The founder of the Nandi brand, Fats Dlamini, grew up in South Africa but travelled extensively in his 20s. He backpacked around the world and visited over 50 countries – learning new languages and experiencing new foods and cultures along the way – and then completed his graduate studies in England and the US. One of his main observations from his travels was the commonality between the world’s cultures, and the division between its people because homogenous communities often do not know about other cultures. This observation planted a seed in his mind: to export more of Africa’s wonderful meats and foods with the world.
In 2016, five years after returning to his native South Africa, Fats decided to start the first export-oriented pet food factory in Africa. South Africa has some of the world’s best meats because of the country’s ample land, varied climate, and sustainable farming practices. Many international tourists come to South Africa for the country’s fine wines and wildlife, but they leave with an equal appreciation for the region’s exceptional meats.
Fats and his founding team spent 18 months coming up with formulations for their pet treats in consultation with nutritionists, food technologists, vets, butchers, and even pastry chefs. Their objective was to preserve South Africa’s unique meats so they could be exported to pet owners around the world, without comprising any of the flavor or nutritional content of a fresh cut of meat.
The culmination of this extensive R&D was four categories of Nandi product: freeze-dried treats made from protein-rich organs, jerky treats made from 100% human-grade meat blocks, smoked tendons, and naturally preserved bones with the marrow intact. Taking a leaf from the world’s best chefs, Nandi’s objective is to source the world’s best meats and ingredients and to present them as simply and elegantly as possible.