National Foods is Zimbabwe’s largest food manufacturer.

The company was established in 1920 and produces a broad range of basic foods including maize meal, flour, cooking oil, margarine, rice, salt, snacks, biscuits, pasta, sugar beans, baked beans, popcorn, as well as soap and a full range of animal feed. Recently, a maize based cereal has been added to the National Foods product portfolio.

The company’s iconic and home-grown brands Red Seal , Pearlenta, Gloria, Mahatma, Better Buy, ZimGold, National Foods Stockfeeds, Iris, Zapnax, KING and most recently Allegros Popticorn are loved across the length and breadth of Zimbabwe. Gloria and Red Seal have been trusted and esteemed brands in Zimbabwe for over 100 years.

The company has 2 major shareholders; Innscor Africa Limited 37.73% and Tiger Brands 37.45% The National Foods Workers Trust, which was established in 1985 by way of a Donation also owns 9.85% of the company. The beneficiaries of the Trust are the National Foods Ltd non-managerial employees. The company is listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.

National Foods has manufacturing sites in Harare, Bulawayo and Mutare from which it distributes its products throughout Zimbabwe. Our people work passionately to add value to the lives of our customers and consumers through our products; striving to continuously improve our existing products as well as progressively adding new categories to our portfolio.

Our History

The National Foods story is one of how two families, the Harris and the Palte formed two separate businesses and then merged them half a century later to create one company. Mark Harris and J Palte had a close association as Mark had worked for J Palte in 1915 in Bulawayo. This first entrepreneurial venture was not successful as they dissolved their partnership three months later. National Foods corporate roots can be traced back to when the British South Africa Company (BSA Co) bought into the Mark Harris Manufacturing Co on the 1st of July in 1920.

Joseph Palte founded J Palte Company in Bulawayo in 1908, trading as a produce merchant and a miller. His son Jack Palte joined his father’s business and then took over running the company in 1934 when his father passed on. In 1949, Jack Palte sold a stake of the business to Tiger Oats and it became the major shareholder. This was the beginning of the long, rich partnership that has developed and still exists between Tiger and National Foods.

Mark Harris set up Mark Harris Manufacturing in 1915 and in the years that followed, he established the first roller maize and flour mills in the country operating as the Atlas Mills. This is where the ‘Atlas’ brand was born. In 1920, he sold a stake of his company to the British South Africa Co and together they extended their product lines and expanded into both Salisbury and Bulawayo. The Gloria Flour was launched in the same year in 1920. In 1924, Mark Harris sold the balance of his stake to BSA Co and was given a three year restraint of trade. Upon his departure, the BSAC renamed the group, the Rhodesian Milling and Manufacturing Company (RMMC) in May of the same year. In June of 1925, RMMC sold a stake of the company to Spillers.  When his restraint of trade lapsed, Mark Harris joined his brother Cessey at C Harris & Co and they launched their first flour product in 1925 under the Red Seal brand. The brothers then formed Harris Bros & Co in 1928. Their company, dealt in maize and wheat flour milling, stockfeeds, grain and general produce.

In November of 1956, the Rhodesia Milling and Manufacturing Co acquired Harris Bros and Co. This was the second time within half a century that Harris’ company was taken over by the same company and the brothers were excluded from flour trade for the next ten years. The restraint of trade did not include maize hence; the brothers re-established themselves as Harris Maize Milling & Produce Co dealing in maize milling. In July of 1958, the Rhodesian Milling and Manufacturing Company dropped ‘Manufacturing’ from its name to become the Rhodesia Milling Company (RMC).

In March of 1964,  J Palte & Co, Harris Maize Milling & Produce Co, and  Meadow Milling, a Tiger Oats entity merged to form Palte-Harris. The Rhodesian Milling Company was then absorbed by Anglo American in 1965. Palte-Harris later changed its name to Palte-Harris Industrial Holdings (PHIH) in June of 1969 ahead of its listing on Rhodesia Stock Exchange in 1970.

In mid-1975, Palte-Harris merged with the Rhodesian Milling Co to form National Foods on the 1st of June 1975 bringing together the Gloria and Red Seal brands.

