SOUTH AFRICA – South Africa’s consumer packaged food company, Libstar Holdings Ltd is set to launch new ranges of yoghurt and shakes by July in competition against France’s Danone and other local leaders in the dairy sector.

This is also in strive to gain local market share dominated by Clover Industries, the branded foods and beverages group.

As the consumers shift their tastes and preferences towards health and wellness, yoghurt makers are turning to marketing their food or shake as being ‘healthy and nutritious’, also able to be consumed on the as a snack on the go.

“We plan to grow our market presence significantly with our new range of yoghurts,” said Chief Executive Andries van Rensburg in an interview with the Reuters.

To tap into rising demand for convenience food, Clover has partnered with FUTURELIFE company to launch Smart Drink, a functional drink suitable for consumers on the go.

Libstar, owner of brands such as Goldcrest, Cape Herb and Denny joined the food products index listing on Johannesburg Stock Exchange on May 9,

The company listing which was at US$0.93 a piece gave it a market capitalization of US$565.81 million.

It has been building its capacity especially in yoghurt when it acquired Sonnendal Dairies in 2017 and now it’s expanding into the convenience food sector, targeting South Africans who have fast-paced lifestyles and require quick and healthy meals.

Libstar acquired Millennium Foods last year to expand on its convenience meal offering, a segment dominated by upmarket Woolworths.

Shoprite on the other hand, has been expanding its higher-end Checkers chain of stores and doubling its offering of convenience foods.

“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,” said Financial and Commercial Director, Robin Smith in an interview.

The company said it set to its product offering in the food service industry by offering prepared meal ranges like lasagne to pubs, hotels and restaurants as this area presented a potential growth pattern.