HOW TO START A PLANTAIN CHIPS PRODUCTION AND SALES BUSINESS IN NIGERIA
Plantain Chips is one of the popular snacks you’ll definitely find in the market today. It was something that was usually associated with big snack companies or specific brands that make such products. Now, it has become something that almost anyone can make at home provided you know what you’re doing. Snacks, these days, are not limited to biscuits, cakes and other popular confections. It now includes home made snacks like Plantain Chips, Chin Chin, coconut chips and many more like that. The focus of this article, however, is plantain chips which will be discussed over the next paragraphs.
In the production process of the plantain chips, the easiest of it all is frying of the chips itself. It’s almost the same as just preparing a meal in the kitchen. It really doesn’t take a specific skill or education or experience or anything of sort. All you need is preparing your mindset that you’re starting the business, stay dedicated and committed to the tasks involved in the production process and be patient as you await your profit. Just like that, a plantain chips production setup can be achieved. Even the equipments needed to get the business started are affordable and can be easily gotten in the market.
Starting a business like the plantain chips production business is one that can be started with a low cost. I mean, with as little as about five thousand naira, you can get your business started and depending on the capacity you set out for sale, it is almost sure that you’ll make profits. The main ingredient for the production is of course, plantain, which comes from the banana family and is also consumed quite well by many. Plantain contains fibre which are healthy for body. Plantain Chips are also for everybody. It can be consumed by both young and old and is a good source of refreshment.
Depending on if you’ll be going small scale or large scale, the items needed for the business includes a bowl for putting the plantain, a frying pan which could either be the conventional one or the deep fryer (whichever one you use, you’re still sure to get the final product), frying spoon, seive, and the plantain cutter. The plantain cutter is of two types, the manual and the electric type. Both are very easy to use but the electric is faster and saves time though it doesn’t mean the manual cutter works badly. It is advisable to go for one based on your budget and what you have planned to spend on resources.
When the equipments are ready, it’s now up to you to start making the plantain chips. As mentioned previously, the plantain is the main ingredient in the production process. It could now be ripe or unripe plantain but most times the unripe ones are used. Then you can come up with your own recipe to make it taste different and give your plantain chips a signature look and taste. This will help with the marketing of the product which will still be discussed in this article. During the marketing stage, the plantain chips is ready to enter the market and get you the desired profits.
In the next sub heads, I’ll be taking you through the steps to be taken in starting a plantain chips production and sales business and also a brief step by step procedure on how to get the final product, the plantain chips, which will eventually be packaged and sold in the market for consumers.
Research is highly important in any business. It is something that should not take much of your time but still, even when research prove time consuming, the time will be well spent provided you are able to get all the information you need to get the business started. Getting information on a business is quite easy these days, all you need is just a phone and an internet connection. There are lots of information online on the plantain chips business and why you should consider it, take your time to access the business and be sure of what you want. Also, seek knowledge from experts or professionals in the business for reliable information. After concluding the research, you can then decide to write the business plan for the entrepreneurship venture.
2. DECIDE ON CAPACITY
The business is so affordable to start that you just need a small amount of money if you’re starting small. And when you’re starting small, you can do all the production processes from the comfort of your home without stress or problem at all. The cost of equipments is also lesser because you’ll most likely make use of home utensils for the frying of the plantain.
Unlike the small scale business, the large scale plantain chips business might need a shop for the production of the chips. Also, there will be need for workers and it adds an extra cost on paying for labor after securing the location. With the plan to produce in large scale, there will be need to buy equipments that will generally make the process faster and less time consuming. There will be workers so they’ll definitely be the ones to operate with the equipments.
3. GETTING INGREDIENTS AND EQUIPMENTS
This is gotten based on the capacity of the business. If you’re starting small scale, the items to be purchased will only be in small quantities and there might be no need to get equipments. Cutting of the plantain can be done with knives instead of cutters if you can’t afford it. Also, you can use your regular frying pan at home. For a large scale business, there is need to get all equipments possible to help the business. There is an expected production level everyday so you’ll need to get things that will ensure you meet the target. The cutters must be gotten and it is recommended that you get the electric cutter if you can afford it.
4. PRODUCTION, SALE AND MARKETING
At this point, all ingredients and equipments are in place and it’s time to get the production process started. It shouldn’t be a hard thing to do as it is just as similar to the normal frying process though you might need to add some sort of special recipe to make your product different from available competition. Once that is done, you’re ready to enter the market and make sales but you don’t just send the plantain chips bare into the market, who will buy it? That is when marketing approaches of branding and packaging comes in. You’ll need to package your product in such as way that it will attract customers to it and also it should include your logo and contact details. The well packaged and branded plantain chips can then be taken into the market for sale. You can visit small shops, mini marts, confectionery shops, and markets to introduce your product to them. Before that, you must have decided your pricing strategy, so the next thing to expect is the profit.
Now, here are some steps that can be taken in production of the plantain chips.
1. Buy the plantain, whichever one you must have decided- ripe or unripe.
2. Sort the plantain and remove unsuitable ones that will probably make bad chips.
3. The plantains are washed to remove the dirt on them after which they can be peeled the normal way with knives.
4. The plantains can the be sliced. Depending on your budget, you can either make use of knives or the cutter.
5. Salt or sweetener or any additives can be added to preserve it and add flavor to the chips.
6. The frying process begins. The sliced plantains can then be fried using either the normal frying pan or a deep fryer. The size of either one depends on the capacity you want to produce.
7. After frying, spices can be added. They are left to dry and cool before being packaged and sent out to the market.
The plantain chips production and sales business is one that is lucrative and can bring in massive amounts of profits over time. More interesting is that the business can be started with a little amount of capital and also from the comfort of your home. There are definitely competitors in the market and how you beat them depends on your recipe, packaging and marketing strategies.