SOUTH AFRICA – Libstar, one of South Africa’s leading Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) manufacturers and distributors, has launched two No Added Sugar yoghurt flavours, in a bid to meet consumers demand of healthy and nutritious products, triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new variants are Double Cream No Sugar Added Strawberries & Cream and Low Fat No Sugar Added Blackberry & Cherry, launched under the group’s dairy subsidiary, Lancewood.

This follows the company’s debut of ‘Piece o’ Cake cheesecake mix,’ an all-in-one product coming already mixed and prepared in a convenient tub, as a result of increased baking at home during COVID.

Other than rise in demand for healthy foods, COVID-19 pandemic has brought about notable at-home consumption trends, with shoppers looking for convenient and affordable products.

To this end CPG companies across the world have had to adapt to the significant changes by constantly innovating new products.

Innovation drives Libstar’s focus

According to a McKinsey & Company survey titled Reimagining consumer-goods innovation for the next normal, innovation pipelines need to be reset to help consumers thrive in their new reality.

Understanding and meeting the needs of changing consumer behaviour is a priority on Libstar’s innovation agenda.   

“We’re passionate about innovation and across the Libstar family, we have numerous new product development teams that are dedicated to innovation throughout the year.”

Johan Greeff – Chief Growth Officer at Libstar

During 2020, listed group Libstar launched or renovated a total of 624 products to the market.

The group continued to partner with its retail customers and invest in critical market insights that leverage key consumer lifestyle and category trends.

Libstar announced a 4% increase in revenue in its recently reported 2020 annual results, a testament in part to its diverse portfolio of relevant, industry-leading products and brands.

Critical to the resilience demonstrated by the group is also its brand solution strength, which includes Libstar brands, private label and dealer-own brands as well as principal brands across five distinct categories.

“We’re passionate about innovation and across the Libstar family, we have numerous new product development teams that are dedicated to innovation throughout the year.

“Libstar’s entrepreneurial spirit has and continues to contribute to our ability to adapt to changing consumer behaviours with continuous innovation and improvement across our diverse portfolio of over 9,000 products,” Johan Greeff, Chief Growth Officer at Libstar says.

Home consumption on the rise

This agility has underpinned innovation in the Libstar family during the times of COVID, making it soar during the tough operating period characterised by lockdown restrictions, work-from-home, and health concerns which have concentrated people in their homes.

This has contributed to an increase in at-home cooking and baking as consumers look to recreate their favourite take-away meals and restaurant-quality dishes in their own kitchens. Many of these lifestyle changes may well endure into the post-COVID future.

“We’ve seen a clear jump in demand in the spices and seasonings category as consumers have changed their long-established shopping and usage habits.

“There is increased interest in global cuisine as consumers have looked to counteract lockdown food boredom and ‘travel through their tastebuds.

“Of course, the family’s health has also been top of mind, so offering products free of perceived ‘nasties’ has been important,” Shelley Barnard, Marketing and New Product Development Manager at Cape Herb & Spice said.

For the Libstar family, consumer-centric innovation and new product development will remain a group-wide priority as the world anticipates the post-COVID future.

Change is the one constant the fast-moving CPG industry can be assured of and the future-proof industry leaders will be those who can adapt to meet the changes head-on.