How to open a muesli business

Food industry Groceries

The demand for various types of ready-made breakfasts is increasing every year. This is due to the fact that various instant cereals and granola are the best option for breakfast or lunch outside the house or whipped up: they do not require long cooking and even simple heat treatment, useful and nutritious. The breakfast cereal business requires relatively small investments and is highly profitable. Of course, the competition in this segment is also quite large, however, according to experts, here he still has opportunities for development.

Muesli differs from the usual cereals based on grain in that they are completely ready for use. For this, the raw materials from which prepared breakfasts are made are processed in a special way using infrared rays. This treatment gives the finished product a friable structure, softening the grain. It is called micronization and consists in a very fast and intense heating of grain with infrared and thermal rays. Micronization can not only significantly reduce the time for preparing grain, but also increases its nutritional value and digestibility, improves taste and gives a special aroma. In this case, all valuable trace elements (magnesium, calcium, iron, fluorine) and vitamins (B, B2, PP) are preserved in their original form.

Since the grain itself does not differ in its original taste, besides it, the composition of muesli also includes various dried fruits (dried apricots, candied fruits, raisins, etc.), nuts (hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts) and other additives. Thus, manufacturers of ready-made breakfast cereals get the opportunity to significantly expand their range by introducing various ingredients into the product. Additives usually make up about 30% of the total mass of muesli. This gives them a great advantage over other foods, as they not only taste good, but also contain many useful substances and fiber, which has a beneficial effect on digestion.

All muesli, which is currently represented on the domestic market, can be divided, depending on the technology used to prepare them, into two main types: fried muesli (crunch) and classic muesli. They are also divided into different types, depending on the additives used (formulations) and on the type of grain that underlies the product.

Traditionally, cereal flakes are produced by hydro- and heat treatment, which consists in steaming the feedstock with its further drying. For the manufacture of cereal flakes - the main component of muesli - the following technological equipment is used: a steamer (screw and continuous), a drying unit, a conditioning (roller) machine, a cooling unit. True, despite the fact that this list seems to be modest, all the lines that include the above machines are quite complex, expensive, energy-intensive and dimensional, which must be taken into account when searching for premises for production. Therefore, many domestic manufacturers (especially young companies) are forced to replace many technological operations (for example, screw and elevator product transportation) with manual work in order to reduce the cost of purchasing equipment. Accordingly, the grain processing technology used may also change. For example, instead of flattening, which is carried out in an automated production, the grain can be extruded or swollen. In the latter case, high-frequency currents or a powerful stream of infrared radiation are used, which heat the grain to a high temperature. With a sharp pressure drop, which occurs in this case, from high to normal or very low, the grain swells. This method has its drawbacks, so experts advise nevertheless, whenever possible, to use another method of processing grain - micronization. First, the cereal is cleaned in a gravitational separator - dust, various foreign particles, small inclusions and partially crushed grains are removed from it. Grain is fed by a screw loader from a receiving tank to a series of treatment screens installed in a separator.

At the same time, these raw materials are blown and cleaned with a counter flow of air, which is created by the cleaning fan. Then, again, with a screw loader, the cereal is sent to the conveyor belt of the micronizer, where it is treated with steam in a stream of infrared radiation. Hot product is poured into a container where it is steamed. There he is brought to readiness under the influence of his own heat. After this stage, the croup is transported not by screw conveyors, which can damage the structure of the heat-treated grain, but by elevator mechanisms. Where the grain goes after steaming depends on the recipe used and the type of product being produced. It can either be immediately cooled and packaged, or first it enters a conditioning machine, and then it is cooled in a drum-type cooling unit.

Ready grain becomes the basis for future breakfasts of the former preparation. It remains only to add ready-made components to it. All ingredients are first weighed and then dosed according to the recipe. The grain is poured into a drag pan and mixed thoroughly. Finally, it is packaged in polypropylene bags. Dried fruits, nuts and various flavors are also poured there. At the same time, grain is fed through one conveyor, and additives - through another. At the last stage, polypropylene bags with the mixture are sealed, labels are glued on them (but recently all the product information is usually applied directly to the film), after which they are placed in cardboard boxes.

Since most of the large manufacturers of ready-made breakfasts in our country use the same technologies, the main competition between them is through improving the quality of raw materials and developing attractive packaging for their products that would distinguish their dry breakfasts from the muesli of competitors on the shelves of retail stores . All of them position muesli as a natural, tasty and, most importantly, healthy product. In principle, this is true, because all the components of breakfast cereals contain vitamins and minerals. A number of manufacturers are also trying to draw the attention of consumers to the dietary properties of their products. However, since classical muesli contains a large number of high-calorie nuts, candied fruits with sugar and other additives that are not suitable for weight watchers, “diet” breakfasts have a simpler composition in which grain predominates, which leads to a deterioration in their taste. Therefore, manufacturers invest a lot of money in creating a product that would be tasty and have a low calorie content at the same time.

