South Africa’s Libstar Stakes on Yoghurt to Boost Market Share

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Enterprise Television- South Africa’s Libstar Stakes on Yoghurt to Boost Market Share

South Africa’s Libstar Holdings Limited is launching a new range of yoghurt in a bid to gain market share from French group Danone and local leader Clover Industries in the country’s competitive dairy sector.

The Chief Executive, Andries Van Rensburg said that the new yoghurt ranges and shakes, traded by Libstar unit Lancewood will be launched by July.

Yoghurt makers are increasingly trying to market yoghurt as a health-conscious and nutritious food or shake, which can also be consumed as a snack on the go, tapping into rising demand for convenience food.

Libstar launched on the Johannesburg bourse in May. Its shares have fallen more than 20% since their debut, underperforming the local all-share index, which has inched up more than 1% in the same period.

The company had sales of R8.8 billion in 2017, an increase of 10 per cent.

Van Rensberg said “We plan to grow our market presence significantly with our new range of yoghurts” but did not give figures.

The company is also expanding into the convenience food sector, targeting South Africans who have fast-paced lifestyles and require quick and healthy meals. It bought Millennium Foods last year to bolster its convenience meal offering.

The Financial and Commercial Director, Robin Smith during an interview said “People are getting busier and busier. If they are cooking at home they are looking to buy prepared ingredients. So convenience is a big trend.”

The higher-margin convenience foods space in retail is dominated by upmarket Woolworths, while Shoprite has been expanding its higher-end Checkers chain of stores and doubling its offering of convenience foods.

Libstar also plans to expand its product offering to the food service industry by offering prepared meal ranges like lasagne to pubs, hotels and restaurants.

Smith said “That hasn’t been penetrated so we see that as a big growth area for us in food service with convenience.”