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R75m smart food factory opens in Dube Trade Zone

Home Business Management Finance & Investment R75m smart food factory opens in Dube Trade Zone

A LEADING South African food company, Futurelife, wholly owned by PepsiCo South Africa, opened its new manufacturing facility in the Dube Trade Zone at La Mercy in KwaZulu-Natal on October 5. The company says that this milestone reflects Futurelife’s ongoing commitment to nutrition, innovation, growth, and community empowerment.

With this R75 million investment, Futurelife has established a modern factory that streamlines production processes, enhances efficiency, and embraces flexibility to better meet the evolving needs of people who love the brand. The facility will also have a design studio for developing innovative new products.

PepsiCo South Africa’s commercial vice president, and former MD of Futurelife, Mark Bunn, explains: “This exceptional facility is a testament to our commitment to transforming and improving South Africans’ health and wellbeing. The new factory embodies our dedication to contributing positively to the local community and ultimately the broader economy.”

“The company has its origins in KwaZulu-Natal and has experienced significant growth and success within this region and, over time, in South Africa at large. We are, therefore, unwavering in our commitment to giving back to the very community and economy that has played a pivotal role in our journey.” He adds, “Our dedication extends beyond business as usual; it’s a pledge to support and enrich the local community and economy through our endeavours, ensuring a lasting positive impact for years to come.”

Futurelife general manager, Mike Dos Santos adds: “The R75 million investment has enabled Futurelife to acquire advanced machinery and equipment, ensuring the factory operates at the highest standards. The consolidation of operations aims to bolster the company’s ability to continue to produce high-quality goods.”

Futurelife’s journey started in 2007 on KwaZulu-Natal soil, emerging as a social project with the mission to improve the lives of malnourished and disadvantaged individuals across sub-Saharan Africa. The company’s establishment was marked by a visionary goal: to develop an affordable and convenient nutrition product. A diverse team of professionals including food scientists, technologists, medical experts and dieticians were challenged to create an instant, nutritionally balanced, and delicious product that could be easily prepared with water – and the rest is history.

The original Futurelife Smart Food, the company’s flagship product, was developed as a scientifically formulated, balanced, nutritious, convenient food containing Moducare.
Moducare is a daily immune supplement, made from a patented blend of plant sterols and sterolins.

Over time Futurelife developed a broader product range, emphasising nutrition and health based on its uniquely formulated recipes. The product range expanded to other categories, including bran flakes and bars that deliver Smart Nutrition to South African families. “As we embark on this exciting chapter, we hold close to the values that inspired Futurelife’s journey,” says Bunn. “We are not only investing in a factory; we are investing in a vision that has guided us since inception.”

CEO of PepsiCo South Africa, Riaan Heyl, echoes this sentiment and says, “Through Futurelife we are providing consumers with unique and nourishing products, with the new manufacturing facility in KwaZulu-Natal also underscoring our goal of promoting skills development and diverse, inclusive workplaces.”

“As Futurelife celebrates the opening of this facility, it strengthens its resolve to remain a beacon of progress and community involvement. This step echoes our government’s vision for South Africa’s economic growth, particularly within the manufacturing sector and Special Economic Zones (SEZs), with Futurelife playing an active role in the Dube Trade Zone SEZ,” the company says.

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