Kerala's traditional snacks industry, dominated by banana and tapioca chips, is losing market share to the invasion by outside varieties, according to Mr Alex Thomas, Managing Director, Tierra Food India Pvt Ltd.
Multinational as well as large Indian companies have lured customers to the potato chips and corn-based extruded snacks sold by them, he said here on Thursday.
Banana and tapioca are two major crops cultivated in Kerala by small and medium farmers, and a fair share of the produce earlier went towards chips production. Owing to falling demand, the produce is now largely consumed as fresh fruit, which is subject to volatile prices compared to the fair and consistent prices fetched by the processed product.
MISSING ‘COOL' FACTOR
Increasingly restricted to festivals such as Onam and other functions such as marriages, potato and tapioca chips are no longer seen as ‘cool' by the younger generation, which prefers the potato chips or extruded snacks available in small and trendy packages, he said.
One really doesn't mind old habits dying and new habits being formed, but in this case two things:
- The extruded snacks are the closest to poison for the kids. High-sodium, high-salt, and I believe totally lacking in any nutrition whatsoever. When kids eat these frequently, they develop a taste for such high-salt/sodium food junk food. Not good.
- The small trendy packages. They are choking the environment.
So, can someone turn back the clock please?