J O Y
F O O D S
ALL JOY FOODS:
REC I PE FOR SUCCESS
All Joy Foods FEATURE
Marci Pather, founder and CEO of All Joy Foods Ltd, speaks to Jane Bordenave about the importance of local knowledge and innovative processes in the manufacture of products.
ll Joy Foods Ltd is the second largest producer of sauces and dressings in South Africa. It was formed 23 years ago by food technologist and entrepreneur Marci Pather who believed that “South Africans should have access to quality tomato sauce at affordable prices” - something he did not have growing up. Determined to offer this “luxury” to all, All Joy uses “local knowledge and local ingredients in innovative ways” to produce “affordable luxuries for the mass market”. “All Joy focuses on sauces and dressings predominantly, that cover a wide range of tastes in the South African market,” says Pather. “Under the All Joy brand we have many different types of sauce-based products, covering everything from Italian cuisine through to Asian cooking. “Our products come in various packaging sizes,” adds Pather, “which is very important. One of our best sellers is a two-litre bottle of tomato sauce. While this may seem excessive to people looking in, from outside the country, South Africa is still very community based and groups of people will come together to buy ‘luxury’ products like sauce and subsequently share it.” All Joy, he continues, also produces individual servings of condiments ranging in sizes from 8ml or12ml to 50ml, such as chilli sauce. “It is not practical to take a large tub of sauce out to the beach, for example, but these smaller volume packets enable consumers to enjoy our products away from the dining table,” Pather says.
PRODUCING AND MANUFACTURING MORE EFFICIENTLY This kind of innovation is very important to the Johannesburg-based food producer and is key in helping maintain competitiveness in a market that is “dominated by large, multinational sauce and snack food manufacturers”. www.southafricamag.com
All Joy Foods FEATURE
“There are three ways in which All Joy uses innovative practice to differentiate itself from these competitors: Local knowledge, its manufacturing process and flexible packaging,” says Pather. “We use local knowledge to identify homegrown tastes and opportunities; this is something that really does set us apart,” he says. “You have to understand the local market and, as an organically grown, black South African business, we are at an advantage, which we have for example, put to use in developing of our large volume products. “We also know that there are many consumers who don’t use sauces in their cooking or with their meals. This can present a challenge however we have addressed this, by using local ingredients and making sauces that suit local tastes and cuisine.” The Veri Peri sauce range is a case in point. All Joy has created a recipe combining a fusion of South African, Mozambique and
Portuguese tastes indicative of South Africa’s multicultural palette. “The use of indigenous ingredients like African bird eye chilli, a unique recipe and Ndebele inspired design creates an Afro-centric product that honours local tastes and intrigues an international market,” says Pather.
VALUE MAKES FRIENDS, QUALITY KEEPS THEM All Joy began producing condiments and dressings, primarily for the catering and hotel industries and has, over the years, maintained the sense of “value makes friends and quality keeps them”. All Joy is currently expanding globally and looking positively towards the future. But what makes it a success? “There are many factors, for example our production methods and innovative use of packaging go hand in hand,” says Pather. “We try to be as high up the supply chain as possible and focus mainly on the last 100 metres before
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All Joy Foods FEATURE
consumption. We purchase concentrated ingredients, such as tomato paste, then add water and sugar, ready for it to go onto supermarket shelves. “By hydrating at the point of entry in this way, we are able to use more innovative packaging,” he continues. “Competitors often ship their products to South Africa readymade and in order to do this, they use hard, heavy plastic packaging to protect the product during transit. Because the transit times and distances for our finished products are much shorter compared to most other manufacturers, we are able to use lighter packaging that is more practical for the consumer. “Many of the people who buy our products will use public transport, so our light packaging makes it easier for them to carry their purchases home, which results ultimately in costumer satisfaction, which is an important factor to us.”
This method of production and packaging allows for reduced energy consumption, which reduces the cost to the company, consumer and the environment. “Our goal is to strive to be as environmentally friendly and socially responsible as possible while keeping our business as sustainable as we can,” says Pather. “We keep a close eye on waste management and waste reduction, as well as recycling. We also try to run our machines as long as possible, which reduces the number of chemicals we release into the environment during the cleaning process.” Keeping its staff well trained is one of the key ways in which All Joy maintains its high levels of satisfaction amongst customers and end consumers. This keeps its manufacturing plant “even more efficient and effective”. “We place great importance on training and continuous professional development,” Pather says. “Everyone receives training, whether it is maintaining IT skills as technology advances, or basic food training, or continued professional training for our four food technologists. “As a company, we have to be consumer oriented and training is part of that. If staff are not properly trained then accidents will occur, which can damage customer relations – one bad experience and you can lose 50 percent of your client base, so training is absolutely key.”
ENORMOUS POTENTIAL All Joy’s first product was tomato sauce, still the company’s leading product. As more products were added to All Joy’s range, the company used its flexibility to develop new products according to the changing demands of consumers. But when it comes to the future, the company is going to “stay true to its roots”. “We are already a leading BEE employer; 70 percent of our shareholders, 80 percent of our executive staff and 70 percent of our management are black,” says Pather. 6
“Additionally 70 percent of our general staff are black women. We want to take this forward and become the leading organically grown black business in South Africa. “We will look to diversify our product range take our experience and our brands into other food categories as well as sauces. “We are also very seriously examining the prospect of moving outside of South Africa, into other countries by selling spice packs to partners to continue the point of entry hydration process.” This is never easy, but Pather is confident. “We feel we have a winning formula, combining local knowledge and indigenous ingredients with innovative production and packaging methods, which we can successfully transplant elsewhere. We also feel that working in this way can produce new opportunities. “We want consumers, whether they are in South Africa or elsewhere on the continent, to have access to good quality produce that can improve their lives.” END
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Published on Dec 6, 2010