BR Hungry Lion 009

Famous Brands, Shoprite take new formula across Africa –

BR Hungry Lion 009

Nompumelelo Magwaza

FAMOUS Brands has partnered with Shoprite to speed up the roll-out of its Debonairs Pizza stores across Africa.

The first partnership was in Angola where Debonairs Pizza would trade alongside Shoprite’s fast-food restaurant Hungry Lion, Famous Brands announced yesterday.

The news had a positive effect on Famous Brands’ JSE shares, which closed 3 percent higher at R106. However, Shoprite’s shares ended down 2.47 percent at R155.85.

Debonairs had recently opened its 500th restaurant, taking the first place in the pizza-category market locally and elsewhere in Africa.

Famous Brands trades under brands such as Wimpy, Steers, Milky Lane and tashas among others.

Hungry Lion, which was launched in 1997, has 168 stores in eight southern African countries, including South Africa, Botswana, Angola and Swaziland. The growing pizza market on the continent is a battleground contested by a number of players including international pizza giants Dominos Pizza and Pizza Hut.

Shoprite will operate and manage the Debonairs Pizza brand in Angola.

The food retailer has 20 supermarkets in Angola and seven Hungry Lion outlets.

Famous Brands will open its first brand, Debonairs Pizza, in January. Following this Angola store, Debonairs will take a presence in 14 countries across Africa.

The first store will be opened in the city of Benguela, located about 540km from Angola’s capital Luanda.

It will be soon followed by six further Debonairs Pizza restaurants across Angola.

Famous Brands food services boss Darren Hele said yesterday that this plan came on the back of a successful pilot concept introduced last year when Shoprite opened a Debonairs Pizza counter inside a Shoprite supermarket in Eldorado Park, Gauteng.

“We plan to strengthen our alliance with Shoprite and discussions are under way to explore additional opportunities and synergies that we believe exits in selected markets.”

Hele said there were plans to roll out more of these counter-concepts, but the group was not ready to make an announcement at this stage.

“We have not done anything similar in South Africa. It was a pilot project and we will use the learnings at the Angola projects. These two projects are linked and we plan to do more in South Africa,” Hele said.

Hungry Lion’s chief executive Adrian Basson said: “Shoprite has been operating in Angola for eleven years and we are constantly gaining a better understanding of this large market.”

He said it had learnt that partnering with a quality pizza brand alongside its established chicken brand was a winning combination.

Famous Brands and Shoprite were in talks about a number of other markets.