NIGERIA – Determined to meet the growing demands for its range of products in Nigeria, the management of Sona Agro Allied Foods Limited has concluded plans to boost capacity through an additional two biscuit plants.

This, it said, would assist the company in boosting its current capacity where it produces about 100 tons per day.

Similarly, the biscuits manufacturing giant has launched Sona Bites Biscuit, a new addition to its products portfolio with a view to nourishing its consumers with a premium brand of biscuits.

Sona Bites biscuit is a cashew and butter-based product manufactured to meet the taste demand of Nigerians.

Both cashew and butter are locally-sourced ingredients as Sona Group continues to strive to use locally available raw materials to be used 100 per cent in its manufacturing activity to drive the local economy strongly.

The managing director, Mr. Subramaniam Murugesan, who made the disclosure during the new product launch in Lagos recently, said “with the installation of two additional plants, the company would now have a production capacity of 200 tonnes per day.”

While expressing optimism in the Nigerian market, Murugesan said the company remains resolute to providing innovative products in the years ahead.

Commenting on the launch of its new biscuits brand, he said the decision to launch new arrays into the market was informed by the need to fill the vacuum arising from shortage of premium biscuits in supermarkets, which he said was occasioned by lack of access to foreign exchange and the federal government ban on such imported items.

He said, “even though we are in mass market, all our products are known for quality. We have now moved to premium segment using rich recipe in order to meet the standard of American and Europe.

As I speak, we have experienced food technologists – both Nigerian and Indian expatriates – who are capable of making high quality products to meet the need of consumers.”

While acknowledging that there is low disposable income among consumers in the face of current economic hardship, he said the company has remained faithful to the yearnings of different classes of consumers by providing products that cater for different classes in the market.

On his part, the state coordinator of Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Ogun state, Mr. Ayuba Samuel said the agency was satisfied with the level of compliance by Sona Agro Allied Foods Ltd, noting that virtually all of its products are now certified.

While lauding the company for its initiative to rely solely on locally-sourced materials, he urged similar companies to emulate the idea by looking inward.

He said, “We are here to see what they have on ground and I can tell you that they have quality products in this factory. Recently about five of their brands were certified to our mandatory conformity, MANCAP.

The company has been bestowed with the receiver of such award in 2017 and it is one of the reasons I had to visit the plant to see the factory myself. Here, you can experience the culture, you can see the environment and you can also see the products.

I want to assure Nigerians that this factory meets the necessary requirements by SON”.

“In terms of the new product, it is great. So, I want to encourage Nigerians to patronise them, one of the reasons why we encourage local manufacturing which enhances our national growth.

Let Nigerians turn away from foreign products, let them patronise local manufacturers and that will add value to our local manufacturers and also increase our Gross Domestic Products (GDP)”, he added.

May 11, 2017: ThisDay