EC snack manufacturer committed to innovation and quality

2015-11-26 06:00
Elzea Snacks' chips are a school tuck shop favourite. Families in all income brackets are feeling the pinch nowadays and limiting luxuries, but even cash-strapped parents can afford to give their children R1 to buy a tasty treat. Photo: SUPPLIED

Elzea Snacks' chips are a school tuck shop favourite. Families in all income brackets are feeling the pinch nowadays and limiting luxuries, but even cash-strapped parents can afford to give their children R1 to buy a tasty treat. Photo: SUPPLIED

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THROUGH constant innovation and a commitment to using only the highest quality of maize, oil and flavourings available, an East London snack manufacturer has become a major player in two provinces.

In 1975 Elzea Snacks started out producing a maize drink called amaRhewu and later a range of vinegars and drinks. Now, 40 years on, the company manufactures maize snacks (chips) exclusively. It boasts a substantial range of products in multiple flavours and produces about 40 million packets of maize snacks per month.

The company was first called East London Zea Products after the botanical name for maize, “zea mays”. This became shortened to Elzea. In 2009 husband and wife team Tyron and Melinda Power bought Elzea, which was then producing only maize snacks and have since expanded the business into the Western Cape.

Based in Ajax Road, Cambridge, Elzea Snacks employs more than 600 staff and has a significant footprint in both the Eastern and Western Cape.

Melinda Power says: “Besides using only the highest grade maize, we seek out the best flavours for our snacks. There are cheaper flavours available that are often simply a high concentration of salt and colour, however we seek out complex and sophisticated flavours that are challenging to develop.

These flavours keep our customers satisfied and coming back for more.

“The process never stops. We are continuously investigating new market trends and keep in close contact with our consumers over what they find new, interesting and appealing. We are always updating our product range and entertain our consumers with fresh flavours, fun new pack designs, exciting competitions and a variety of different product shapes and sizes.

“Our commitment to manufacturing a low cost and affordable snack for all never changes.”

Elzea Snacks offers a value-for-money snack for as little as 50c to R1.00 for small packets and R5.00 to R6.00 for larger packs.

Besides using premium palm fruit oil imported from Malaysia and Indonesia that most snack companies use, all the other ingredients in Elzea’s products are sourced locally. The factory is Halaal certified and inspected annually.

Elzea’s well-known brands, such as Mama’s puffed corn, Twisters Mexican-style corn snacks, Wiki Naks, Chippa Naks, Crazies Naks, Cheese Pops, Caramel Blasts, Flyers and Sponge Pops, all can be found at selected supermarkets, corner shops, spaza shops and school tuck shops.

It also produces bulk, long tubular bags of its naks. These bags are referred to by the market as “maloppies” and are often bought by hawkers, who then subdivide them into small “bompie” bags to sell in rural communities.

Elzea’s slogan is “Share the fun, Share the flava!” and this mantra is carried through to its fun, innovative chip packet designs.

Many of Elzea’s snacks have humorous cartoon characters on the packets which personalise the products and appeal directly to specific consumers.

This sets Elzea apart from its competitors.

Each brand has a specific identity that makes it more memorable, building a relationship with consumers.

For example, Sponge Pops are in the shape of noughts and crosses and the message on the back of the packet reads: “Hallo dudes – how cool is this?! A spongy pop in the yummiest of flavours that just melts away on your tongue! But the best part is, it’s a fun toy too! You can roll it, you can stack it, slide it over your finger, play tic-tac-toe, or make funny faces!”


One lucky Kouga Express will win an Elzea Snacks hamper.

To enter, visit our Facebook Page (Kouga Express). Like our page, find this photo and type Elzea Snacks in the comment block.

The competition closes at noon on December 3.

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