SOUTH AFRICA – Promasidor, a consumer-packaged goods company with extensive presence in across Africa, has introduced canned version of its soybean protein chunks in South Africa.

Dubbed Sossi, the new beef flavoured ready-to-eat offering comes in three variants i.e., in rich gravy, hot chilli sauce and tomato sauce.

According to a blog post by Food Stuff South Africa, the launch of the alternative meat product is timely as it offers a cheaper alternative to fresh or canned meat that are currently pricey due to the tough economic environment experienced across the globe.

Other than value for money, the product also promises convenient preparation, tasty food and loads of nutrients.

Managing Director Promasidor South Africa, Shaun Chaplin, explained that the company has long had the soy technology, and the Sossi brand is already well established and popular in flavoured and dehydrated chunks format in its East African markets.

“We’re excited and confident that we have developed a great product ideal for the times, providing affordable, quality, tasty, convenient protein to all consumers,” he said.

The company has kick-started the canning operations at a new Boksburg factory; starting moderately in size but with ample room to expand as the expected volumes grow, highlighted the report.

To ensure success of the new product, Promasidor worked closely with French flavour and fragrance company, Mane, in developing the flavour profiles of the innovative product.

Mane’s VP Business Development and Marketing Flavour Sub-Saharan Africa, Janet Deel-Smith said, “We’re very proud to have worked on this project from the outset – creating something that can improve the lives of South Africans every day.”

Launch of the new product comes at a time when Promasidor is rumoured to considering a sale for US$1.5 billion, according to Bloomberg sources.

The group has not publicly disclosed its intentions to be acquired, however, persons familiar with the situation made this known.

According to the reports, the company is working with an adviser to gauge interest from potential buyers.

The source further revealed that deliberations are in the early stages and Promasidor could decide against a sale if interest is muted.

Ajinomoto, a Japanese food and ingredients maker, holding a significant interest in the maker of Cowbell milk brand, has made no move to liquidate its stakes.

In 2016, Ajinomoto agreed to buy 33 percent of the company for US$532 million, valuing it at about US$1.6 billion, which was 16 times Promasidor’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization at the time.

Founded in 1979, Promasidor manufactures a range of food and drink products i.e., powdered beverages, flavor seasonings, powdered milk, cereals, and other food products.

The group manufactures and supplies processed foods in 36 countries throughout Africa.

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