ISSN 1810-0775Selling streetandsnack foods
Diversification booklet number 18Selling streetandsnack foodsPeter Fellows and Martin HilmiRural Infrastructure and Agro-Industries DivisionFood and Agriculture Organization of the United NationsRome 2011
The designations employed and the presentation of material in thisinformation product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoeveron the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations(FAO) concerning the legal or development status of any country, territory, cityor area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers orboundaries. The mention of specific companies or products of manufacturers,whether or not these have been patented, does not imply that these havebeen endorsed or recommended by FAO in preference to others of a similarnature that are not mentioned.The views expressed in this information product are those of the author(s) anddo not necessarily reflect the views of FAO.ISBN 978-92-5-107071-0All rights reserved. FAO encourages reproduction and dissemination ofmaterial in this information product. Non-commercial uses will be authorizedfree of charge, upon request. Reproduction for resale or other commercialpurposes, including educational purposes, may incur fees. Applications forpermission to reproduce or disseminate FAO copyright materials, and allqueries concerning rights and licences, should be addressed by e-mail [email protected] or to the Chief, Publishing Policy and Support Branch,Office of Knowledge Exchange, Research and Extension, FAO,Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00153 Rome, Italy. FAO 2012
Snack and street foods: traditional knowledge Market potential Opportunities for improved livelihoods Purpose of the booklet Benefits of a street and snack food enterprise Street and snack foods at household level Adding value Gender development Financial rewards Feasibility of the enterprise Market research Estimating processing and preparation activities Marketing cost estimates Credit Legal aspects Costs and profits Evaluation of the activity The livelihood activity Popular street and snack foods Essential elements of processing for street and snack e of contents Preface Acknowledgements Introduction
Strategies for marketing Market appraisal Location: stationary and mobile vending Products: deciding what to sell Products: safety, hygiene and quality Packaging Display Organization Support services to promote street and snack foods Access to support services Knowledge, know-how and technical information Technical training Access to technology Business skills training Financial services Institutional role Organizational options Role of the advisor Challenges Regulatory Processing: investment and technology Repair and maintenance Infrastructure Continuity of supply: seasonal processing Access to financial services Gender Selected further reading Sources of further information and 6767778787989Table of contents
PrefaceEach booklet focuses on a farm or non-farm enterprise that can beintegrated into small farms to increase incomes and enhance livelihoods.The enterprises profiled in the FAO Diversification booklets are suitablefor smallholder farmers in terms of resource requirements, additional costs,exposure to risk and complexity. The products or services generated by theenterprises are suitable for meeting demand on a growing, or already strong,local market and are not dependent on an export market. However in thisbooklet for snack foods import and export markets will need to be consideredseeing the globalized market for such products.The main target audience for these booklets are people and organizationsthat provide advisory, business and technical support services to resourcepoor small-scale farmers and local communities in low- and middle-incomecountries. It is hoped that enough information is given to help these supportservice providers to consider new income-generating opportunities and howthese might enable small-scale farmers to take action. What are the potentialbenefits? What are farmer requirements and constraints? What are critical‘success factors’?The FAO Diversification booklets are also targeted to policy-makers andprogramme managers in government and non-governmental organizations.What actions might policy-makers take to create enabling environments forsmall-scale farmers to diversify into new income-generating activities?The FAO Diversification booklets are not intended to be technical ‘howto do it’ guidelines. Readers will need to seek more information or technicalsupport, so as to provide farmer advisory and support activities relatingto the introduction of new income-generating activities. To assist in thisvTitle of the publicationThe purpose of the FAO Diversification booklets is to raise awareness andprovide decision support information about opportunities at farm and localcommunity level to increase the incomes of small-scale farmers.
respect, each booklet identifies additional sources of information, technicalsupport and website addresses.A CD has been prepared with a full series of FAO Diversification bookletsand FAO technical guides, together with complementary guides on marketresearch, financing, business planning, etc. Copies of the CD are availableon request from FAO. FAO Diversification booklets can also be downloadedfrom the FAO Internet site.If you find this booklet of value, we would like to hear from you. Tellyour colleagues and friends about it. FAO would welcome suggestions aboutpossible changes for enhancing our next edition or regarding relevant topicsfor other booklets. By sharing your views and ideas with us we can providebetter services to you.vi
AcknowledgementsAcknowledgements for the seriesGratitude is owed to Doyle Baker, Senior Technical Officer, RuralInfrastructure and Agro-Industries Division (AGS), FAO, for his vision,encouragement and constant support in the development of the FAODiversification booklet series.Martin Hilmi managed the development,production and post-production of the series and provided technical supportand inputs. Michael Breece undertook the design and layout of the bookletsand desktop publishing.viiSelling street and snack foodsGratitude is owed to Doyle Baker, Senior Technical Officer, RuralInfrastructure and Agro-Industries Division, (AGS), FAO, who provided fora detailed technical review on the final draft version of this booklet. Specialthanks go to Stepanka Gallatova, Agro-Industry Officer, (AGS), DaniloMejia, Agro-Industry Officer, (AGS), Josef Mpagalile, Agro-IndustryOfficer, (AGS), and Divine Njie, Senior Officer, (AGS) for their reviews,inputs and advice on previous drafts of this booklet.