When National Foods was established, Spillers owned 25% and Tiger Oats owned a 16.1% stake of the business. Spillers was acquired by Dalgety PLC in 1979 which then sold its stake to Astra Foods in the 1980s. In 1984, the National Foods Workers Trust was formed. The Trust applies funds from dividends for the benefit of workers and their dependants in the fields of educational advancement, improvements in housing standards and general social welfare. This was the first workers trust to be established in the country and still exists today. The Workers Trust owns almost 10% of National Foods today.

In 1994 Astra Foods sold its stake to Anglo American and Tiger Oats, thereby increasing their shareholding in National Foods to 43% and 19.43%, respectively. Tiger Oats renamed its company to Tiger Brands in 1999.

In 2003, Innscor Africa became a shareholder of National Foods by buying a 35.74% stake of the company, and Tiger Brands increased its stake to 29.92% from 19.43% in the same year. In 2007, Innscor Africa became the majority shareholder of National Foods with a stake of 49.9% after buying out Anglo American. In 2011, Innscor Africa reduced its stake from 49.9% to 37.73%, while Tiger Brands increased to 37.45%. Today, Innscor Africa and Tiger Brands together with the Workers Trust form part of the top three shareholders and collectively own 85% of the business.

Our History

1920

Mark Harris Manufacturing establishes the iconic Gloria Brand and was later renamed to Rhodesian Milling and Manufacturing Company.

1925

Harris Brothers established in Bulawayo and launched the Red Seal Brand.

1952

Tiger Oats (now Tiger Brands) acquires shareholding in J. Palte & Co. and becomes a major shareholder.

1975

Rhodesian Milling and Manufacturing Company merged with Palte Harris Industrial Holdings to form National Foods Holdings Limited, thus bringing the Red Seal and Gloria brands under one company.

1983

Opening of Aspindale Maize mill.

2003

Innscor Africa Limited acquires shareholding (48.82%) in National Foods. Today INNSCOR holds a 37.73% share.

2011

Tiger Brands raises its holding in National Foods by acquiring 11% from Innscor Africa. Today Tiger Brands holds a 37.45% share.

2016

National Foods acquired Breathaway Food Caterers Limited, a snack and biscuit manufacturing company with ZapNax, Wings, and IRIS Brands.

National Foods acquires 40% of Pure Oil, a producer of the ZimGold Brand cooking oil.

2017

Pearlenta High Fibre
The Pearlenta Family was extended through the introduction of Pearlenta High Fibre range in October 2017.

Pearlenta High Fibre is still the same Pearlenta that is tasty, easy to cook and a little cooks more.

Pearlenta High Fibre comes in 2 variants:
Pearlenta High Fibre Maize Bran

  • Tasty white maize meal
  • Promotes good digestive health
  • A good source of fibre/ roughage

Pearlenta High Fibre Wheat Bran

  • Contains wheat gluten
  • A good source of fibre/ roughage
  • Promotes good digestive health
  • Filling
  • Tasty

2018

National Foods Logistics (Natlog) was created in the second half of the financial year as a joint venture partnering Equity Distribution Services, formerly National Foods’ outsource distribution service provider.

2018 CZR Supplier of the Year Award
2018 CZR Grocery Supplier of the Year Award

Red Seal Multi Grain
In June 2018, the Red Seal Super Roller Meal category was expanded to cater for the health conscious consumer who still wants a filling maize meal product.
Red Seal Multi-Grain is high in fibre due to its unique blend of Maize, Wheat and Sorghum.

  • Red Seal Multi-Grain has the following benefits:
  • Promotes good digestive health
  • Low GI
  • High in Iron
  • A good source of Vitamin B
  • High Magnesium

2019

In 2019 National Foods purchased a world class extrusion line from Buhler thereby creating cereals manufacturing capability and started producing the Pearlenta Nutri Active Instant Porridge. In the same year National Foods developed the Allegros brand for Snacks and Treats.

