CEO and founder Colin van Heerden has been making snacks since 1993, when he left his position at a major corporate retailer. Colin felt that there was an opportunity to produce and supply snacks that were both of a high quality and affordable. At that time, the snack market was dominated as they still are today, (but now only in supermarkets chains), by a massive internationally owned company and out of reach for the majority of people in South Africa. His thinking was that by using independent retailers and hawkers, rather than supermarket chains as the primary distributors, prices could be held to a minimum, provided the quality was right. Hawkers would have a better chance for success and more people could enjoy a little time out and moments of fun with a tasty snack.
Relocating from super city Johannesburg to tiny town Harding, Colin began working day and night to achieve his dream. With two children on the way and a strong family life, these were the first steps towards realizing what Truda is today. The original team was small – less than twenty people, and the first two bales sold under the Truda brand were to a lucky man from Namibia. As in life it hasn’t all been plain sailing. Colin was bitten by a black mamba at one point,but even with the most impossible obstacles, Truda continued to grow and prosper as a company, and as a family.
The name Truda refers to the extruders used to make the chips. The very first extruder was welded to a truck body and driven from Johannesburg to Harding, travelling through wind, rain and bumpy roads. Amazingly it is still working today!
Now, with as many as 20 different kinds of maize flavoured snacks, Truda is one of South Africa’s top snack producers. Colin prefers Stylos and Flyers, but everyone has their favourite Truda treat!