In a major breakthrough, a local food manufacturing company would soon be marketing cookies (biscuits) purely manufactured with red rice and coconut.
S.M.D. Suriyakumara, Deputy General Manager, Little Lion Associates (Pvt) Ltd told the Business Times that the ‘Rice Cookies’ that would be soon in the Sri Lankan market have been tested on prospective consumers and acceptance was measured before venturing it to the market.
In bread, using a greater percentage of rice flour would make it more expensive than normal bread, but Mr Suriyakumara told BT that in the case of rice cookies this constraint would not arise as their rice suppliers are consistent in their prices and would be supplying at a standard rate.
He said that they are confident that not only would they be able to market the present quantities, but, could further expand the market as these cookies are rich in nutritional values, vitamins and minerals. He said that the price range too is competitive. He said that still it would be premature to speak about exporting, but once they fully establish in the local market, he said that they would definitely turn to exports.
Initially the company would be using 100 metric tons of rice and around five metric tons of coconut.
At a press conference held this week in Colombo Mr Suriyakumara said that Little Lions Associated (Pvt) Ltd is a sister company of Maliban of A G Hinniappuhamy fame and was floated in 1970 with only 25 workers. Today it has expanded to 500 workers, 60 distributing agents and their products are distributed among more than 50,000 shops across the country. They manufacture and market varieties of cakes, cookies and wafers.
He said that rice cookies is their sixth product variety manufactured with 100% red rice and hoped that with such product expansions using more and more rice, very soon the country would be self-sufficient in rice.