Nutritional Foods (Pty) Ltd was registered in 1944 and a factory was established on a site in Industria, Johannesburg and the first spray drying tower was erected on the site at Industria in the 1950’s.
In the 1960’s, a second spray drying tower was installed to produce instant coffee. The company later expanded its spray drying portfolio and manufactured products such as fruit and vegetable powders. In the 1970’s Nutritional Foods became the first company in South Africa to produce coffee creamers on contract for other companies.
In 1980 Nutritional Foods purchased Clifton Manufacturing (Pty) Ltd., and entered the consumer products market for the first time. The company made a quantum leap in the production and marketing of powdered soft drinks, not only to retail, but also in the institutional catering market. The range of products offered to this market was expanded to include soya-based soups and stews, milk blends, hot chocolate drink powders and desserts.
In 1998 Nutritional Foods purchased Funa Foods, virtually doubling its size in the catering market. As part of the deal the company acquired a modern processing plant in Klerksdorp. Following this acquisition the company consolidated the manufacture of all its catering products in Klerksdorp, while the Industria factory concentrated on contract manufacturing and the production of spray-dried food ingredients and retail products.
In 2004 Nutritional Foods sold off the Clifton range thus reducing its exposure in the retail trade. In 2005 the company purchased Ovipro, an egg processing business in Bronkhorstspruit. The egg products expanded the range of food ingredients while the spray driers at Ovipro gave the company even greater spray-drying capacity.
As the institutional catering market became increasingly politically sensitive, in 2006 the company sold this side of the business to a BEE consortium and the name Nutritional Foods formed part of the deal. The balance of the business was renamed Sunspray Food Ingredients and this company still focuses on contract manufacturing and food ingredients with spray-drying being its core technology.
As from the beginning of 2010 Ovipro (Pty) Ltd ceased to exist as it was incorporated into Sunspray Food Ingredients. The company now consists of two divisions, namely Industria and Bronkhorstspruit. At the beginning of 2012, Sunspray took a strategic decision to no longer deal directly with the Retail Trade. All retail products, including house brands, are now contract manufactured for third parties who will handle all aspects of marketing with the retail chains.
Recently the offices, research & development laboratory and the Quality Assurance & Quality Control offices & laboratories at the Industria site were completely revamped. The new look and décor of the buildings now more accurately reflects the professional image of Sunspray Food Ingredients.
As far as the production plants are concerned, in order to meet new Global Food Safety Initiative standards, major improvements have been made on both sites. The changes included dust extraction units, upgraded ablution facilities, new flooring and ceilings in various areas and the training of staff in new health and safety standards.