One of my forecasts for the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic was that food would rise to prominence as production and distribution slowed down or halted completely. The effect came as expected and in turn, we saw many businesses pop up in food or rise to greater prominence in 2020. One such business is Nutrie foods which specialise in producing and packaging natural foods which we have come to know and love.

They have an impressive product list that includes peanut butter, mixed fruit jam, kilombero rice, soya chunks and honey. The business has chosen to focus on the nutritional and health benefits of their natural foods and it seems to have worked very well for them as they are gaining momentum. The business is woman -led by managing director Nobukhosi Ndlovu. Many of their products are sourced from women-owned businesses or supply chain partners which adds to the story behind the business.

The battle for Nutrie foods has been getting their products taken up by retailers and distributors. They have made strides in 2020 as have many Zimbabwean products with the disruption to imports thanks to COVID – 19 and lockdown which restricted imports. They’ve taken the opportunity and run with it as they look to increase the number of channels their products are available through.

The focus on the nutrition aspect of their products is underrated as due to various socio-economic factors nutrition is often ignored in Zimbabwe.  Gradually the world is progressing towards thinking more about what people eat and how it affects the human body. Nutrie foods lean in hard on this and take pride in the source and composition of their products.

Another thing that Nutrie foods has done particularly well is telling their story. As a woman-lead business enterprise, they have used their social media platforms to tell the story of who they are. You will not need to spend much time on any one of their platforms before realising that this business is about women empowerment.  They share stories that are women-centred and showcase their community partnerships. While still on the come up Nutrie foods could well be classified as a unicorn with its double bottom line.

The business started operations in July 2013 and has grown steadily since then. With a product line that now boasts over 20 items across snacks, condiments and dry ingredients. They coincidentally have a team of over 20 workers which has steadily been growing as the business grows. With their products available in many supermarkets including OK branches you should be on the lookout for them. They work closely with smallholder farmers in the production of inputs to production and as such go beyond uplifting their own organisation.

The pandemic has certainly brought about many undesirable consequences for all concerned. However, there are businesses which have found ways to make good in an otherwise bad situation. This may seem unique but some huge businesses were actually born in times of trouble similar to the current coronavirus pandemic in their international reach. You can find out more about Nutrie foods on their website and Facebook platform.