First Bhutanese Instant Noodles Hit Market

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KP Noodles, manufactured by KP Foods in Chengmari, Samtse, has come up with noodles of three flavours – Hot Garlic Chicken, Spicy Chicken and Oriental Veg.

KP instant noodles from Bhutan (Source: Bhutan Times)

 

By Krishna Ghalley | Business Bhutan

 

The first Bhutanese instant noodles have finally arrived in the market in early April.

KP Noodles, manufactured by KP Foods in Chengmari, Samtse, has come up with noodles of three flavours – Hot Garlic Chicken, Spicy Chicken and Oriental Veg.

The products have so far been distributed only in Thimphu, after which there are plans to start distribution to other regions soon.

The Company’s Managing Director Amardeep Chhetri and his partner said that the present production is able to cater to the market in the capital only. They are planning to further enhance supply once production increases.

Plans to diversify the market for Bhutanese instant noodles

“We will gradually diversify our market to other regions,” Amardeep said.

Currently, the plant produces 5,000 packets of noodles a day, although it has the capacity to produce 18,000 packets a day.

However, Amardeep said that being the first of such a product in the Bhutanese market, they want to assess the demand for the instant noodles before increasing its supply.

“If the demand increases, we will increase our production,’’ he said, adding that the agents in Thimphu have started giving repeated orders within a week.

According to Amardeep, people mostly preferred the Oriental Vegetables and Hot Garlic Chicken flavours and their demands have increased.

The Spicy Chicken flavour is mostly preferred by the older age group.  All three products are sold at Nu 25 per packet.

“The company will first cater to the Bhutanese market. Then we will explore the possibility of exporting outside,” Amardeep said.

K.P. Foods is the first company in Bhutan to produce white instant noodles with taste enhancers. Depending upon the success of the first three varieties, the company has plans to come up with two more flavours for its noodle products in the future.

KP Foods is the first major project funded by the REDCL

Meanwhile, KP Foods is the first major project funded by the Rural Enterprise Development Corporation Limited (REDCL) in 2017.

The project was approved by the REDCL in 2015 and subsequently, funding was released in December 2016.

The Nu 6.8mn noodles production project is one of the biggest ever funded by the REDCL under the Revolving Fund I. The total cost of the project is Nu 8.5mn with 20% equity from the proprietor.

Deepesh Chhetri along with his business partner has worked on the procurement of raw materials for production and the market for distribution and supply.

Raw materials from reputed sources

Their team has talked with reputed raw material suppliers in India like Amrit Bhog Flour Mills for flour supply. 

The production plant operates with fully automatic machines run entirely by Bhutanese, according to the proprietor. It took six months for the company to set up the plant and start production.

The company has identified distributing partners in and outside the country. It plans to export the noodles to the Indian states of West Bengal and the Northeast where people are known for their love of noodles. 

Deepesh Chettri said that he might face challenges initially including competition from established brands like Maggi, Wai Wai and Koka.

“But if consumers give our products a try, we can survive in the long run.”

 

This article first appeared in Business Bhutan and has been edited for the new Bhutan Times.

 


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