[Startup Interview] Tracy Mapfumo, CEO, Eny's Treats, Zimbabwe
Eny's Treats, a startup based in Zimbabwe, manufactures seed-based gluten free snacks that are topped up with natural and unrefined sweeteners for the upmarket urban health-conscious consumers.
The startup’s CEO Tracy Mapfumo elaborates.
Introduce your company
Eny's Treats, a Zimbabwe startup was founded in October 2018 with the mission of providing healthy and tasty treats. The treats are gluten and nut-free and so can also be enjoyed by those who have nut allergies and/or those who are gluten intolerant. Eny's Treats sets out to promote healthy nibbling to the world one healthy treaty at a time.
The product range includes multi-flavoured bars and butter. Some of the flavours include Dark Chocolate, Trail Mix and the Berry flavour just to name a few
Who are the founders and what are their professional backgrounds?
The company was founded by Tracy Vongai Mapfumo. She graduated with a BSc in Agriculture-Crop Science at the University of KwaZulu Natal. Her entrepreneurship journey began in 2018 when she started using her academic knowledge together with 3 years' work experience in indigenous plants that have commercial value. She has always had an aspiration to see Zimbabwean food be transformed into competitive products on the market. With this, she formed her company Eny's Treats
How is Eny's Treats financed?
The company is finance by private funds from the owner
What would you say are the dynamics that have shaped the food production and agriculture sectors?
Agriculture in Zimbabwe faces the problem of value addition. Most ingredients are exported in their raw form and then we find ourselves importing the final processed product at a naturally higher price. This means a lot of opportunities exist in the agriculture value chain.
Why did you start Eny's Treats? What opportunities did you see?
The name "Eny's Treats" was inspired by Eniya Dengu, Tracy's mother who was a very hard working teacher and entrepreneur who taught Tracy the value of hard work and being innovative.
What problem or problems does Eny's Treats solve?
Most Non Communicable Diseases have been linked to diet. These include diabetes, cancer, and hypertension. Consumers are becoming more health-conscious when making choices on what to eat. In addition, food allergies are becoming a health burden not only in Western countries but in African countries as well.
Eny's Treats specialises in the manufacturing of snacks which are seed-based; sweetened with natural and unrefined sweeteners; gluten and nut-free for the upmarket urban health-conscious consumers including those with nut allergies and gluten intolerance. These snacks are a range of seed bars, balls, trail mix, and seed butter. They are made to be as natural as possible
What can Eny's Treats do that no other company can?
We produce locally and work hand in hand with small scale farmers thereby giving us a pricing advantage.
Who are your customers?
Customers want a quick snack that is tasty without being a guilty pleasure that you can only have any time. Health-conscious individuals, fitness, and diet enthusiasts are also in this market.
What does Eny's Treats need in order to grow?
For growth, we would like to invite more retailers and customers to try out and purchase our products. Collaborations with more health and wellness centres will also help market our products.
What is your growth strategy?
The company seeks to extend its product line by introducing more products that incorporate more local flavours. The company also uses a range of social media channels to enable direct contact with customers and through this, we are able to listen to their comments and double down on the highlighted satisfactory areas and improve on the negatives.
In which countries are you looking to establish your presence?
The company seeks to be a food production company within the SADC region aiding people to have more health-conscious eating and snacking habits. We wish to then eventually spread our presence throughout the face of Africa in due course. The company also looks forward to helping more small scale farmers find ways of adding value to their produce thereby boosting the agricultural sector of Zimbabwe.
What are your plans for the coming 12 months?
We plan to increase our product reach to 8 more provinces within Zimbabwe and also start embarking on extensive research to be export ready. This couples by increasing our product line.
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