What might have driven a former banker, Albert Osei, to package Hausa ‘koko’, which is porridge prepared from millet, to sell at most offices, in Accra, could be viewed as extraordinary but nonetheless has attracted the attention of many who have described it as exceptional and an innovation.
‘Koko King’, as the neatly-packaged porridge is known to customers, comes along with six other excellently packaged breakfast menu, namely; ‘Oblayo’, ‘Eko-egbeemli’, Quaker Oats, Tom Brown, Wheat Porridge, ‘Kpokponsu’ and Rice Porridge also referred to as rice water.
These foods would have remained dormant on the menu of most hotels, guest houses and lodges, if not for Mr.Osei. The foods which are priced from GH˘1 to GH˘2 also come along with corresponding pastries like sandwiches, croissant, bread, fitters and ‘kose’. “The preparation of the various foods are been made under very hygienic conditions, and the package allows the contents to remain hot throughout the morning and it is because we know the preference of our customers, we just deliver to their tastes,” Mr. Osei, told Daily Guide on Monday, in Accra, during an interview.
“Koko King is bent on meeting the breakfast needs of its customers in a special way. Currently, we are liaising with most hotels in Accra and Tema, to introduce our products to them and we are convinced they cannot resist.” He revealed that the often hackneyed statement that value should be added to Ghana-made products, including foods, aroused his determination to parcel ‘koko’ for sale to workers in their offices. “I have always been interested in food packaging.
I thought of how ‘hausa koko’ was being sold by women at the roadside in white polythene bags and realized something could be done to put value on it, hence this initiative. “This venture has had to go through many challenges since 2008. The banks have been a bit apprehensive about supporting small-scale businesses, but we are however moving on and shall continue to talk to our bankers for support in order to expand our business.” According to him, packaging the products has been hectic, adding, it took him about 6 months to discover, the proper use of aluminium foil in the sealing of meals.
Giving a brief background of Koko King, Mr. Osei said the company started with three workers and was able to serve only 20 meals per day to customers at the Head office of Tigo Company, in Accra. It also used only two huge coal pots and an aluminium cooking pots for starting, but now has 10 huge industrial gas burners and also serves over 2,000 customers, which consist of both individuals and corporate institutions. It is targeting 5,000 customers by the end of December, this year.
In the meantime, Leisure Time Company Limited, a marketing firm has indicated its intention of partnering Koko King to market and distribute the products. Since the relatively short time of its operations, Koko King Limited has offered employment to about 55 people, who are mainly involved in the preparation, sales and distribution of meals.
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