Four firms in Africa’s top food producers

Kuwadzana 1 High School students baking during their practical lessons in Harare on Wednesday.

Business Reporter

Four local firms made it into the Top 100 Food Companies in Africa 2020, a list that is compiled by the Food Business Africa Magazine.

The Food Business Africa Top 100TM is a biennial listing of some of Africa’s leading food, beverage and milling companies — the first such listing by any publication.

In a list titled “Celebrating An Industry in Transformation”, the Food Business Africa magazine included local companies National Foods, Lake Harvest, Kefalos and Delta.

The list is meant to be a celebration and acknowledgment of the huge progress and revolution of the food industry in Africa.


“It celebrates resilience, innovation and impact of the vital food industry in the world’s last frontier,” according to organisers.

The listing’s key consideration criteria for a company to make it to the listing includes industry leadership, innovations and sustainability credentials, and community impact.

According to the magazine, the companies that made it to the latest list have had the most positive impact on the food industry in Africa in the last one to three years.

“The very fact that this listing is possible in 2021 is in itself a testimony to the growth and transformation of the food industry in our continent,” notes the magazine.

It said over the past two decades, the African entrepreneurial spirit came to the fore, with local businessmen investing in food companies. At the same time, more international giants from Europe, Americas and Asia also came into the continent’s food industry, investing billions of dollars in the local agricultural value chains, production plants and into the supply chain.

“But the story of the African food industry can no longer be talked about by just listing the multinational companies: the majority of the companies on our list are younger than 30 years and are family-owned local businesses that have grown and created the space in their own right and deserve the accolades that come with this listing,” reads part of the statement by the magazine.

Commenting on Lake Harvest, which has been in existence for just 23 years, the publication said the company has managed to carve a name for itself in Africa’s food industry.

“The company is home to the largest integrated Tilapia operation in the continent, from where high-quality, sustainably produced fish is sourced, processed and marketed to six African countries including South Africa, Zambia and Malawi.”

Kefalos is described as a highly respected dairy brand in Zimbabwe, known for its range of “high-quality cheeses, ice creams, fresh milk, yoghurts, among other dairy products”.

“The company’s products have begun to be exported to neighbouring countries.”


National Foods is Zimbabwe’s largest food manufacturing company, producing a broad range of foods including maize-meal, flour, cooking oil and margarine, among others. The company has a history dating back to the colonial era, with some of its popular brands such as Gloria and Red Seal having been in existence for more than 100 years now.

“Being a century old, the company has been a mainstay in Zimbabwe’s economy, providing a source of livelihoods to thousands of farmers and employees and also contributing towards the development of the country’s food industry,” reads part of the description that accompanied National Foods’ listing.

Delta Corporation is described as the Zimbabwe franchise partner for Coca-Cola, and a major player in the country’s beverage sector.

Delta is also manufactures lager beer, traditional sorghum beer and other sparkling soft drinks, including Schweppes.

There are  ongoing efforts to leverage on the country’s strong brands through the Buy Zimbabwe campaign to promote local consumption and also encourage exports. —