Robert Brozin, CEO and Founder of Nando’s Chickenland, was born in Middelburg, about 200 kilometers from Johannesburg, South Africa. After a two-year army stint, a bachelor’s degree at University, and working two years at Price Waterhouse, he moved to Teltron, a Johannesburg-based electronics company. Whilst at Teltron, Brozin was introduced to Chickenland and envisioned building a global brand. Today that dream is a major success story. Brozin bought Chickenland with good friend Fernando Duarte, changed it into Nando’s, and today Nando’s is represented in 30 countries around the globe with almost 900 restaurants.
Since opening its first restaurant in 1987, Nandos has expanded to over a thousand locations in 30 countries on five continents. Its success secrets may well lie in its marketing: Nando’s’ numerous provocative yet witty commercials, such as an ad featuring a dimwitted busty blonde and another which depicted Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe reflecting on happy moments he enjoyed with fallen dictators such as Colonel Kaddafi and Saddam Hussein have made Nando’s’ flagship flame-grilled Peri-Peri chicken a hit among Africa’s young and hip. Nando’s meals are premised on traditional Mozambiquan-Portuguese dietary patterns and spices such as the ‘Pili Pili’. The company also manufactures a range of sauces which are sold in Nando’s restaurants and in supermarkets.
Portuguese-Mozambican cooking history
The Portuguese settlers to Mozambique were introduced to pili pili chili by the African Mozambicans who had incorporated it in their cuisine. The term ‘pili pili’ is Swahili for ‘pepper pepper’.The settlers began to use piri piri in their own daily cooking. The restaurant has its origins in a mining town in South Africa, where many Mozambicans of Portuguese origins relocated to Johannesburg in search of gold and carried piri piri recipes to South Africa. Industries catering to the mining communities began to grow in Rosettenville, including “Chickenland”. The restaurant began in 1987 when Portuguese-Mozambican Fernando Duarte along with Robert Brozin bought a restaurant called Chickenland in Rosettenville, southern Johannesburg in South Africa.They renamed the restaurant Nando’s, after Duarte.The restaurant incorporated influences from former Portuguese colonists from Mozambique, many of whom had settled on the south-eastern side of Johannesburg, after their homeland’s independence in 1975. The logo is derived from the Rooster of Barcelos.
Wasps to combat cash crops
Killer wasps! Fear not–this isn’t the movies. These predatory insects are the good guys, programmed to target only their natural enemy (which is not your scrawny behind). Bug Agentes Biológicos mass-produces wasps to combat larvae and stinkbugs that threaten sugarcane and soybean plants, two of Brazil’s largest cash crops. This past year, Bug perfected a way to spray its wasps onto soy fields, just as pesticides are spread via airplane. “We can liberate the insects in the right dose, at the right speed, and with the right protection so they can be effective,” says Francisco Jardim, a Brazilian VC who has invested in Bug and sits on its board. Wasps, for example, need to be protected until their wings grow big enough for flight, or else ants present a threat. (Isn’t nature grand?)
Third-largest agricultural exporter
Bug’s timing feels right. Brazil is the world’s third-largest agricultural exporter (behind the United States and EU); it recently passed the U.S. as the largest consumer of pesticides. Yet the country has begun to phase out the more noxious chemical pesticides Brazilian farmers use despite diminishing effectiveness. Bug has the only alternative approved by Brazilian agricultural, health, and environmental ministries. It’s currently at 100% capacity with plans to double the acreage it covers.
Preventive solution to eliminate pests as eggs
Bug describes its wasps to farmers as a preventative solution that eliminates pests as eggs, forestalling full-blown infestations. It also eschews selling to small organic farmers in favor of Brazil’s agribusiness giants, such as global sugarcane producers Royal Dutch Shell. “Our potential,” says Jardim, “is Brazil’s entire $7 billion pesticide market.”
The global population is on track to reach 9 billion by 2050. What are all those people going to eat?
We need to find new ways to deliver protein and calories to everyone. Our approach to food hasn’t changed much over the last 100 years. We need to look for new ways to raise nutrition in the poor world while shifting some of our choices in the wealthy world.
Fortunately, there are thousands of plant proteins in the world, and many of them have yet to be explored for use in the production of meat alternatives. Food is ripe for Innovation.
- Bill Gates: Food Is Ripe for Innovation (mashable.com)
- What Bill Gates Believes Is The Future Of Food [Video] (psfk.com)
- The 3 Companies That Bill Gates Thinks Are Shaping The Future Of Food (fastcoexist.com)
- The year the Valley embraced sustainable food innovation [GigaOM] (gigaom.com)
- 3 Plant Proteins That Reduce Belly Fat (expertscolumn.com)
- Bears Committing Suicide, Bill Gates on Food, Vegan Medicine and Other Vegan News (changeforayear.com)
- Bill Gates Advocating For Big Cut In Meat Consumption (planetsave.com)
- Surprise! Plant Protein vs Animal Protein (veggloverherbaltraditions.wordpress.com)