Fruitales is a women-owned business that started operating in 2006 with chili pepper processing and selling. It later diversified to other local fruits and vegetable products such as ginger and hibiscus, as well as some animal and fish products to reduce overdependency on one single, seasonal crop. Chili however remains its main product, accounting for about 80% of total sales, with 60% exported (to Belgium, Guinea Conakry…) and 40% sold in the local market supermarkets, hotels, and restaurants.
The domestic and West African regional markets for the type of processed and packaged Fruitales products, particularly chili pepper purees and sauces in glass jars, is relatively big. Because household incomes are growing and dietary and eating habits increasingly resemble that of western countries’ middle-class households, the demand for those products is growing faster than local production. In rich western countries, the demand for exotic, organic food products is also increasing. Fruitales has been unable to capture those markets because of its limited production capacity. By moving its production to a more appropriate location in Dakar and acquiring industrial equipment, Fruitales will better contribute to closing the gap between the demand and the supply of its products in its traditional markets on the export market.