Success with pickles
New pickle product lines in attractive packaging boost sales for local processors in Tanzania
The Mvuwo Women’s Group in Arusha, Tanzania meets weekly to make mango pickle, jam and to bottle honey. The products are sold in the area to raise income for group members. Although the group is certified by the regulatory authorities in Tanzania to process, pack and sell produce, the poor quality packaging used did not attract consumers, and sales remained low.
The USAID-funded Postharvest Project managed by AVRDC Eastern and Southern Africa came to the group’s assistance to improve product quality and help members expand their market share.
Five students from ESITPA College in France identified several ideas for the group to try, including 1) improving product labels to increase visibility and meet regulatory requirements; 2) finding solutions to leaking pickle jars; and 3) developing other products to diversify the group’s range of offerings. An attractive new label emphasizing the group’s brand name and unique visual identity also prominently featured a bar code and Tanzania Bureau of Standards certification logo to help assure consumers of product quality. To solve the leakage problem, it was suggested that the group try thermosealing films for the jars. Leakage trials on jars were run in a laboratory, and a consumer survey gauged public opinion of the new logo and label.
The results were presented to the women’s group, and there was a lively discussion about the various solutions and the feasibility of adopting them. A source of metal jar lids was identified to help resolve the leakage problem. Group members were encouraged to develop new pickle products, including onion, okra, and mixed vegetable pickles. One year later, the group changed its label. Members indicated that their sales have increased, and they are happy with the progress they are making.
Group members were encouraged to develop new pickle products, including onion, okra, and mixed vegetable pickles.
Contributor: Ngoni Nenguwo, AVRDC Eastern and Southern Africa, Arusha, Tanzania