Using fruits to modernize food industry

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By Neo Kolane

A fruit lover from Thaba Tseka has started an innovative initiative to promote fresh fruit-based foods and snacks as a healthier option, which is a step further from eating a fruit on its own.

According to farmers and agrarian experts, the aim of this spontaneous movement which is gaining popularity on social media, is to encourage families to increase the intake of fruits in their diet.

One other thing that motivated Karabo Makatse to start such a business is the fact that he grew up around Americans who used to have fruit snacks every time he visited them.

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The name of Makatse’s business is FanOFruits, and is derived from the ‘I love fruits’ concept.

Makatse says during the lockdown of the second Covid-19 wave earlier this year, he wanted to quit his job and start his own business by doing something that has never been done before in the country.

He therefore quit after being ill-treated and FanOFruits started operating on February 4.

“People are always looking for something delicious and different. Let us face it, like a lot of things in life, fruits can get boring too. One new and exciting food is raw fruits pizza (watermelon pizza) and apple nachos.

“These are just some of the snacks that I prepare, and I regard them as easy to make, not forgetting to mention fruit salads, smoothies and fruit cocktails. I am currently working with a colleague who is the deliver guy. I do my own marketing, design, packaging and advertising.

“I really think this business will help a lot of Basotho who have sugar diabetes, as well as people who are on a strict diet and, of course, those who exercise a lot. My biggest dream is to open a restaurant where people can chill and have fruit foods and beverages, because there is a lot that people can get from FanOFruits, namely baby foods, fruit pops, candies, fruit loafs and pies, and different kinds of meat with fruit sauce.”

At the moment, his biggest problem is finding a fixed work station; he prepares everything from his home and does deliveries. This is because people want to go to a place where they can find a menu and get to choose what they want.

“I also want to partner with anyone who owns a fruits and vegetable supermarket, since my business deals in fruits only. At the moment, I am trying all ways to find the contact details of such peoples so as to further my business.

“I exclusively buy my fruits from street vendors but unfortunately I do not get most of the fruits I want like nuts, kiwi, papaya, and granadilla. I usually use berries and prickly pear,” Makatse said.

Prickly pear is rich in vitamins and minerals such as potassium and calcium as well as vitamins A and C which are important as they play a role in protecting and repairing the skin.

The 23-year old imaginative businessman told theReporter that eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help lower one’s risk of a wide range of health conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and certain kinds of cancer.