Clive’s Column

Michelle Legge’s post matric years were spent in Melbourne, Australia. Like many entrepreneurs, she spent her early career in advertising, specialising in copywriting. On her return home to Cape Town, a business idea began to hatch. 


Michelle Legge’s post matric years were spent in Melbourne, Australia. Like many entrepreneurs, she spent her early career in advertising, specialising in copywriting. On her return home to Cape Town, a business idea began to hatch. 

Perpetually on the hunt for natural remedies and vegan recipes, Michelle discovered enticing health options at a yoga retreat while on a trip to blissful Ubud Bali in 2016. Against this sublime backdrop, she resolved to embark on a journey to master the developing art of superfoods and vegetable based beverages such as turmeric based teas, tonics and lattes, sipped by yogis and locals alike as part of daily health rituals. 

Back in Cape Town, she opened a market stall at the Oranjezicht City Farm Market at Granger Bay, serving batches of stove top brewed almond milk turmeric lattes. Soon customer interest provided the encouragement to move from ready made drinks to a commercial powdered version in foil labelled coffee bags. Support and collaboration from the already successful Bootlegger group, provided the boost to refine her packaging, pricing and delivery logistics. 

As her cafe business started to grow, Michelle set about developing a retail friendly pouch. Local suppliers weren’t interested in supporting her start up quantities so she tracked down an Indian supplier willing to print a 200g metallised food grade stand up pouch, at minimum quantities of 5 000 per flavour. With a supplier in place, the packaging design took shape locally. It pays homage to Indian and Indonesian influences by merging an Oriental quality with something that feels retro, mysterious and enchanting. The Superlatte trilogy designs were entered into the prestigious 2018 international Pentaward and won Bronze in the Food Trends category. 

While most ingredients are imported, Muizenberg based Ukama Packing Solutions, headed by Janine Roberts an IPSA Western Cape member and staffed by women from the neighbouring Vrygrond community, put it all together. Customer support has been so good that Michelle is on her second stand up pouch order from India! I bought my Superlatte packs at Steve’s Spar Blackheath. 


In honour of Heritage Month, Tastic Rice and Albany Bread collaborated with Ndebele artist extraordinaire Esther Mahlangu to launch spectacularly colourful Tastic Rice 2kg and Albany Bread limited offer promotions that celebrate her life. 

The original Tastic parboiled rice was introduced to South African dinner tables in 1961 and not long afterwards, in 1970, another timeless favourite, Albany Bread, emerged on the local scene. 

Esther’s first international break came in 1989 when she was 54, when her ornately decorated house caught the eye of French researchers visiting her village. They invited her to the Pompidou Centre in Paris where she was asked to paint a replica of her hut for an exhibition. Her popularity spread and in 1981 Esther collaborated with BMW when she painted the body of their luxury sedans with her iconic Ndebele shapes. Today her colourful geometric artwork is exhibited in galleries around the world. Yet, she humbly still resides in her South African village in Mpumalanga unfazed by fame and determined to preserve her ethnic Ndebele culture, continuing to flaunt modern dress by wearing traditional heavy beaded necklaces and copper rings around her neck and legs. 

Everest Flexibles (Tastic Rice) and Technovaa (Albany Bread) printed design supremo Stratcom’s tweaked Esther’s original design to create memorable limited editions to grace our shelves. There are consumer competitions linked to both Tastic and Albany, but to enter the Albany ‘R5 000 & other instant prizes, every single day you have to purchase any two limited edition Albany Superior loaves, dial *12012211#, follow the prompts and enter the unique codes printed inside the wrappers. 


Every September 24 since 1996, our Heritage Day celebrations offer a wonderful reminder of just how many fascinating and beautiful approaches to life, love, business and food our people enjoy. Take the South African passion for bread, chips and different fillings. 

In the Western Cape, for instance, the Gatsby was created when an Athlone based fish shop owner, Rashaad Pandy, who had nothing with which to feed some casual workers, combined what he could find a round Portuguese roll, polony, slap chips and achar South Indian pickle and quartered the creation so they could all enjoy a slice. 

Then in Gauteng, there’s the carb loaded and uniquely South African street food, the Kota, derived from the word quarter which can be filled with anything and everything from garlic polony and chips to fried eggs and achar. Legend has it that there is no better babalas cure than Kota with all the trimmings, washed down with groen ambulans (cream soda).

In KZN there’s the well-known Bunny Chow, a way of serving takeaway curry while rice runs, and roti leaks, a government loaf has the strength to serve as an edible curry container. 

Last, but by no means least, is the traditional braai, where South Africans are called on to unite around a fire! The idea has had some high profile supporters, the most notable being Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, who in 2007 was named National Spokesman for Braai Day. 

As well as the diversity of fast food dishes are traditional drinks. Amasi (so called in Zulu and Xhosa and maas in Afrikaans) is the common word for fermented milk that tastes like cottage cheese or plain yoghurt. The fermenting milk develops a watery substance called umlaza; the remainder is amasi. In fact, Nelson Mandela once recalled how he cautiously vacated a white comrade’s apartment his hiding place in a white area when wanted by the Apartheid government after overhearing Zulu workers commenting that it was strange to see milk on the window sill left out to ferment because whites seldom drank amasi. 

To commemorate Heritage Month, Online Agency created the new colourful lnkomazi design for Danone. Using Continental Inks and plates supplied by Polymer Art, Nampak Liquid Cartons flexo prints the two sizes on a CPS UV press at lsithebe KZN on board from Stora Enso Finland and Sweden. 


Soga Organic is South Africa’s only certified organic citrus processor. It was a journey of pioneering optimism, trial and error firmly entrenched in the belief that mankind has been given the responsibility to be the custodian of the environment for future generations. The primary driver of sustainable organic farming practice has always been the avoidance of harmful pesticides and chemical-based fertilisers, and so it was that the first five years were challenging. 

Wanting to make a difference, growers cooperated in terms of research, growing the trees, harvesting, processing, packing, freezing and distribution – the entire supply chain. 

In 2012 Soga Organic’s dream was fulfilled when the group began supplying the international wholesale market. The next challenge was to supply our local retail market with healthy alternatives to the sugar loaded juices in the market. This vision became a reality in December 2015 with the launch of Soga’s first two retail products at a handful of selected Food Lover’s Market outlets. 

A year later saw the launch of the third product – Soga’s Just Squeezed and Freezed Organic Lemon Juice –  in 10ml form fill seal sachets ex Allflex sold as 24 x 10ml units in an impressive Velcro resealable works far better than the zippers were used to recyclable stand up pouch manufactured by Muizenberg based Pouch Dynamics (Constantia Flexibles) represented in the Eastern Cape by Firmstanding. 

Soga’s footprint has grown to over 200 outlets, including major national retailers and organic orientated health stores. I found it in an upright fridge at Dis-Chem Cresta. It’s all local ingenuity from start to finish and well worth keeping in a home deep freeze to spruce up a green salad, add to a Peri Peri sauce, squeeze on fish, add to a drink, or use in tea. It’s a winner. 

By Alleta Liebenberg
Published in Packaging & Print Media | Clive’s Column
1 September 2018

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