How Premier FCMG is Transforming Africa
Premier is a food manufacturing company based in Johannesburg, South Africa. South Africans refer to it as Premier, but it is registered as Premier FCMG (Pty) Ltd. This company has a rich history, having been in existence since 1820.
Premier produces Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) under several brands. FCMG are products that have a short shelf life. They include beverages, toiletries, confectionaries, packaged foods, and other consumables.
The tough competition between FCMG companies has, over the years, forced Premier to be innovative and expand its market share in the region. In 2011, Brait S.E., an international investment group, acquired more shares to become the majority shareholder of Premier Company. Since then, Premier has expanded its operations to Swaziland, Mozambique, Lesotho, and the United Kingdom.
So far, Premier is operating more than 16 bakeries, three maize mills, seven wheat mills, a biscuit plant, an animal feeds plant, a pasta plant, a sugar confectionery, and feminine hygiene manufacturing plant. The 22 distribution depots across South Africa ensure the smooth movement of products from manufacturing plants to retail stores and ultimately to the consumers.
Premier has struck a balance between expansion, increased revenue and the creation of employment opportunities. This company employs over 7000 people in various operations and has an annual turnover of R10 billion.
With the incredible range of products, Premier supports the local farmers who provide the raw materials. It also supports job creation in the countries where Premier brands are produced.
Premier Operations and Products
Maize and wheat mills
Premier has been milling for the past 130 years. It has seven wheat and three maize mills strategically located in South Africa and Swaziland. Premier mills 515,000 tons of maize and 763,000 tons of wheat annually. One of the maize mills, Kroonstad, is the largest in Africa, and possibly the world.
In addition to milling flour for the local market, the Premier bakeries also use the flour for value addition. So, Premier is the seller, and its subsidiary companies are the consumers. It has four wheat flour brands, the oldest being the iconic Snowflake brand, which is approximately 135 years old. Bakers Pride and Ligugu are popular brands in Swaziland. The maize brands include Nyala, Impala, Iwisa No. 1, and Super Sun.
To maximize product availability, Premier has 14 warehouses strategically located to facilitate easy movement of products. This helps to keep the operating costs low and ensure the market never suffers from a shortage.
Bakeries and Confectionery
Blue Ribbon, Star, Mister Bread, Just Baked, B.B. Bread and S.U.B. are the brands under Premier Bakeries. The 13 bakeries run by this company are located in 9 provinces in South Africa, Lesotho, and Swaziland. About 540 million loaves of bread are distributed annually. The distribution chain consists of a client base of about 45,000 including, retail stores, food service sectors and those in general trade, both formal and informal.
In 2013, Premier acquired the Super C and Manhattan brands for the confectionery department of this company. It produces Marshmallows, jellies, gums, panned chews, compressed sweets, pops and hard-boiled candy. A section of the plant has also been designated for other household products, such as the baking powder, corn flour, custard, bicarbonate soda, icing sugar, and castor sugar. Premier has warehouses to store raw materials and the finished products.
Home and personal care products
In November 2013, Premier acquired Lil-lets and Dove Cotton. Since the acquisition, Premier has produced applicator tampons, maxi pads, non-applicator tampons, maternity products, and intimate care range.
Lil-bet is a popular brand well-known for personal care products. The supply chain covers South Africa, Asia, and Europe. Dove Cotton is one of the most commonly used cotton wool brands.
Export Market for Premier Products
South Arica is the most developed economy in Africa. So, many African countries turn to products from South Africa when seeking authentic products. This perception has helped Premier gain access to other markets within the continent. The bread made in the bakery in Swaziland is exported to Mozambique every day. The United Kingdom is the source market for Lil-let products exported to Ireland, the rest of Europe, select Asian markets and the Middle East.
Premier took over C.I.M. Mozambique in 2015 and is now one of the largest employers in the country. Some of the brands produced and distributed by this company include Pic Niq, Blue Ribbon, Sunblest, Dourado, and Madrugador. This animal feeds, biscuits, pasta, and rice products are exported to the other countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC).