Chemgrit Food is a division of the Chemgrit Group and is dedicated to supplying a range of ingredients and raw materials to the local food and beverage industry. It has its head office in Jet Park with offices in Durban and Cape Town.
The Chemgrit Group of companies has close to three decades of experience in supplying products to a diverse range of industries including food, cosmetics, abrasives, paints, coatings and plastics. The food division was formed in 2000 when the company identified a gap in the market that it could fill using its already well-established ability to source products internationally, through its already established network of suppliers and by seeking out new suppliers.
“We recognised that due to our contacts and experience we were in a unique position to create and build relationships between suppliers and customers bringing them together to find the best solution for all,” explains Margaret Carter, product sales manager. She explains that it is the group’s flexibility and ability to adapt that sets it apart from other suppliers. “It is not just about presenting a set portfolio of products to potential customers, it is about listening to their needs and then matching them to the supplier that can satisfy their needs optimally. If this means sourcing a new supplier then that is what we will do.”
The division started out very small with gelatine and MSG being the first products it supplied. Gelatine has since become a key product for the company and it has developed a unique knowledge of this product which Carter herself champions. The company now supplies various grades of gelatine to a wide range of food manufacturers and is constantly looking for new and innovative products to bring to customers.
From these two products Chemgrit Food has added several other key focus products, including caseinate, sodium cyclamate, sodium saccharine, onion and garlic powder, sugar and sugar alternatives to its offering. “We source these items from all over the world including from Europe, Far East and India. This enables us to offer flexibility in terms of product supply, quality and price,” explains Lucinda Cordia, Chemgrit Food general manager.
Relationships are at the core of the Chemgrit Food business. The company is happy to work with companies of all sizes. It offers small packs as well as a repacking service that allows it to service small to medium size enterprises who do not need or who are not in a position to order bulk product.
It also provides customers with access to industry knowledge and the division has access to both local and international laboratories should customers require assistance with product testing and formulations. “In a country like South Africa, there are so many entrepreneurs who operate small food manufacturing facilities. They are experts at supplying the end product to the market, however they often need advice and guidance, and this is where Chemgrit Food has developed many long-lasting relationships,” says Cordia.
Accredited and committed
Chemgrit Food is ISO 9001 accredited and is a member of both SEDEX and SAFFI. The division is also committed to keeping up with international trends and apart from the past two years where the Covid-19 pandemic has made travel impossible, representatives regularly attend international industry expos and visit suppliers to check on their facilities first-hand.
According to Cordia, the past two years have been extremely challenging and the effects of the global supply chain crisis are still being felt, however, thanks to the excellent relationships it has with its suppliers, the division has managed, for the most part, to ensure its customers have had access to the necessary ingredients.
Food trends are constantly evolving. The growth in plant-based eating, the move towards healthier alternatives including sweeteners and sugar alternatives, plus a growing focus on food safety has presented the company with new opportunities for growth and development. “While it is daunting and difficult to keep up with some of these changes, it is exciting and we remain committed to finding the best product solutions for our customers,” says Cordia.
Chemgrit Food supplies ingredients to the following food manufacturers:
- Snacks & Sweets
- Spice & Condiments
- Beverages (including wine and alcohol industries)
- Bakery & Confectionary
- Processed Meat Industry
Chemgrit Food supplies
- Sugar products
- Dried powders (sodium caseinate and whey powder)