A Ghanaian manufacturing company, Blow Chem Industries Limited, has established Ghana’s first ever instant noodles factory and Ghana’s first indigenous noodles brand, Yum-mie Instant Noodles.
The factory, which started operation in December but began producing for the market last month, can produce 6,000 boxes of 40 packets each of noodles every 24 hours during full production.
The business decision, the company says, falls in line with the overall goal of Blow Chem Industries Limited, also manufacturers of Bel-Aqua mineral water, to find local substitutes for food and beverage products that are heavily imported to Ghana, of which instant noodles is one.
“So we look at sectors where Ghanaian local companies are not representing that much and we try to get local substitutes for whatever we are importing in that sector, so when you take food and beverages, noodles are one of the products that are heavily imported into the country.
“We don’t have any company producing it in Ghana, so that was an opportunity for us to start a local substitute and we didn’t just want to do a local substitute – we wanted to produce a type of substitute that was even better than what was being produced in terms of packaging, in terms of the quality of flour and flavours,” the Brands Manager of Blow Chem Industries Limited, Mr Emmanuel Quist, said.
Attention to taste
According to him, Yum-mie Instant Noodles was produced to suit the taste of Ghanaians, hence the introduction of unique flavours such as jollof and beef in light soup.
“The disadvantage of relying on imported products is the neglect of the specific preferences, interests and values of the customers, in this case Ghanaians. This is why Yum-mie Noodles produced in Ghana has paid special attention to the tastes that Ghanaians love most as far as their meals and eating habits are concerned, and have taken the pain to do extensive research, with the help of international experts from Germany, to come up with unique tastes that Ghanaians will enjoy and love like the jollof and beef in light soup flavours,” he said during a visit by the Daily Graphic last week.
For the first time in Ghana also, Yum-mie Instant Noodles has introduced six different flavours comprising chicken, pepper chicken, onion chicken, pepper beef, beef in light soup and jollof.
“We developed our quality so that when we say instant noodles, we make sure that it cooks within two minutes and no longer due to our high quality of raw materials and technology. There is no point emphasising a product as “instant” which takes longer to cook or does not comply with the cooking time on the wrapper,” Mr Quist explained.
Produced to international standards
“What will be the point in making a case for a Ghanaian noodles brand if it cannot compete with the ones imported into the country?” he asked, adding; “This is why we have made the deliberate and conscious effort to invest several millions of Euros in acquiring the right technology and experts to create a product that will not only beat the imported brands on the market but meet the highest international standards,” he said.
Mr Quist urged Ghanaians to experience the difference in taste and quality for themselves and report their feedback, expressing the hope that Ghanaians would love the taste.
“This will confirm that we can also make products in Ghana that are better than imported products if we invest with the right technology; more often imported products, especially food products, are either expensive or inferior in quality.
“From the quality of our packaging, to the quality of the wheat flour used and the seasonings, the product is completely unlike anything on the market currently. And we keep saying that if we are to make a case for made-in-Ghana products, we must make them very hard to resist and for us Ghanaians, that is exactly what Yum-mie Instant Noodles stands for,” Mr Quist said.
He said the equipment for the manufacture of Ghana’s first instant noodles brand was procured from the world’s best producers located in Japan, with an investment worth several million Euros.
There is also a laboratory that works in three stages. These are, analysing the raw materials to make sure that they meet the required standards, ensuring that the product meets the approved standard at every step of the production process and finally testing the final product to verify that it meets the right standard of the company and also meets international standard, before it is released onto the market.
Yum-mie Instant Noodles has already employed about 300 people and looks to create more employment through indirect jobs for vendors, sales people, marketers and other professionals in the instant noodles value chain.
“Again, that is the benefit of supporting local manufacturers. Our contribution to economic development is immense. With Yum-mie Instant Noodles, for instance, about 500 to 600 direct jobs will be created by the time we are fully rolled out; and an equal amount of indirect jobs are projected to be created by the first year of operations,” Mr Quist said.
About Yum-mie Instant Noodles
The producers of Yum-mie Instant Noodles added that the nutrients in Yum-mie would improve the nutrition of Ghanaians tremendously.
“These noodles are almost a complete balanced diet. It has properties such as protein, fat, minerals and everything needed for a balanced diet. Taking the noodles with some vegetables even make it a more balanced diet suitable for both children and adults,” Mr Quist stated.
He said if given the opportunity, Ghanaians could produce to international standards and the onus was, therefore, on Ghanaians to support such strides, “and that is how economically we can develop as a country.”
He also hinted that the company was working at employing the services of more out grower farmers by buying about 300 tonnes of pepper from them every quarter for production.