Looking for a business you can start with a very low capital, without expensive or sophisticated production equipment? Looking for a business you can start from the comfort of your home, and which has a ready and large market? I would recommend plantain chips production and sales business to you.
Plantain chips are crunchy and crispy snacks made from either ripe or unripe plantain. It is one snack that is loved world-wide especially in Africa. If well-managed, this business has propensity to yield high income.
This is a business you can do if you are unemployed and even if you are employed, you can do this business part-time and have additional income. You can employ people to run the business for you. If you don’t have funds to rent a business office, you can start this business from the comfort of your home. With as low as N50,000 you can start this business.
In this article, I will be sharing with you how you can start and make a success of plantain chips production and sales business.
Nutritional value of plantain
Plantain is a nutritious food which is rich in complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. It is also easily digestible and promotes bowel regularity, it contains potassium which is essential for maintaining cells and body fluids that control heart rate and blood pressure, it can also help to control body weight and it contains high antioxidants that helps to build the immune system.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the basic nutritional facts for one cup of sliced plantain (148g) are as follows:
|Nutritional Value of Plantain|
|Nutrient||Unit||1 cup, sliced = 148.0g|
|Total lipid (fat)||g||0.55|
|Carbohydrate, by difference||g||47.2|
|Fiber, total dietary||g||3.4|
|Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid||mg||27.2|
|Vitamin A, RAE||µg||83|
|Vitamin A, IU||IU||1668|
|Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)||mg||0.21|
|Vitamin D (D2 + D3)||µg|
|Vitamin K (phylloquinone)||µg||1|
|Fatty acids, total saturated||g||0.212|
|Fatty acids, total monounsaturated||g||0.047|
|Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated||g||0.102|
|Fatty acids, total trans||g|
Equipment / materials needed to produce plantain chips
The basic equipment you need to produce plantain chips include:
- Table knife or plantain slicer – for cutting the plantain into size before frying. Plantain slicer makes it easier for you. You can buy a good plantain slicer here.
- Bowl – a container into which the plantain put during slicing or cutting into size before frying.
- Sieve – for removing the water after washing the sliced plantain before frying.
- Electric, kerosene or gas cooker (or even a firewood stove) – you just need a source of fire for cooking.
- Frying pan – for frying the plantain.
- Weighing scale – for weighing the product during packaging.
- Plain nylon – for packaging your product.
- Labels – for adding your business name and address to the product.
- A nylon sealing machine – A portable sized one can suffice. For sealing the plain nylon during packaging of the product. You can buy a good one here.
- Frying spoon – for stirring the plantain during frying and for bringing the plantain out of the oil after frying.
The ingredients for producing plantain chips
- Ripe or unripe plantains
- Vegetable oil
- Table salt/sugar (depending on the customer’s demand)
- Powdered pepper
You can buy raw plantains from raw food markets in your locality. When your production capacity increases, you can even buy truckloads of plantain from plantain farmers from local villages at a cheaper rate. Also, with time you may even plan to have your own plantain plantation.
Also see : How to Start & Run a Catering Business
The recipe for producing plantain chips
Step 1: Peel the back of the ripe or unripe plantain.
Step 2: Using a plantain slicer or knife slice/cut the peeled plantain into choice sizes and shapes into a bowl of water. The advantage of using a plantain slicer is that it makes the sliced plantain sizes to be even and makes the slicing faster.
Step 3: Add suitable quantity of table salt or sugar as preferred by your customers and stir.
Step 4: Pour the sliced plantain into a sieve to remove the water.
Step 5: You may wish to add garlic, ginger or powdered pepper. These are optional.
Step 6: Put on your kerosene stove or gas cooker or any other source of cooking fire. Pour your vegetable oil in the frying pan and cook for about 2 to 5 minutes or more depending on the quantity of the oil and capacity of the cooker.
Step 7: Begin to fry your sliced plantains. Fry for about 5 minutes. Don’t allow the chips to get dark in colour or burnt. Use your frying spoon to stir about twice to allow for proper cooking.
Step 8: Use your frying spoon to bring out the fried plantains from the oil into a sieve so that all remaining oil can drain out.
Step 9: Allow the fried chips to cool down. Then you can begin the packaging process.
Packaging the plantain chips for the market
Put quantities of the finished product into transparent air tight nylon bags according to your target sales. Use the nylon sealing machine to seal the bags. Ensure it is air tight. You can put in say, 50 to 100 grams of the chips into each nylon bag. Check your competitor’s packaging for comparison and be guided on fixing your target weight and price per bag.
Don’t forget to put your product label that contains your product name, company name, your contacts and any other vital information you wish in each bag.
Marketing your plantain chips
You would have done your market survey before commencing this business. You would have established your distribution links too. This is the time to get your finished product into all grocery stores, supermarkets, fast food outlets, eateries, schools etc within and beyond your locality. Explore all marketing strategies within your reach and budget.
Look for distributors that you can supply to. Give discounts to your customers. Get to know what your customers want, the spices & seasoning they prefer and align your production to their choice. Make both plantain chips with both ripe and unripe plantain to give a variety to your customers.
In all, give special attention to improving your production, product taste, delivery and packaging. Keep looking for new ways to market your product and improving your product’s distribution network.
There you have it. It’s one thing to learn and another to dare to implement your knowledge. It’s time to do just that. Feel free to contact us for any other help you desire. You can also share your thoughts about any aspect of this post using the comment section below.
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