inexpensive selling price for shoppers,” he suggests.

“Rather than asking consumers to conserve for days or months for luxurious chocolates, we want Coco Bongo to be part of consumer’s day by day life.”

Swiss input, African ingredients

He says the chocolate bar, which attributes milk chocolate and a creamy centre, is the end result of exploration and global consultations with “chocolate masters” from Switzerland.

The bars are designed from cocoa mostly acquired from farmers in Africa although other substances are regionally sourced.

“This is a level of pride for Richester Foodstuff,” suggests Cassim.

“As a proudly South African enterprise, we want to perform a meaningful part in position generation, and we do not want to depend on other nations to provide our solution ingredients.”

The maker now employs an supplemental 50 complete-time employees in its new chocolate division, which capabilities in-residence chillers and cold storage amenities as well as laboratories for product screening.

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“There is stiff levels of competition from entrenched manufacturers, but we have the advantage in conditions of comprehension regional preferences and palates, which we’ve integrated into Coco Bongo,” suggests Cassim.

“Going ahead, we also hope to capitalise on marketplace options in neighbouring international locations to increase our footprint and market share.”

“Ultimately, we consider that the chocolate industry provides tremendous expansion probable, with significant prospective for unlocking business enterprise and work options all over value chains,” he adds.

Nondumiso Lehutso is a Moneyweb intern.

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