New product development as a strategy to get a breakthrough in the highly dominant Finger Millete (Kurakkan/Ragi) market in Sri Lanka.
Finger Millete (Eleusine coracana (L.) Gaertn.) locally called Kurakkan/Ragi has been a staple food in Sri Lankan cuisine for a long time. It is rich in phenolic compounds, dietary fibers, and micronutrients which makes it more nutritive when compared to other most consumed cereals including rice and wheat. Therefore, It is especially considered a wholesome food for people who are suffering from diabetic mellitus. Although sprouted grains have the potential to nourish infants and invalids, the usage of sprouted Kurakkan is negligible in Sri Lanka. Despite the nutritional strength, consumer perception is not positive about Kurakkan mainly because of its less palatability. Kurakkan is traditionally used to make many foods in Sri Lanka. Roti, Thalapa, Halapa, Porridge, and String hoppers are a few of them. Sometimes it is used as a thickening agent as well.
Very less value-added products were given in the local context although there are many good examples in the North American market by ‘’Kellogg’s’’ and many others.
The main product available in the market is coarse-grade flour and over 70% of the market is owned by a single popular brand for authentic products. By analyzing different uses of kurakkan flour, we understood that fine-grade flour is essential to achieve smooth textures in certain dishes.
RAVINE felt obligated to present high-quality and convenient innovative products to the existing market and attract new markets whilst keeping the traditions alive. We achieved better products by introducing advanced processing techniques and innovative products.
Washed prior to Milling
Although the authentic process of milling Finger Millete has a step to wash and dry them before milling, none of the mass-scale producers follow this step in their production process. We follow this step as we need to produce a high-quality and safe product for our consumers.
Swing Hammer technology and stainless-steel machinery usage
We also introduced the “Swing Hammer” technique to achieve extra fine texture in the milling process. This technique produces a texture with a lesser particle size that is especially suitable for Thalapa, String hoppers, and Porridge.
The entire process is run using stainless steel machinery. Stainless steel ensures no rust or other decaying of the machine contaminates the product. The new, improved flour is preservatives free. RAVINE does not use any chemicals to process. As a result, the end product is all-natural, authentic, and extra fine.
New Products launched
Kurakkan Fine Grade
Although there was no product as such in the market, we created a new product where the particle size is smaller than the coarse grade. This unique product is customized for smoother textured food such as Thalapa, String hoppers, and Porridge. It carries the potential to produce high-quality food, creating a more significant penetration potential, especially in the modern trade market segments.
Our RND Unit has found the formula to produce Kurakkan mixed white rice flour for instant String hopper making too.
The commonly available pack is 400g in size. Looking at the buying power of customers during the economic crisis, we wanted to think of an affordable product. After doing market research it was found that 250g would make a difference in the market.
The limited availability of Kurakkan incorporated processed food products in the form of ready-to-eat form has restricted the regular consumption of Kurakkan among the Sri Lankan community. We are working on introducing Kurakkan-incorporated highly nutritious products to the local and international markets.
RAVINE uses locally sourced to Kurakkan grains produce fine-grade and coarse-grade Kurakkan flour, which adds a unique flavor to the flour. Sourcing raw materials locally create a stronger community around the brand as well.
We have introduced a systematic process to remove any physical hazards to ensure consumer health and safety. This washing process, followed by the sun drying process, ensures that the authentic flavor of the finger millet grain is well protected.
Flour is produced through a semi-automated process flow using advanced processing technology to avoid contamination and produce high-quality products.
We produce coarse-grade and fine-grade Kurakkan flour in two different packages sized 250g and 400g to improve the convenience of consumers.
Our specialty is being a 100% natural product with no preservatives or artificial coloring ensures the product is safer to use in many markets.
Ravine understood the market’s need for finer-grained flour, designed the “Fine grade” kurakkan flour, and presented it in a 250g packet to match the market’s buying power. We improved the product by introducing more suitable technology to mill the flour and upgraded safer machinery to produce a safer and more quality product. By adjusting the raw material supply and processing to a locally sourced, chemical-free approach, we made the product.
- Safer in many markets
- More significant penetrating potential in the modern trade segment
- More suitable for quality food with fine texture such as porridge, string hopper, and thalapa.