Each of us ate oatmeal in our childhood, but, probably, few thought about becoming an adult, building our own business in the production of such a useful, but traditionally not the most delicious product, like oatmeal. However, twenty years ago it was difficult to imagine that ordinary and cheapest oatmeal, which did not differ in either pleasant taste or speed of cooking, will become one of the most common products for dietary nutrition today.
Manufacturers of oat products claim that decoctions and infusions based on oatmeal help with nervous and physical exhaustion, save from insomnia and poor appetite, they are recommended by doctors for diseases of the liver and gall bladder, are used as a diaphoretic, diuretic and even antipyretic. Although still, most products based on oatmeal are positioned as the best food for those who want to lose weight and / or maintain the beauty of their figure. Previously, only children ate oatmeal, but now, as in the UK, it has long been included in the diet of our compatriots. Oatmeal is eaten for breakfast, as it is rich in slowly broken down carbohydrates and fiber, and, therefore, helps to satisfy hunger and at the same time is effective in the fight against atherosclerosis and obesity.
One of the most common oat based foods is cereal. The technology of their preparation from the time of our childhood has been greatly changed, and now many types of this product do not even require cooking - just pour them with boiling water and let it brew. In addition, a wide assortment of oatmeal with various additives, including pieces of fruit and nuts, is presented on store shelves. Experts believe that this segment of the market for fast breakfasts and healthy food has a great future. Their confidence is shared by many entrepreneurs. An additional advantage of the oatmeal business is relatively small investments in the first stage of work. The minimum starting capital, according to experts, is about 600 thousand rubles. This amount includes the purchase of equipment, raw materials, rental of production and storage facilities, payment of utilities, wages for workers, packaging and minimal product promotion.
There are two main technological schemes for the production of Hercules oat flakes, but novice producers, for obvious reasons, prefer the simplest of them, where ready-made cereals are used as raw materials, rather than whole oats. Using this production option allows you to save on the transportation of raw materials and the removal of feed waste from the enterprise. For example, in the manufacture of oat flakes, it is necessary to purchase about two tons of cereal oats per ton of finished products and take out almost one ton of feed waste, and in the production of cereal from cereals, the amount of waste per ton of raw material does not exceed 20 kilograms. The only drawback of the “short” scheme: in the latter case, the technological process includes additional operations associated with the production of cereals. Thus, the technological process involves the cleaning of cereals from extraneous components, drying of raw materials to 5-9% humidity, steaming and aging, conditioning operation, cooling and packaging. Let's consider each of them in more detail.
Oatmeal, which enters the production plant, is sent to a grain separator for cleaning from impurities and separating fine cereals and crushed. A sieve with holes of various diameters is located on the separator. Residues after sieving on the largest and smallest sieve are considered waste. Then the peeled cereal, which meets the requirements, is collected and dried in the dryer until the moisture content in it is no more than 8%. Dried cereals are thoroughly cleaned of husks and other debris and processed on grinder machines. This equipment allows you to separate from the total mass of raw materials unbroken grains and grain impurities. Crushed cereals are again processed and sent to the hopper. Unbroken groats are cleaned, and it goes through almost the entire production cycle from the very beginning (however, if you initially use high quality raw materials, the amount of unbroken groats during its processing will be insignificant, and there is no point in additionally cleaning it). All waste in the production is collected and sold to livestock farms, which use them as livestock feed. The processed cereals are steamed and sent to flatting machines, as a result of which we get familiar flakes. These flakes on conveyor belts are again fed to sorting sieves, where fine particles are separated from them, and then the flakes are transferred to the husk compartment and put into cardboard boxes (or other, more modern packaging). Boxes of 0.5 or 1 kg are packed in kraft paper and sent to the warehouse.
Since oatmeal contains unstable and easily oxidized fat in its composition, experts do not recommend storing them for a long time in an unpressurized container. In addition, when organizing storage facilities, it should be borne in mind that pests are quickly wound up in flakes, like in other grain products, so you should not save on high-quality sealed packaging. Paper for the inner bag with a density of up to 65 grams per square meter. meter and an outer box with a density of up to 250 grams per square meter. The meter is vapor and gas permeable, therefore it cannot be used for hermetic storage. The best packaging option is paper and cellophane coated with polyethylene. Although these packaging materials are more expensive than a regular paper bag, they provide better preservation of the contents of the package. On the other hand, the cost of modern packaging is ultimately comparable to the usual one, since when using them there is no need for an external box. The welds on the packaging bags reliably protect the contents from pests.
