Few locally manufactured food products are more popular than food seasonings and with more than a dozen brands of the product on the local market (to say nothing about the foreign brands that appear increasingly on the supermarket shelves) manufacturers are kept constantly on their toes if they are to keep pace with the competition.
What makes local food seasonings a lucrative product on the local market is not only the Guyanese proclivity for ‘nicin up de pot’ but the fact that food seasonings are also embraced by food vendors with reputations to parade. A new brand, frequently with a new flavour, pops up with monotonous regularity.
In the business of food spices and condiments, however, reputations count for plenty as the local food sauces supplier R.P’S Enterprise is finding out. RP’s is currently in its ninth year as owner of the brand which, itself, has been around for more than three decades.
When the company was renamed, the owner, Roy Persaud, mindful of the virtue of branding, wisely kept the name. It has, he says, paid dividends. Not only has more aggressive marketing resulted in a sharp spike in sales but RP’s has also decided to add two new products – green seasoning and pepper sauce to the Chin brand.
It is the now highly rated Chin’s Green Seasoning that has seized the market by the scruff of its neck. Singh says that high customer demand has enabled his company to cement firm business ties with his customers.
Green seasoning is a pulped concoction of an assortment of herbs and spices, the emphasis in the manufacturing process being on the creation of, first, a unique aroma and perhaps more importantly a taste that enhances demand for the food that it is used to flavour. Its popularity reposes in the relative ease with which it can be manufactured, the art in the production process reposing in the manner in which the various flavours combine to offer its own unique taste.
What the bottled green seasoning has done for Guyanese cooking is to dispense with the time-consuming process of having to painstakingly go through the processes of, first, acquiring then, afterwards, washing, chopping and blending a mix of eschellot, celery, thyme, peppers and other favoured herbs.
RP’s success with its green seasonings is shared with the farmers who supply the herbs and spices they combine to make the product. Once monthly, RP’s purchases around one hundred pounds of raw materials from farmers at Mahaica for processing. When processing is completed that amount of stock is poured into10oz, 1lt, 1.5lt, 2lt, and 1gallon bottles. The cost per bottle ranges from $161 for the 10 oz. bottle to $1454 for the 1-gallon container.
But it is not the Chin’s brand alone that has been responsible for the success of the product. Persaud insists that his staff have been working tirelessly to offer consumers a persistent product standard. After the product is manufactured it must then pass the demanding certification test of the Government Analyst Food and Drug Department.
The manufacturing process involves ten persons. The freshly harvested herbs are washed after which they are masticated and bottled.