Market Potential of Potato Chips in Cameroon
An Overview of Cameroon Potato Chips Production and Market
Potato is the most important and widely consumed tuber crop in Cameroon. In Cameroon, potatoes are cultivated mostly in the West and North-West regions which make up 80% of national production, according to the Minister of Agriculture. Although most of the crop is consumed locally within the farming communities to ensure food security, about 26% is freshly marketed locally to generate family income and 1% is exported to all the neighboring countries, the industrial processing of potatoes is yet to develop in Cameroon, where potatoes are mostly consumed in “peel” and “boil” form or as potato chips due to the development of potato chips machine. Sliced and fried potato chips and crisps are popular foods in local markets and restaurants. In Douala, Yaounde, and Bafoussam, potato chips are packaged and sold in supermarkets or hawked on busy streets or in schools.
Favorable Factors Promoting the Production of Potato Chips in Cameroon
A. The economic factors
With the ongoing growth of the population and rising urbanization, particularly among young people, packaged food such as packaged potato chips in Cameroon has very bright growth prospects. The increasing sophistication of consumers and improving product quality will also be growth drivers over the forecast period. In addition, a stronger economy is set to translate into substantial income growth for a large proportion of the population, thus further increasing demand. The stronger the economy, the more purchasing power. Therefore, the marketing of high-value industrially processed potato products, such as potato chips, is becoming economically feasible as reflected by the existence of a potato processing plant in Cameroon. Potato chips are regarded as an attractive, palatable snack that is relatively easy to be marketed. Easy availability, convenient packaging, affordable prices, and nutritious values are some other reasons for their popularity even in far-flung rural areas. There exist consumers as well as bulk markets.
External forces of globalization are now putting pressure on Cameroon to shift agricultural production from subsistence-scale local production to large-scale commercial production.
C. The development of the potato chips machine
Either international or domestic manufacturers can provide processors kinds of potato chips machines, semi-automatic potato chips plants, and automatic potato chips plants with good prices and good quality. This is beneficial for the large-scale commercial production of potato chips.
D. Changes in the lifestyle of the consumer
As the working population grows, the busy schedule of high-street workers has resulted in most people snacking during the day when there is usually no time to enjoy a proper meal. Demand for convenient snacks is on the rise, thus making savory snacks like potato chips, French fries, an easy means to an end for consumption between meals. Due to an interest in these areas, local manufacturers, although lacking production capacity, are, however, now packaging and selling such products to resemble regular packaged goods and through formal channels, such as independent small grocers and supermarkets. These are seen everywhere and are cheaper since they are made locally and can be found at parties, office gatherings, funerals, and any kind of social event.
E. Other factors
Sharp seasonal price movements, the high cost of transportation, and the potato’s perishability have generated interest in processing potatoes in Cameroon. Processing potatoes into potato chips is one profitable choice.
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