For the production of oatmeal such as "Hercules", storage of raw materials, its cleaning, separation and transportation, a special automated line will be required. This equipment is presented on the Russian market in a wide assortment, but many novice entrepreneurs prefer to save money and buy used cars. For the acceptance of raw materials, scales, separators and other auxiliary equipment are used. The main line consists of steamers with high power (for grain), tempering collectors, conditioners (conditioning machines), belt-type dryers, equipment for sifting and cooling flakes. A set of equipment to complete the process involves the presence of filling and packaging machines, equipment for transportation and storage of finished products.
To accommodate all this equipment will need an area of at least 100 square meters. meters with all communications and electricity. It is advisable to place production outside the city, as the rental price there will be lower, and it will be easier to find a suitable one in terms of area and premises requirements. However, renting a room too far from a large city is not worth it, otherwise the entire cost will be "eaten" by the cost of delivering raw materials and finished products. Finished raw materials (oatmeal) are usually purchased in bulk at an oat processing plant or from intermediary companies.
In addition, it is worth considering the option of buying an existing company, if there are suitable offers in your area. For example, an enterprise with two workshops with a total area of 1, 500 sq. meters (leased) for the production of steamed cereals (which can be sold to other cereal producers) and the actual oatmeal with a staff of about thirty people can be purchased at a price of about 2.5-3 million rubles. Regardless of whether you start production from scratch or if you want to get ready-made, if you do not have experience in this field, then consider expert advice when considering proposals and options, otherwise the risk is to spend too much money at the stage of business organization.
Do not save on marketing research and an experienced marketer, especially when it comes to manufacturing products under a new brand. By themselves, oatmeal is unlikely to be in great demand, even if you are not going to produce a regular product, but semi-finished products. However, adding a small amount of various components (dried fruits, nuts, dried berries, candied fruits, etc.) to it, you will already get much more popular and popular oatmeal. If you pack them in small bags in which the quantity fits exactly one portion, then such a product can already be advertised not only as useful and dietary, but also convenient for use by office workers. But keep in mind that with the addition of fruit powder to oatmeal, the technological process of production is somewhat more complicated. Another step will be added to it - drying the previously washed and chopped fruits at high temperatures. The highest quality preparation of fruits and berries provides the technology of sublimation (dehydration) of raw materials, but it is too expensive, especially for a young company. Berries and fruits in the composition of porridge are selected by a specialist, taking into account various nuances. For example, figs, although a useful and tasty product, are rarely found in instant cereals, since it is not possible to pack them automatically: particles of other components of the mixture stick to it, and the mechanical packer fails. For this reason, dried figs require either additional drying or manual packaging. Both that and another leads to an increase in the cost of finished products with such fillers.
However, do not forget that oatmeal, including with various additives, is produced by many companies. The competition in this segment of “fast breakfasts” is too high, so perhaps you should think about finding alternative options. One of these, for example, may be the production of oat jelly, drinking yogurt with oat broth, oat milk, yogurt with oatmeal, etc. There are a lot of recipes and options for making various desserts and drinks containing oatmeal. True, all of them are intended for cooking at home, but experienced technologists can develop recipes for industrial production. At the same time, they can significantly improve and diversify the tastes of finished products based on oats. This direction will require additional investments, but its potential is very large. Even if this idea is in doubt, consider it, because just a few years ago the idea of selling oatmeal in bags at a price several times more expensive than their contents seemed to few to be a viable idea.
Manufacturers of oatmeal with or without toppings sell their products through separate grocery stores, regional retail chains, super- and hypermarkets. True, for beginners to get on the shelves of the latter is almost impossible. Experts advise starting with individual stores in the region where your cereal is produced. It will be easier to negotiate with their owners, and the cost of the admission ticket will be affordable for the small producer. Do not forget about advertising at points of sale - the placement of various POS materials. At first glance, they seem like a trifle, but they work very efficiently.
Grain sales are highly seasonally dependent. The greatest demand for them is observed in the period from late autumn to spring (when people on the eve of the beach season go on a diet). Regardless of the season, it is best to buy cereals packed in small packets per serving.
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