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Tiger Brands committing R100m to invest in food and beverage startups

Tiger Brands, SA’s largest food player, is launching a venture capital fund to invest in food and beverage startups. CEO Noel Doyle made the announcement when the group presented its interim results on Thursday 20 May.

Overall financial performance improved during the six months ended 21 March 2021, but there was a decline in consumer demand in the three months to March. Total revenue from continuing operations rose 8% to R16.4-billion. Tiger Brands has declared an interim ordinary dividend of 320 cents per share.

Bruce Whitfield interviewed CEO Noel Doyle on The Money Show. Here are some quotes from the interview:

It’s a tough growth environment at the moment, but Tiger Brands has done “a reasonably good job”. In the last six months our operating efficiencies are up 6% across all of our plants on average.

Even if you back up the immediate Covid impact over the past year, the trend has not been our friend in terms of absolute volume. We’re seeing across our market, certainly at the top end… lots of pressure on volumes. We’ve got a big chunk of our portfolio where there are serious pricing pressures….CEO Noel Doyle

Part of Tiger’s mission to “create a more courageous culture” is the proposed capital venture fund. It’s putting R100-million aside to bring bright ideas to fruition in the food sector.

With the environment the way that it is and the challenges in the broader market, it’s very clear that with an increasing level of commoditisation in some of our product ranges we need to find something that can give us a growth spurt.It’s a gamble… and as Tiger we need to be a little less risk-averse… and take a punt on some real entrepreneurs!

Hopefully it can help grow our industry and grow Tiger Brands.CEO Noel Doyle

Doyle says the project is still in the early stages, but Tiger “could go up to R10-million” in hard cash.

We’re looking at somebody who’s tapped into the emerging consumer trends – the health and nutrition space, the plant-based foods, convenience and ‘snackification’… Tiger has been talking about these areas for a while but hasn’t yet made any inroads.

We’re hoping we could put a smaller business on steroids, so to speak, and come along for the ride!CEO Noel Doyle

Listen to the conversation below for more detail:

Any fund-related queries may be sent to Venture.Capital@tigerbrands.com.

 

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