FOOD: Taste Temptation Turns To Market Sensation
Recent Western Cape Business News
When businessman and entrepreneur Marcel van der Merwe opened the country’s first ever frozen yoghurt store in Stellenbosch in June 1989, few could imagine that some 20 years later, the product would be gaining ground in South Africa and abroad.
Marcel’s product development and factory manager Deon Brand says, “We now have 12 Marcel’s outlets and our products are also stocked by some of the major retailers countrywide. There are plans afoot to introduce branded Marcel’s freezers to various stores around South Africa, where consumers can buy the smaller ‘impulse-purchase’ size or a litre to take home and share with the family.”
Careful planning and management of the Marcel’s brand means that the company is vigilant with its branding and image in the market. “With a print run of around 300 000 labels a month and strict regulations governing hygiene, we had to be careful about choosing a print supplier and a method of printing that met exacting standards.”
Marcel’s is currently Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) certified, recognising the company’s compliance with international food and safety standards practices. It is also working towards its ISO 22000 certification, which defines food safety management requirements that meet or exceed global food safety regulations.
“It was not only for hygiene purposes, but also for the brand image that we chose to print labels digitally. We were introduced to label print specialist Labelpak, and have a relationship with them that goes back eight years now,” says Brand. “They are extremely flexible and able to assist with all areas of our print requirements, and their customer service is exceptional.”
According to Labelpak director Barry Skjoldhammer, the vibrant, crisp colour that a digital printing press produces is ideal for the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector. “Digital printing has impacted strongly and positively on label printing in the food arena. Every brand demands superb quality, not only from a hygiene perspective, but because each is competing for the consumer’s eye in stores.”
Skjoldhammer says that the ink used in digital printing does not permeate the product it is printed on like conventional ink can but forms a thin layer on the surface.
The result is a high quality image that doesn’t deteriorate during the print or storage process.
Marcel’s was sold to a new owner in September 2008, and has plans to develop a much stronger standing in the South African market within the next three years. “It’s vital that we do this with strong, clear branding and continue to offer our consumers the consistent quality that they have come to expect from us,” says Brand.
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