If you want to produce a high-quality product (and only this way you can compete with other companies in this market), then you need to carefully approach the choice of suppliers of not only grain, but also all additives in your instant mixes. The quality of the fruit also depends on the processing method used. For example, with quick frying in fruits and berries, many beneficial ingredients are destroyed. Preserving biologically active compounds, vitamins, minerals and minerals in dried fruits is possible only by slowly drying the feedstock, which, however, increases the cost of the finished product.

Even at the planning and calculation stage of expenses and future profits, try to find additional competitive advantages of your muesli. For example, one young Russian company positions its muesli as a real treat, and not a product of “everyday consumption”. She claims that more than 200 different ingredients are used in the production of her muesli, all of which are bought worldwide in small portions to preserve their freshness and exceptional taste.

In addition, the company emphasizes that its products are truly natural and do not contain sugars, dyes, flavor enhancers and flavorings. Even a long and laborious production process (it takes 4-6 hours to produce one batch), which, due to the high cost of the equipment, is not yet possible to automate, is presented as an advantage. But, according to company representatives, they can offer the production of granola according to individual orders, making additions and changes to the recipe, depending on the wishes of a particular client. However, it is possible to recoup such expenses only due to the very high price of such “copyright muesli, ” which is about 900 rubles per package. Of course, at such a price ready-made breakfasts will not be sold in large volumes, so if you are interested in high profits, then it is worth considering other options for positioning your products while maintaining the retail price affordable for most people. So, for example, did the Canadian businessman Peter Erlich (Peter Erlich), who successfully sells cereal for breakfast with the intriguing name Sexcereal . According to Erlich, his prepared breakfasts contribute to increased sexual activity in men and women. Sexcereal instant cereals are available in two types - “for her” and “for him”. Among the other ingredients in the “female version” of cereals are cranberries, almonds, ginger, sunflower and flax seeds, which contribute to a better hormonal balance and improve appearance. And as part of the “male” porridge, such components as bee pollen, black sesame seeds, wheat germ, pumpkin seeds, cocoa, goji berries and camus camus spice are promoted, which help increase testosterone levels and act as an energy source. Of course, positioning muesli as an aphrodisiac is nothing more than an advertising gimmick, which, nevertheless, works: Sexcereal muesli is in great demand even despite their rather high price (which, however, is still less than that of domestic "copyright" flakes ) The intriguing name of the product and its proper positioning are not the only, but still very important conditions for the success of your business.

So, suppose you found your competitive advantage, came up with a product that is successful in the market, studied all the nuances of making breakfast cereals ... What is needed to organize such a business?

The location of your production facility is of great importance. The best option is the outskirts of a large city with a population of over a million people or the area near such a center. The rental cost there will be significantly lower than in the city. But at the same time, you can save on the delivery of finished products to distributors. Since the equipment for the production of muesli is large in size, an area of ​​about 300 square meters will be needed to place the line. meters. Add to this another 100 square meters. meters to utility rooms and warehouses of raw materials and finished products.

The cost of equipment ranges from 450 thousand to 3.5 million rubles, depending on the configuration. Most likely, the amount will turn out to be slightly higher as a result, if you are looking for a line with high performance and are not ready to save on quality. As a raw material for the production of muesli, grain is used, fruit additives are imported (pineapple, papaya, banana chips, candied fruit, etc.) and domestic (dried apple, pear, strawberries, raspberries, dried apricots).

To service the line, 5-6 people per shift are enough. The same amount of workers will be required at the site for the production and preparation of fruit additives. In addition, you need a technologist who controls the manufacturing process. Of course, even the most competent positioning and bright packaging will not help if your product does not get on store shelves. It is necessary to negotiate with retail chains in advance. Get ready for the fact that you will have to pay a considerable amount for entering supermarkets. At the same stage, you need to develop a plan for promoting your muesli. The minimum advertising costs will amount to 35 thousand rubles per month.

The profitability of muesli production reaches 30%. The minimum payback period is one year. Although breakfast cereals are consumed throughout the year, seasonality still has an impact on their sales. They are most in demand from January-February to June-July (first of all, this applies to products that are positioned as dietary).

Sysoeva Lilia

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