National Foods was awarded the following Awards:

  • MAZ Super Brand award for National Foods which emerged 1st Position in the Business to Business Sector
  • MAZ Super Brand award for Gloria which emerged as the most consistent Brand
  • MAZ Super Brand award for Red Seal (Roller Meal), Best in Grains Category – Winner
  • MAZ Super Brand award for Red Seal (Pearlenta), Best in Grains Category – 1st Runner Up
  • MAZ First Runner up award for Pearlenta Pearls Promotion in the Best Intergrated Promotional Campaign of the Year
  • MAZ Super Brand Award – Manatsa Gaka 2nd Runner Up Brand Manager of the Year
  • Pearlenta High Fibre – Gold Award in Food Innovation at the Africa Food Industry Awards (AFMASS)
  • Gloria – 19th in the top 100 Business to Consumer Brand in Zimbabwe
  • National Foods Limited – 14th in the top 100 Business to Business Brands in Zimbabwe
  • 2019 CZR Supplier of the Year Award
  • 2019 CZR Overall Best Supplier of the Year Award

2020

National Foods reaches and celebrates a milestone of 100 years of feeding the nation. Gloria Flour celebrates its own centenary – 100 years of baking excellence. Changes to the Gloria Flour Range include refreshed new packs as well as renaming its Plain Flour to Gloria All Purpose Flour and Gloria Brown Flour to High Fibre Wheat Flour. Gloria Self Raising Cake Flour was also launched as a new innovation.

National Foods Launches Better Buy Soya Delights.

1920

1920

Mark Harris Manufacturing establishes the iconic Gloria Brand and was later renamed to Rhodesian Milling and Manufacturing Company.

1925

1925

Harris Brothers established in Bulawayo and launched the Red Seal Brand.

1952

1952

Tiger Oats (now Tiger Brands) acquires shareholding in J. Palte & Co. and becomes a major shareholder.

1975

1975

Rhodesian Milling and Manufacturing Company merged with Palte Harris Industrial Holdings to form National Foods Holdings Limited, thus bringing the Red Seal and Gloria brands under one company.

1983

1983

Opening of Aspindale Maize mill.

2003

2003

Innscor Africa Limited acquires shareholding (48.82%) in National Foods. Today INNSCOR holds a 37.73% share.

2011

2011

Tiger Brands raises its holding in National Foods by acquiring 11% from Innscor Africa. Today Tiger Brands holds a 37.45% share.

2016

2016

National Foods acquired Breathaway Food Caterers Limited, a snack and biscuit manufacturing company with ZapNax, Wings, and IRIS Brands.

National Foods acquires 40% of Pure Oil, a producer of the ZimGold Brand cooking oil.

2017

2017

Pearlenta High Fibre
The Pearlenta Family was extended through the introduction of Pearlenta High Fibre range in October 2017.

Pearlenta High Fibre is still the same Pearlenta that is tasty, easy to cook and a little cooks more.

Pearlenta High Fibre comes in 2 variants:
Pearlenta High Fibre Maize Bran

  • Tasty white maize meal
  • Promotes good digestive health
  • A good source of fibre/ roughage

Pearlenta High Fibre Wheat Bran

  • Contains wheat gluten
  • A good source of fibre/ roughage
  • Promotes good digestive health
  • Filling
  • Tasty
2018

2018

National Foods Logistics (Natlog) was created in the second half of the financial year as a joint venture partnering Equity Distribution Services, formerly National Foods’ outsource distribution service provider.

2018 CZR Supplier of the Year Award
2018 CZR Grocery Supplier of the Year Award

Red Seal Multi Grain
In June 2018, the Red Seal Super Roller Meal category was expanded to cater for the health conscious consumer who still wants a filling maize meal product.
Red Seal Multi-Grain is high in fibre due to its unique blend of Maize, Wheat and Sorghum.

  • Red Seal Multi-Grain has the following benefits:
  • Promotes good digestive health
  • Low GI
  • High in Iron
  • A good source of Vitamin B
  • High Magnesium
2019

2019

In 2019 National Foods purchased a world class extrusion line from Buhler thereby creating cereals manufacturing capability and started producing the Pearlenta Nutri Active Instant Porridge. In the same year National Foods developed the Allegros brand for Snacks and Treats.

