Kzn Mec Celebrates With Futurelife® At Factory Opening

Kzn Mec Celebrates With Futurelife® At Factory Opening
Mark Bunn Commercial Vice President of PepsiCo KZN, MEC for Economic Development, Tourism & Environmental Affairs Mr. Siboniso Duma and Riaan Heyl CEO of PepsiCo South Africa

Leading food company, wholly-owned by PepsiCo South Africa,  FUTURELIFE®, today celebrated the grand opening of its new cutting-edge manufacturing facility at Dube TradePort Special Economic Zone (SEZ), in Kwa-Zulu Natal. This event brought together key government officials, business leaders, and FUTURELIFE® employees. The opening of the facility showcases FUTURELIFE®’s resilience, innovation, and steadfast commitment to transforming and improving the health and well-being of South Africans.

FUTURELIFE®’s journey began in 2007 in Kwa-Zulu Natal, with the launch of its original Future Life Smart Food, which was developed as a scientifically formulated, balanced, nutritious convenient food which contains MODUCARE®. MODUCARE® is a daily immune supplement made from a patented blend of plant sterols and sterolins.

Riaan Heyl, CEO of PepsiCo South Africa explains: “The acquisition of FUTURELIFE®  has been an important milestone in our goal to be the leading food and beverage manufacturer in South Africa. Its innovative and dynamic basket of products complements the many household staples and heritage brands that PepsiCo offers South African consumers”.

With its substantial investment of R75 million in the new manufacturing facility at the Dube TradePort SEZ, FUTURELIFE®’s dedication to growth, efficiency, and continuous improvement is clear. The consolidated operations within the facility promise streamlined production processes and increased efficiency to meet the evolving needs of consumers.

The esteemed guests in attendance at the grand opening included KZN MEC for Economic Development, Tourism & Environmental Affairs, Mr. Siboniso Duma, MPL; Mr. Riaan Heyl, CEO of PepsiCo, South Africa; Mr. Mark Bunn, PepsiCo South Africa’s Commercial Vice President and Hamish Erskine, CEO of Dube TradePort.

FUTURELIFE®’s new factory reflects the government’s vision for South Africa’s economic growth, particularly within the manufacturing sector and SEZs, with FUTURELIFE® playing an active role in the Dube TradeZone SEZ.

The guest of honour, the KZN MEC for Economic Development, Tourism & Environmental Affairs, Mr. Siboniso Duma, MPL, emphasised the important role that the factory will play in sustainable economic development in KwaZulu-Natal after enthusiastically cutting the ribbon and officially declaring the factory open for business.

Mr. Duma added, “This plant represents a huge endeavour on the part of management and all categories of staff at FUTURELIFE® and Dube Trade Port. This launch is a result of  your ability to work together to master new state-of-the-art technologies and to do this all on schedule.”

“If we are to realise the province’s full potential and discharge our shared commitment to create a better life for all South Africans, then increased investment in the province is of critical importance. Locating this business within the Dube TradePort Special Economic Zone will ensure efficiencies in the operations while reducing the logistics costs.”

“Importantly, we are cognisant of the fact that manufacturing is one of the sectors – hardest hit recently. We experienced COVID-19 lockdown – followed by devastating floods. All of these resulted in thousands of job losses. Notwithstanding these challenges, as government we remain committed to working with the private sector to create more jobs and ensure the recovery of our economy.”

Mike Dos Santos, the FUTURELIFE® General Manager, explained the company’s deep-seated roots in Kwa-Zulu Natal,” Our commitment to Kwa-Zulu Natal remains unshakable, and we are firmly resolved to continue contributing to the local economy and upliftment of our communities.”

Dos Santos also shared plans for the next phase of the factory build. While phase 1 of the development stands as an achievement, Dos Santos revealed the company’s plans to embark on the development of a second phase over the next 18 months. This will close the loop on key sustainability initiatives.

Through these projects, FUTURELIFE® aims to utilise the factory’s expansive 8500m² roof, to maximise the use of solar energy, which would be accomplished through the integration of solar energy systems into the facility’s operations. Harnessing the sun’s power and sustainable technology will further enhance the factory’s environmental footprint. While rainwater gathering initiatives will contribute to the factory’s sustainable water practices, aligning with its broader goal of minimising environmental impact.

The momentous unveiling of the factory symbolises FUTURELIFE®’s path toward a brighter, healthier future driven by innovation and dedication, aiming to reshape South Africans’ perceptions of nutrition and inspire healthier, happier lives through smart choices.