Street and snack foods can be foundin nearly every corner of the worldand have been on sale for thousandsof years. Such foods are inexpensive,provide a nutritional source basedon traditional knowledge, mostlyfollow the seasonality of farmproduction and thus allow forvariation in consumer diets, andare widely distributed and availablein both urban and rural settings.CASE STUDY 1They provide food distributionactivities at the smallest scale,but with intensive coverage. Anylocation with ‘people traffic’, be itconstant or intermittent, providesan excellent selling ground forvendors of street and snack foods.Many people who are poor andcannot afford food from retail storesdepend on food that street vendorsprovide (see Case Study 1).The importance of street foods for the poor inBangkok, ThailandIn a survey conducted in poorer households in Bangkok it was observed that 67percent of households cooked only once a day and bought one to two meals ofready-to-eat food from street food vendors. The households interviewed explainedthat street food was more economical then home cooking, was readily availablewith a large number of vendors at their doorsteps and was convenient as time forcooking was scarce. The survey also showed that street foods provide economicopportunities for low and middle-income people, especially for women. Thisbecomes true especially in economic recessions where people become streetfood vendors in addition to other jobs they may have. In Bangkok most of theenterprises, 82 percent, employ fewer then four people and interestingly areowned and operated by women. This gender-based employment creates a dualbenefit in that women have access to income as well as regular access to foodfor their families.Source: Adapted from Chung, C., Ritoper, S. & Takemoto, S. 2010. Bangkok and access to food forlow-income residents, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston1Selling street and snack foodsIntroduction
Thedefinitionofstreetfoods provided by the Food andAgriculture Organization (FAO)1 is:‘Street foods are ready-to-eat foodsand beverages prepared and/or soldby vendors and hawkers especiallyin streets and other similar publicplaces’. This definition emphasisesthe retail location ‘on the street’,with foods sold from pushcarts,bicycles, baskets or balance poles,or from stalls that do not have fourpermanent walls. This distinguishesstreet food vendors from moreformal food service operations,such as cafés, ‘takeaways’, ‘chopbars’ and restaurants. Anotherdefinition highlights the diversityof street food production: ‘Streetfoods are minimally processed tohighly processed foods that aresold on streets and other publicplaces, consumed on the spot and/orready to take home or delivered tothe work place, including cateringactivities that can serve celebrationssuch as weddings’.Snack foods are commonlyfoods that are eaten between mainmeals or in the words of Webster’sdefinition provided in the year 1757:‘a light meal eaten between regularmeals’.1This definition of street foods was agreed by anFAO Regional Workshop on Street Foods in Asia,held in Jogjakarta, Indonesia in 1986.2Snack foods have a tendencyto have a lower nutritionalvalue then street food and arecommonly viewed by many inthis way. However snacks comein a variety of types, ranging fromraw to cooked foods, and some forexample beans and nuts, providesignificant amounts of protein andfat. Those snack foods preparedfrom fruits and vegetables alsoprovide important vitamins andminerals. Beverages can also beconsidered an integral part of streetand snack foods, but are dealt morein detail in the FAO Diversificationbooklet No. 21 Traditional foodand beverages for improvedlivelihoods.Street food enterprises arecommonly family or one-personbusinesses and the majority workwithout licensing, i.e. in the informalsector (see Case Study 2). Vendorscan be mobile vendors, for exampleon foot and bicycles, semi-mobile,for example using push carts, orstationary vendors that sell froma stall. In Brazil and Mexico it isestimated that about one millionpeople are directly involved in streetfoods and in India over three million.The contribution of street and snackfoods to the economies of countriesis considerable, but is vastlyunderestimated and neglected.
Selling street and snack foodsFIGURE 1 Street foods being prepared in Thailand(Photo by O. Argenti)CASE STUDY 2Street food enterprises and business in Accra, GhanaAs the Ghanaian economy started to take off more and more people began to work awayfrom home. This led to the rise of street and snack food enterprises preparing cookedfood and snacks in Accra. Accra has a resident population of about 3.5 million peopleand an additional 1.5 million during the daytime. In this regard the street food sector hasgrown rapidly and is intensive in its distribution coverage. Street food vendors can befound near offices, factories, schools, markets, construction sites, beaches, lorry andbus stations, commercial centres and along almost every street in Accra. Setting upa street food enterprise needs little investment and requires no special training otherthan the domestic experience in preparing food. It is estimated that the sector employsover 60 000 people and has an annual turnover of US 100 million, with annual profitsin the order of US 24 million. Most often the enterprises involve the entire family in thepreparation and cooking as well as in the procurement of ingredients.Source: Adapted from Tomlins, K. & Johnson, P. 2010. Fufu for thought- Ghana, Practical Action3
Street and snack foods also have alarge impact on agricultural productionand marketing as well as on agrifoodprocessing business operations. Smallscale farmers can find street andsnack foods to be an excellent wayto diversify their income sources andespecially to develop marketing skills.Rural farmers can be directlyinvolved in the preparation and saleof street and snack foods in ruralareas, villages and small towns aswell as providing catering services forfestivities and weddings. Such farmerscan also supply raw materials to urbanprocessors and entrepreneurs engagedin the preparation and sale of streetfoods in large towns and cities.Intermediaries, such as tradersand wholesalers may have keyfunctions of ensuring that farmproduce reaches urban markets,either in raw or part-processedforms, particularly when large urbancentres are too distant for farmersto access. However such linkagestend to be complex in nature as theyrely on relationships and networksbetween vendors and the suppliers ofingredients and ready-made foods.Development of these relationshipscan be assisted by support services.Peri-urban and urban farmers,who have large towns and citieson their door step, can furnishstreet and snack foods directly tocity dwellers as well as supplyingredients generated from farmproduce to other street and snackvendors.FIGURE 2 Hawking food in the streets of Phnom Pen, Cambodia(Photo: FAO/19697/ G. Bizzarri)4
Street and snack foods:traditional knowledgeFood and snacks that are consumedin a particular area are related mainlyto cult