National Foods was awarded the following Awards:

  • MAZ Super Brand award for National Foods which emerged 1st Position in the Business to Business Sector
  • MAZ Super Brand award for Gloria which emerged as the most consistent Brand
  • MAZ Super Brand award for Red Seal (Roller Meal), Best in Grains Category – Winner
  • MAZ Super Brand award for Red Seal (Pearlenta), Best in Grains Category – 1st Runner Up
  • MAZ First Runner up award for Pearlenta Pearls Promotion in the Best Intergrated Promotional Campaign of the Year
  • MAZ Super Brand Award – Manatsa Gaka 2nd Runner Up Brand Manager of the Year
  • Pearlenta High Fibre – Gold Award in Food Innovation at the Africa Food Industry Awards (AFMASS)
  • Gloria – 19th in the top 100 Business to Consumer Brand in Zimbabwe
  • National Foods Limited – 14th in the top 100 Business to Business Brands in Zimbabwe
  • 2019 CZR Supplier of the Year Award
  • 2019 CZR Overall Best Supplier of the Year Award
2020

2020

National Foods reaches and celebrates a milestone of 100 years of feeding the nation. Gloria Flour celebrates its own centenary – 100 years of baking excellence. Changes to the Gloria Flour Range include refreshed new packs as well as renaming its Plain Flour to Gloria All Purpose Flour and Gloria Brown Flour to High Fibre Wheat Flour. Gloria Self Raising Cake Flour was also launched as a new innovation.

National Foods Launches Better Buy Soya Delights.

Our Vision

To be the preferred supplier of branded FMCG and stockfeed products in Zimbabwe and selected regional markets.

Our Mission

  • To manufacture and distribute a diversified portfolio of branded FMCG products to the consumer mass market.
  • To delight our customers and consumers through delivering profitable category based initiatives.

Our Values

As National Foods our values are derived from an internal and external outlook.

Looking Outwards

Customer and Consumer Centricity

  • We relentlessly pursue Innovation to improve the livelihoods of our consumers.
  • Our Customers and Consumers are at the core of what we do.
  • We produce Affordable and Nutritious products for all market segments.

 

In Short: I CAN

  • – Innovate
  • – Consumer/Customer
  • – Affordability
  • – Nutrition

Looking In

Our Strength lies in our People

  • We have a passion for Excellence.
  • We have a non-negotiable Performance culture.
  • We create an Environment for people to grow & contribute to the best of their abilities through stewardship & training.

Our core values are Respect, Integrity and Diversity

In Short: PRIDE

  • – People
  • – Respect
  • – Integrity
  • – Diversity
  • – Environment

I CAN with PRIDE

Executive Committee & Board Members

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Michael Lashbrook

CEO

Michael Lashbrook has been CEO of National Foods since January of 2015. Prior to that he was the Group Operations Director since 2008. Michael has worked his entire career in the Agro-Industrial sector in Zimbabwe. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture from the University of Natal and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Southern Queensland.

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Lovejoy Nyandoro

Financial Director

National Foods Financial Director Lovejoy Nyandoro is a Qualified Chartered Accountant with seventeen years’ experience in Finance. He completed his articles of clerkship with Deloitte and Touche in 2000. Thereafter, Lovejoy Nyandoro worked in the corporate sector before joining the National Foods Group in 2005. He served the Group in various roles and gained broad experience within the organisation.

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James Stevens

Operations Director

James Stevens is a Qualified Chartered Accountant. Having completed his studies and articles in Australia, James moved into the commercial sector gaining experience across a number of industries in both a financial and operational capacity before taking the role of Operations Director at National Foods in 2018.

Non-Executive Directors

Noel Doyle
Godfrey Gwainda
Todd Moyo (Chairman)

Julian Schonken
Pieter Spies

Executive Committee

M. Lashbrook – Chief Executive Officer
L. Nyandoro – Finance Director
J. Stevens – Operations Director
S. Musodza – Sales Executive
L. Kutinyu – Marketing Executive

N. Moyo – Managing Executive Flour Milling
C. Nheta – Managing Executive Maize Milling
N. Weller – Managing Executive Groceries
S. Viviers – Managing Executive Stock Feeds
A. Kambasha – Managing Executive Snacks & Treats
W. Kapfupi – Technical Executive Maize Milling and Cereals