Entrepreneurs tap into the market for traditional meals in a tin
Based in Johannesburg, Saikav Foods is no stranger to the market, having wet its feet more than 10 years ago with the launch of its maiden product, “Heat and Eat – Split Pea Curry Dhall” in a 410g can.
The idea was the brainchild of two couples tossing ideas around during a meal. As co-founder Rose Naidoo says, “We had no idea it would go as far as it has.” Naidoo co-founded the business with her husband, Prem Naidoo, and their cousins Pregasen Francis and his wife, Keshry.
From an initial listing at Spar and Pick n Pay with a single product, the company has since expanded to eight different products. Now, there are plans to launch another traditional Indian food – the spicy russum soup – in a can later this year.
Saikav offers eight canned products, including two dhall products – one with dhall that has been boiled with turmeric and salt but which must still be braised, and the “heat and eat” version which has already been braised. In terms of protein content, 1.5 cups of yellow lentils gives you 13g of protein. Although distribution is currently concentrated in Johannesburg and Durban, Saikav has plans to roll out nationally in the long term. Retailers such as Pick n Pay sell Saikav products at a relatively affordable R21.99 a can.