In Brief You say potato, I say the sky is falling
Results this week also from Aspen Pharmacare, which grew revenue +2% to R38.6bn and gross profit +3% to R16.1bn. HEPS were up +31%. Looking forward, the business has just inked a deal with the Serum Institute of India for the manufacture, marketing and distribution of four Aspen-branded paediatric vaccines in Africa. Moving on, Famous Brands, owner of Steers, Wimpy, and Fishaways, assures panic-stricken tuber afficionados that South Africa does not face a shortage of frozen chips, and that there may be instead an oversupply of the crunchy commodity – a sentiment echoed by CEO of Potatoes SA, Willie Jacobs. This despite a warning by import-export crowd Hume International, which warned of a potential shortage of frozen chips from Europe in the face of increased tariffs. Finally, rebellion in the soy fields as ProVeg South Africa plans to host a “rebellious” Heritage Day braai amid government’s threats to seize vegetarian burgers and sausages in the meat lobby’s naming war. Brands like Fry’s, Oumph!, Meatless Farm, Outcast Foods, Urban Vegan, Veggiewors, OKJA, CultureLab, and B-well are partnering in the event.
Comment: Meat alternatives is a potentially massive new category, based on growing consumer demand for planet-healthy protein alternatives. The meat industry should diversify rather than fight the inevitable.