Plantain Chips
Business Ideas

How to Make Money with Small Scale Plantain Chips Making Business

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Plantain chips business is profitable! If you are looking for a business to start right away with little investment capital,  here is one you can consider. 

Plantain chip is a deep-fried crispy and crunchy snack made from plantain, ripe or unripe. Most people see plantain chip as a preferred snack to hold hunger before proper meal, hence it is widely consumed by people of all ages – children, adults, men, women, rich, poor, the high and the lowly.

Plantain is an important staple food in Africa and it grows very well in Nigeria.  It is rich in fibre; is a common source of carbohydrates; contains some essential vitamins and minerals and is easily digestible.

Nutritional Facts of Plantain

Calories 179
Fat 0 grams (g)
Protein 1 g
Carbohydrates 48 g
Potassium 4 g
Vitamin C 27 mg
Vitamin A 83 micrograms (ug)
Vitamin B6 0.44 mg
Magnesium 55 mg

It has been found that the consumption of plantain is good for weight control, high in antioxidant and good for the heart.  It is a versatile vegetable in that it can be consumed in variety  of ways – boiled, roasted, fried and chips.

However, fried plantain may contain amount of cholesterol and saturated fat, especially when prepared with unhealthy oil and may not appeal to the heart-health conscious person.

Thus, if you are considering starting a plantain chip business you will do well to differentiate your product by using quality vegetable oil to prepare it.

INVESTMENT RATIONALE

The business of plantain chip making can be very viable and can be done with very little investment.  It can be done on a cottage scale, small scale, medium scale and even large scale. So for those who have been looking for a small scale business to start with little capital, Plantain Chips Production and Sale is a viable option.

 Other reasons this business thrives are identified below:

  • It can be done on a a very small scale with little or no investment in equipment
  • The major raw material you need is the raw plantain which is richly grown in Nigeria. As a matter of fact, Nigeria is the largest plantain growing country in West Africa. It can be found mainly in the Southern states of Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo, Ekiti, Edo, Delta, Rivers, Bayelsa, Abia, Imo, Anambra, Ebonyi, Akwa Ibom, Cross River and the Middle Belt states of Plateau and Kogi.
  • The market for plantain chip is huge and has remained largely unsatisfied.
  • There is no barrier to entry.
  • Your only limitation is your hardwork, level of creativity in formulating your recipe and perhaps, packaging.
  • It is a business you can start right from your kitchen and grow to any level your capacity and tenacity can take you.
  • Plantain chip has long shelf life – between six months to one year.

REQUIREMENT TO START A PLANTAIN CHIP BUSINESS

Embarking on industrial scale production requires huge investment in equipment which will include: motorized plantain slicer, Deep Stainless Steel with Mesh and Burner, Pedal type sealing machine and weighing machine with a digital table top.  For this scale of production you will be requiring some large amount of money, between N3 million to N10 million.

The focus of this post, however, is on a micro or small scale plantain chips business. This level of operation is more labour intensive and can be started with as little as N50,000 or even less, beginning with a few bunches of plantain and deploying essentially kitchen utensil as your production equipment.

This level of operation can earn you as much as 80% returns in net income on a monthly basis.

You will need:

Space   

this can be a shop, a purpose-built factory (if you have the capital), else use your kitchen

Business Registration 

Registering your business is important to give you an identity and also protect your business.  With NGN10, 000 you can register your business name with the Corporate Affairs Commission. It may even be less if you do it yourself without involving lawyers or consultants. All you need do is log onto the CAC website, create an account and follow the process. 

Do you need a NAFDAC registration?

I must admit that most, if not all the brands around don’t have NAFDAC numbers. However, being a food processing and packaging business, having a NAFDAC Registration number on your plantain chips pack will give consumers the confidence that your product went through high hygiene standard and is safe for consumption. This is my personal opinion. 

Registration of Trade Mark  

You will need this to protect your brand, that is, the name by which your chip is known. Without registering your brand name if you have one, you stand the risk of losing that name to a competitor. Registration of Trade Marks in Nigeria is done by the Ministry of Trade and Investment. 

Raw Material 

The major raw materials you need are the bunches of plantain which is readily available in the local markets.  If you are operating from Lagos, you can get as much quantity of plantain as you need from Idioro Market in Mushin area or Mile 12 market along Ikorodu Road.

Ingredients 

vegetable oil, salt, spices

Equipment 

Principally the equipment you need to start with are largely kitchen utensil, including the following:

  • Gas stove
  • Plantain Chip Cutter
  • Deep Fryer
  • Big Bowl (basin)
  • Nylon Sealing Machine (portable one will do)
  • Sieve
  • Weighing Machine

You can easily source this from the regular markets around you or from online retail stores like Jumia and Konga

Recipe  

You will need to set your chips apart from the crowd by developing unique recipe.  It is nothing really spectacular other than simply tweaking the standard recipe to get a unique taste. Generally, your recipe will include the following ingredients

Plaintain

Vegetable Oil

Salt to taste

You may then add ginger, garlic, paper and some other spices or useful herbs to get  a unique formula.

HOW TO MAKE PLANTAIN CHIPS

It is a simple process, more like the normal way you fry your plantain for home consumption.

