The same way I check and think twice while buying processed and packaged garri( cassava Flakes) is the same way other first time buyers also think/feel. Traditional ijebu Garri has already made name for so long and even up till now most Nigerians residing
outside the country demand for it always which means, they prefer its taste, uniqueness, over any other form of cassava flakes in the Market.
As a young agropreneur, you have to be efficient while doing your market pre-feasibility study which will allow you to know if the business is going to be viable or not.
Adding value to some of our agricultural farm produce is good because it can attract foreign patronage but not in all cases. There are some of our food ( mostly native food) which is hard to attract patronage if much value? Packaging is added to it.
Hint* over the time, I heard so many women say they prefer fire wood smoked fish over oven dried cat-fish. When I further make my interview, they said the smoky taste and small is what gives their food amazing aroma and taste. I agree with them 100% after so many discussions. Viz-a-viz, it hard for any Nigerian woman to use frozen fish as “pepper soup”.
Look deep into the market and targeted customers for your product before going further into mass-production. Most company that consulted me in the past, I told them to go far from traditional food and look into production of some farm produce into flour and add just 10% value to any traditional food of their choice. It’s easy to turn maize/corn into flour for further food processing than to add much value to pap “Akamu/Koko” which most customers that patronize this product depend largely on its ever stable fermented taste, easy to make and cheap.
You have a lot to do as a young agro-preneur trying to modernized/ package a well-known traditional/local food. Your market strategies must be so smart which must be enough to break through into the market. Most people belief that too many mechanically processing stages in modernized food had taken away the nutritional benefit of the food making the food to be seen as a low value product.
Because mechanical process are involved in modern food production, It’s generally believed that some sort of chemicals preservatives will be added to keep the shelf life of food and this chemicals will eventually render some active natural ingredient dormant or even not active.
Mostly, the elites request for palm wine from their villages not because there’s no champagne, but the feelings and the taste of natural flavored and processed palm wine is inevitable some times. Although, I always advice agro-preneur that selling all these traditional food in a more unique way is all the need not adding so much value or packaging it. Most people want to taste palm wine that comes directly without water or sugar-mixture, but they could not see to buy easily. So all you need to do is to work on your supply chain and logistics as a young agropreneur and deliver the best for the customers instead of you looking at branding palm wine into bottle and keep inside fridge. Remember, people want it natural and are ready to pay for the value if goods enough.
And if you are willing to work and break the rules which I use to encourage my team members to follow their instinct when it comes to business, you then have a lot to do to break the barrier which will make the traditional food lovers to patronize your product (modernized/mechanically processed for product). It’s good to dare and take risk as you can have a good breakthrough at the end.
Note: Do you know that traditional “Hausa suya” was just modernized a bit to “kilisi” that people buy from super marts today. All that is involved is little packaging with more preservatives measures which keeps it safe and makes it last longer than” Suya.” Some group of entrepreneur gives it a trial and it worked out for them. Today, demand is high and traditional suya seller still sells good because most people still believe in the long time brand.