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PIA Press Release

DTI, industry players up banana chips promotion

by Prix D Banzon

Davao City (12 October) -- Banana chips as snack food for schools children and side dishes in restaurants for diners are among the new steps taken by industry players to promote the food among consumers in the Davao region.

The product was launched yesterday during the Best Buy Bonanza as the Davao Region opened its celebration for the Consumer Welfare Month spearheaded by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Merly Cruz, DTI assistant secretary in an interview said they need to create an impact where consumers can influence a healthy lifestyle and increase the demand.

Bananas provide natural benefits and curative properties and nutrients derive from it include protein, carbohydrates, potassium, phosphorous, vitamin A and other vitamins and minerals.

"We have to have massive promotion to create consumer acceptance to trigger the industry," she said.

A P500,000 budget was earmark for pushing banana chips in the domestic market and this includes its promotion, she said.

The promotion includes the Banana Jingle "Basta May Saging" composed by Joey Ayala that was aired for the first time in yesterday's launching.

While they have a tie up with the Department of Educations in pushing the products in school based canteens for the students to access Cruz said they are not waging war against other products.

She said the market is huge and they only intend to get 10 percent of the market share where their main objective of penetrating schools is to also impact on the change of lifestyles among the kids.

"There is no quarrel because we can co-exist with other players," she said.

Although she said that they are still studying the purchasing power of students in government schools the response to the product is very encouraging.

She said a multi-pronged strategy has to be taken to develop the domestic market even as she said that they can also go export for the table banana chips but the desired flavor and the nutrient requirements has to be carefully studied for the product to land the international market.

The DTI has worked on the formulation of 11 different flavors of banana chips and among them are the coffee, chocolate, cheese, barbecue, strawberry, honey glazed, twin berries, sweet and spicy.

A pre-investment study is given to interested investors on investment capital requirement necessary to put up such business as it also provide local banana growers opportunity to increase more areas to be planted with banana cardaba variety as the demand grow.

As banana is among the industry cluster endorsed in the Davao region, a convergence in marketing of the product is being undertaken by DEPED, Department of Agriculture, DTI, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Agrarian Reform, and the Banana Farmers Industry Organization.

Cruz meanwhile said that the export market for banana chips is already in place but these are industrial banana chips for further processing into its desired form when it reaches the foreign market.

She said banana chips eat up only 20 percent of export and the remaining 80 percent are fresh bananas. (PIA XI) [top]

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