[WORLDKINGS] Top 100 companies over 100-years and still in business – P78 - Bakers Limited (South Africa): The most African renowned biscuit brand with 169 years of development (1851)


(WorldKings.org) Bakers Limited, commonly known as Bakers, is a South African company producing a wide variety of savoury and sweet biscuits. Bakers is part of National Brands Limited, an FMCG company which is a subsidiary of South African holding company AVI Limited. Bakers products are manufactured in Durban, Pretoria, and Johannesburg.



The origins of the company commenced when John Frederick Baumann migrated from England to South Africa, wherein 1851 at the age of 26 he established a grocery and bread bakery in Durban, in the British Colony of Natal (now a province of South Africa). In 1879 Baumann visited London where he met with his nephew, John Michael Leonard Baumann, suggesting he emigrate to South Africa.



J. M. L. Baumann arrived in Durban in 1881 and joined his uncle's bakery and grocery business. A few years later when the lease on their premises expired, J. M. L. Baumann purchased the bakery operations from his uncle. In 1885 Baumann purchased a hand-operated biscuit machine for £65 from another baker, Plowright. The machine produced 'dry' biscuits for sale to ships and army garrisons.



In 1895 Baumann purchased an advanced biscuit machine and commenced manufacture of more 'fancy biscuits' such as Ginger Nuts and Marie. He printed his first price list and operated under the name L. Baumann & Co The factory survived the anti-German riots of 1915 when the shop and bread and cake premises were burnt down.

At the time, the biscuit factory was producing biscuits for the army, and two of JML Baumann's sons were fighting the Germans in the then German colony of South West Africa (now Namibia). The factory was put under government protection to prevent further damage.



Due to the anti-German sentiment in 1915, the company's name was changed from Baumann's to Bakers Limited. In 1918 Baumann's son, William, opened a biscuit factory in Cape Town, the business was registered in October 1918 as Selected Products Ltd, trading as Baumann's Biscuits. William sold the company back to Bakers Limited in 1922 but continued to operate it as a subsidiary.

At the beginning of the 1930s, almost 200 people were employed and the 1935 wholesale catalogue listed 240 different biscuit lines.



In 1981 the company was acquired by Anglovaal Industries Limited (AVI). In 1993 AVI purchased Pyotts Pty Ltd, a savoury biscuit manufacturer, and the following year regrouped the companies under the title, Associated Biscuits. In 1996 Associated Biscuits was consolidated into National Brands Limited.

Today, Bakers savoury biscuit brands include: Provita; Salticrax; Cream Crackers; Kips; Mini Cheddars; Wheatsworth.  Bakers sweet biscuit brands include: Betta Snack (digestive biscuits); Romany; Creams; Tennis; Boudoir; Strawberry Whirls; Iced Zoo;...

According to en.wikipedia

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