  • Wash the plantain and peel it neatly
  • Using your Vegetable Slicer, slice the plantain into a bowl of water. The water is important because it will help to retain the colour of the plantain
  • Add salt
  • Drain water using a sieve
  • Add other ingredients of choice, such as ginger, garlic, pepper, depending on your recipe .
  • Get your gas cooker ready
  • Heat your vegetable oil in a frying pan
  • Put your sliced plantain in the right quantity in the pan and start frying.
  • Allow to cool and dry and start packing into your branded packaging material.
Useful tips by experienced plantain chips makers

#1        Species of plantain to use – Buy the plantain specie that has low starch.  The Honduras specie is recommended.

#2        Use big and mature plantain. This will not only ensure you get more slices per bunch but also mean your end product will be crispy. If you are using ripe plantain, then it must be firm.

#3        Don’t slice it to be too tick or too thin.  Use the vegetable slicer to get even shape and sizes

#4        Maintain a mild frying temperature range so that the plantain does not burn.

#5        Allow the chips to cool before packing

And I will add my own tip: make sure you prepare your chips in a very clean and hygienic environment

YOUR MARKET

As highlighted in the foregoing paragraphs, there is a big market for plantain chips given the huge population of Nigeria and the fact that plantain is more or less a staple food here eaten by almost everybody just like our  garri, rice and yam.

However, the competition is also getting keener, especially in urban centre as a growing number of entrepreneurs are beginning to realize the profit potential in plantain chip business.  Hence, the motley of brands we see on the street and traffic along the high ways in major Nigerian cities.  Some are not even branded.

What this means is that you have to be a little bit creative to market your product.  Your immediate market is all the corner grocery shops in your area and supermarkets.  Court the shop owners and use them as outlets, if your chips is good and on demand, you will see that people will want to distribute for you.

It will not be a bad idea to design a website and digitally promote your plantain chips business using the social media.  You might be amazed at the amount of patronage you get through this medium.  Businesses are going online and digital marketing has become a strong tool to not only create awareness but also generate sales.

If you do it well, there is also an export potential in this plantain chips business.

Final Words

It is helpful that you get some mentorship before you start any business.  Or at least get some training.  That way you are able to know some secrets that is critical to success in the business you want to go into.

See also  20 Small Businesses You Can Start In Nigeria With Little Capital

A certain enthusiastic entrepreneur was almost discouraged because of some challenges she had with this business.  She couldn’t get a crispy finished product.  Her chips also got soft quickly therefore difficult to sell.

These are things that a mentor would easily had shown her, if she had one

Buchi provides small business owners with strategic, financial, and digital support to help them build strong, successful and profitable enterprises. He is a Blogger at night and by day, Team Lead at Stalwart Investment Partners Ltd, a research, business and investment advisory firm.

23 Comments

  • Patience

    Hello Buchi, very useful article. Please I need your invaluable inputs in starting my own plantain business. I’ve set aside 25k for cottage or small scale plantain business. I want to start this month. But I’m not ready for business registration with CAC or NAFDAC yet. I should be able to do that soon as I stand on my feet with the business. Please help me.

  • sisi

    Am interested in plantain chips business but my problem is how to get d plantain cutter machine, am ready to purchase a portable one to start with. if only u can link me up to the one that can give a uniform slicing (tiny) .

    • Cecilia

      @Buchi. Pls. My friend and I wants to start a plantain chips business to assist ourselves in school. But we’ve not gotten money for CAC and nafdac now. Would it be ok?

      • Buchi

        You can start without business registration and nafdac. However, bear it in mind that registering your business comes with some benefits.

  • Oliver mercy han

    Thanks for keeping us updated.

    Pls how much is nafdac registration fees?

    Is it compulsory to register my plantain chips business under CAC before starting?

    Can I start it before register under nafdac?

    • Buchi

      Product registration with NAFDAC can cost between N80,000 and N150,000 excluding consultant’s fee if you are using one. Fortunately you can start the process online, so it’s possible to do it without a consultant.

      If you are trading or doing business in a name that’s not your natural name, you must register that name with the CAC, and it’s advisable you do so before you commence business.

      The reason is to ensure no one else is using that name before or after you. Registering your business help you avoid unnecessary legal issues.

      Finally, if your line of business requires NAFDAC registration, it’s expected that you would have obtained the NAFDAC number before you start.

      What you can do is to produce a sample after you would have set up your factory, then use the sample to get nafdac registration before your commercial launch.

      Now with plantain chips production, I must say that many, if not all the brands out there, don’t have nafdac number. It could be that nafdac application of the rules with plantain chip making is relaxed. Don’t quote me on this.

  • Akumaior Gladys

    thank you very much please I want to ask how can I start a small plantain chips business in university an a student I want to start with at least a hundred packets

    • Buchi

      Do you want to produce or just buy and resell? If you are student and want to do it in school, I assume you are considering to buy and sell. If that’s the case, all you need do is find out people who produce i.

      Buy from them. Negotiate a reasonable discount since you will be buying in bulk. I assume you have a space on campus, if not you can carry it about and sell after lectures.

      All you need is a fine carry on bag to move about.

  • Bukky

    Good morning Sir/ma

    I love this your article on small scale plantain chips business. my question is how much does nafdac registration number cost. i will like to start plantain chips business soon and i want to put everything into consideration.

    Thank you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Copy link
Powered by Social Snap