Sunday, September 10, 2017

Plantain/Banana Chips - The Most Affordable Solution to Manufacture in Africa

From years of travelling around Africa and meeting business people at work and at Trade Show's, I am most enlightened to connect with small business owners who have taken their 'home-industries' and grown them in to large successful corporations, and more importantly, nationally and internationally recognised FMCG brands. One area where i have seen a steady gap for years though in West Africa is the snack food industry.  (click below to watch video of all machines to make chips)


Since the early 80's we have had fried plantain chips and kelewele available on the road side from street vendors, freshly made. And more recently businesses have sprouted up that are frying and packaging chips at home and packaging in plain plastic bags to sell to motorists on the crowded streets. More recently, some of them even implementing modern packaging so the goods can be sold in international supermarkets. I was very happy to see this and ventured out to meet some of these budding entrepreneurs face to face.

While it was amazing to see these young business people with fantastic ideas actually realising their vision, it was a bit saddening for me to notice the shortfalls in their strategy. In most cases, if not all, the young business people had spotted this gap for African Snack Foods while living or studying abroad. They could see how their countries products would fit perfectly on the shelf at Whole Foods or Safeway, sitting right next to a bag of Lays potato ships. But the packaging??

Flavouring Machine
De Oiling Machine

So like any fired up investor with a plan, they immediately get to designing a new brand. In fact they spend so much on that process without even considering the industrial applications of their idea. By the time they have designed and sourced packaging, flavouring, and raw materials, they hardly have enough left of to purchase the required processing and packaging machines. So we end up with the same short life, medium quality product, just now in a splendid packaging. And because the process is the same, the cost is the same too just more because of the added packaging. Is this a correct representation of what our countries have to offer?




At PAT we are focused on offering and implementing cost effective manufacturing solutions to our clients in emerging markets. Rather than placing the cart before the horse, we focus on getting the right equipment to delivery a superior finished product. Our simple machinery will insure that the finished product is properly treated and packaged to insure freshness and extended shelf life.  Such as this de-oiling machine, which offers a process that very few if any small manufacturers would use. But can you just imagine how this will improve the taste of your chips?

We work with local partners to offer training and production practices that are expectable by international food an beverage regulators. And furthermore our team of over 3 qualified packaging designers will help to design our brands at absolutely zero added cost.

Check out the YouTube video at the top to see exactly how this line works with details of all the related equipment. Make sure to check out our other videos on YouTube and subscribe to see more educational videos about setting up businesses and small industries.