Literally, everyone loves to grab a bite to snack during the day. Some people are not even huge fans of full meals during the day and would rather settle for snacks. You just have to check out the stuff people buy from wholesalers such as N Richards to see how popular snacks are. In Zimbabwe, there is a wide range of snacks that sell big time. Just like freezits most people settle for just selling them as vendors or from home. However, significant amounts of money can be made from manufacturing them and wholesaling (or even retailing them). In this article, I take you through how you can start the business.
How you will start this business will be largely informed by which type of snacks you will choose. The thing about snacks is that there are numerous possible approaches – niching is very important here. Coupled with niching is the fact that you must place extreme emphasis on quality and a great taste. For instance, some people exclusively focus on manufacturing maputi. The secret is in seeing to it that you niche strategically.
The machine to buy depends on your niche. The most common snacks in Zimbabwe are maputi and chips. Some snacks do not even require sophisticated machinery. I have recently noticed a rise in the sale of roasted maputi and peanuts – this you can do using appliances and materials you already have at home. Maputi guns are quite easy to find in Zimbabwe; usually, suppliers of such tend to also have machines for other types of snacks.
If you cannot find them locally you can always turn to South Africa. In SA you can check out Techtron Equipment on their website. They offer the best snack machinery under one roof. Locally there is a company called Profit Ideas, based in Bulawayo. They specialize in a wide range of snack making machines. You can check out their Facebook page for more information.
When it comes to ingredients you are looking at things like corn (cereals in general), nuts, fats and oils, antioxidants, emulsifiers, fruits, sweeteners, milk (dairy products in general), salt, water, flavours, and colourants. These are just some examples; the list is much longer because not all snacks are based on just cereal crops, some are based on say, meat.
Not many hands required especially if you are doing small scale. Usually, the machinery that needs to be operated automatically can be by just one or two people. As always manual operation tends to increase the number of hands needed.
Given the snack or snacks, you would have chosen you will need the machines for manufacturing them. Packaging material will also be a key component here – you cannot compromise on packaging when it comes to snacks. It is wise to work towards letting the business finance itself. (This should be your approach to every business actually). Borrowing to finance the business is a shaky path because you might lose out. I have noticed that snack machines are typically expensive but it really just depends on the scale you want to operate on. Snack machines range from around US$2000 to US$35000. Maputi guns can even be way cheaper than US$2000.
The importance of packaging is extremely important. In making a robust market presence you must be visible both through your packaging and being online. It all starts with thorough market research though; if you miss it then you are doomed. The other secret is to be a huge proponent of good health practises and keeping the environment well cared for. If you define your brand aligned in that way people will favour you above all other players. In short, two things that can set you apart on the market are superior quality and a great taste.
This is a food manufacturing business so you must ensure you adhere to laid down laws. Make sure you are compliant in every regard; a good starting point is to approach the relevant local authorities for guidance. You will also do well to seek advice and guidance from experts in the field of food and nutrition.
It is important to note that you must be sure the snacks you are settling for are the real deal. Remember that this type of business thrives on pushing volumes. This can only happen if you tap into an abundant and sustainable market which you can only know if you conduct thorough market research. Otherwise, this is a good business to venture into. On average you can start realizing significant profits after just half a year in operation.