Tiger Brands unveils brand new Black Cat peanut butter factory in Krugersdorp

12th April 2024 By: Marleny Arnoldi - Deputy Editor Online

Tiger Brands unveils brand new Black Cat peanut butter factory in Krugersdorp

Photo by: Creamer Media's Marleny Arnoldi

Food processing company Tiger Brands has unveiled a new peanut butter manufacturing facility for its Black Cat brand in Chamdor, Krugersdorp.

Having moved from another facility in Randfontein, the company has invested R300-million in the new facility that offers more space, increased peanut processing capability and the opportunity for research and development to improve its products.

The new facility is located on 8 610 m2 of land and produces, on average, one-million jars of peanut butter a month.

During an official opening of the factory on April 12, Trade, Industry and Competition Deputy Minister Nomalungelo Gina welcomed the continued investment by Tiger Brands in the country, saying it signals the company's confidence and commitment to localisation.

The investment in the new facility marks the single-largest capital investment that Tiger Brands has undertaken in South Africa, to date.

CEO Tjaart Kruger said consumers want more affordable and healthier food options and the company intended to tweak its recipe and packaging to ensure the best price point for consumers.

In particular, the company has upgraded its packaging line for greater flexibility and quicker innovation.

The new facility will enable improved efficiencies and a lower cost profile, allowing Tiger Brands to maintain its prominent position in the spreads market and to remain responsive to customer needs. Additionally, the new factory includes a canteen and training centre that could not be accommodated at the prior facility.

The peanut butter category accounts for 50%, or R1.7-billion, of the total South African spreads market, excluding margarine, and is worth R3.4-billion.

Black Cat peanut butter was first launched in 1926 and has grown to be one of the best-selling brands in the market with five-million kilograms sold every year in formal retail stores. Consumer research shows that Black Cat is found in seven out of every ten South African households.

Tiger Brands culinary MD Dumo Mfini said the significant investment by Tiger Brands would further strengthen and grow a proudly homegrown brand. He added that, as consumers seek value for money, the company is well positioned as one of the top manufacturers in the market to meet their needs of affordability and nutritional value, with the added benefit of superior quality that Black Cat is known for.

The Krugersdorp peanut butter facility produces two ranges of peanut butter – the mainstream variety that contains 91% real peanuts, with the balance of the product comprising sugar, salt and stabiliser, and 99% peanuts variety that contain no added sugar or salt.

Tiger Brands procures between 10 000 t and 20 000 t of ground nuts every year from local and international markets. Mfini noted that about 70% to 80% of the required peanuts were sourced locally, with the balance needing to be imported.

The new facility allows Tiger Brands to remove the peanut skins during processing, which are sold as animal feed. Nearly 60 t of this by-product is extracted and sold every month.

Notably, the peanuts undergo a process of inspection for quality and safety before processing, roasting, blanching, colour sorting and milling. The plant is largely automated but managed to retain the 62 full-time employees that worked at the Randfontein site previously.

Mfini pointed out that peanuts are a major source of protein for many households, with every 100 g of nuts containing 25 g of protein – which is more than eggs.

Given that peanut butter is a staple in many households, Gina is encouraged by Tiger Brands’ plans to make its products more affordable and better suited to consumer needs as they evolve.