Q&A: How Much A Potato Chips Factory Costs (Total Investment Required) ?

Well it depends, depends on many things like if you want to setup a big factory then the cost will be quite huge compared to a small setup, if you want everything fully automated, like chips manufacturing plant then it will cost more compared to semi-automated setup.

If you want imported machinery that can deliver superior quality then that will cost more than locally developed machinery, if you want to manufacture multiple items then it will cost more than manufacturing a single item, if you want to manufacture for a big region like targeting a whole country as your market then that will cost more than targeting specific small niches, segments or places.
Potato chips

So you see, there can’t a single answer straight forward answer to this particular question, now in this article I’ll try to provide few answers to this question which will cover almost all scenarios, like if you want a small setup then how much it will cost approximately? And if you want to start a medium setup or large setup so on and so forth.

Now before going for the main theme of this post, I would like to share with you guys a relevant post, that is about coming up with some creative names for potato chips brands and also designing some really cool packaging designs for your chips brand, if you want to know more about it check 5 Super Cool Creative Packaging Designs, Brand Names for Potato Chips!

Back to the article!

Total Cost of Setting Up a Small-Med-Large Potato Chips Factory:

Remember: Starting business may sound easy but it’s not, so its better if you spend at least 4-8 months with those who have mastered the art of running a business successfully especially the one, you are planning to launch, invest in.

I have written extensive practical how to articles on launching, managing business, do check these things on my website 1. Startup 2. How to Launch & Manage Business (an easy approach) 3. Manufacturing Business(Practical tips, how to’s).

Okay now let’s get back to the main topic of this article.

Setting up a small factory that will target a limited region and later on will expand into the market, converting that small setup into a medium and large setup later on (in span of 3-10 years) will cost around $10K (minimum) to $40K (Maximum). 

$10K is the initial cost for setting up a small factory, once you want to expand, then obviously you add more and more machinery to it and thus the total cost will keep moving, $40K isn't the upper limit, it is just an estimate to suggest to you that once you cross this investment threshold your factory can be counted as large factory, means you aren't anymore a small or medium factory.

The above mentioned minimum $10K cost includes only machinery; small scale machinery that you will need to utilize to make potato chips, that means you will need to calculate warehouse, vehicle, stock, inventory, raw material cost, import charges in case you want to import these machines etc separately.

I am listing all machines in logical order, where you starts by washing and peeling potatoes and then move to slicing machine and then blanching so on and so forth, I am doing this so that you will not only know the cost of each machine but will also understand how to correctly setup and use all of these machines to make those super crispy, tasty potato chips! 😉

The logical order is as follow:
  1.  Potato Washer & Peeler
  2.  Potato Slicer
  3. Potato Chips Blancher
  4. Potato Chips Dryer (de-watering)
  5. Potato Chips Fryer
  6. Potato Chips de-oiler
  7. Potato Chips Coater (seasoning)
  8. Potato Chips Packer

Other things you will need are
  1. Supply vehicle (to supply raw material to the factory but to also supply finished products to the market)
  2. Electric generator to use in case of a blackout.
  3. Warehouse for keeping raw material and output.
  4. Office including furniture, computers for data entry etc.

Now let me show you each machine for the small scale setup.

Total Cost For a Small-Large Scale Potato Chips Factory

Potato Washer & Peeler

Low-end machine at minimum costs $500 while high-end machine costs can cost up-to $5000.

The variation in cost is mainly due to peeling capacity per hour and due to various functions, the more peeling capacity the more it will cost. It comes in stainless steel thus you won’t be bothered by rusting.

Here is how it looks!

The price quoted above isn’t the only price, you can easily find lower price than that online. Just check Ali Baba or Ali Express.

I am listing the different models with per hour capacity, the one with least capacity costs $500 that doesn’t wash potatoes therefore you will need to do it manually.

Now watch the following video to see how it works!

I personally would suggest that you should start with just one low-end peeler, that way you would not only save the money but also minimize the financial risk that comes with a business failure.

Now let’s get to the second step of this process that is called Potato Slicing.

Potato Slicer

The potato slicer actually cuts potato’s in different shapes (like plain chips, ripple chips, potato shreddings / laccha / sully, French fries etc), the more shapes you want the higher the cost and vice versa.

Low-end slicer costs around $1000 while high-end goes above that, again you can find a lower price slicer by checking online.

Okay, here is how it works!

And here is how it looks

Potato Chips Blancher:

This machine is used to remove extra starch from the slices and to protect its color.

Potato Chips Machinery website describes blanching as follow”

Blanching is a cooking process in food processing. A vegetable or fruit is put into boiling water for a few minutes and then plunged into cold water. Food is blanched to soften it, or to partly or fully cook it, or to remove a strong strange taste. Potato chips blanching machine is set behind potato chips slicing machine to pre-cook sliced potatoes in potato chips line.

During blanching, potato chips’ flavor, color, texture and nutritional value are altered. Water blanching minimizes the leaching of solid, which leaves more natural sugars in products and it improves flavor retention and color retention to produce a final product with superior flavor, texture and color.

For more details on various machines that are being discussed here, do check the above Potato Chips Machinery website.

A low-end blanching machine costs around $1k while a high-end will cost around $5k, again these prices aren’t the final ones, you can find a low-end blanching machine that cost lesser than what is mentioned here, do check alibaba.com and other online sources.

Here is how it looks like

Here is how it works!

Potato Chips Dryer (de-watering):

This machine is used to remove extra water before frying. A low-end machine will cost around $800 while a high-end will cost around $1500.

Here is how it looks like

And here is how it works.

Now let’s talk about our next machine, called potato fryer.

Potato Chips Fryer

Once dewatering is done, the next step is to fry those slices, this machine has all you want in frying, like setting temperature, time etc. A low-end machine will cost you around $800 while a high-end will cost you around $3000.

And here is how it looks

Potato Chips De-oiler

Dewatering and de-oiling machines are basically one and the same thing, you will need to buy at least two, one for de-oiling or removing oil after frying and other for de-watering.

Potato Chips Coater (seasoning)

After de-oiling the next step is to add spices, flavors to the chips, this is done through coating or seasoning machine.

A low-end seasoning machine costs around $900 while a high-end machine costs around $1200, although you can find machines with different designs and specifications with price variations accordingly.

Here is how it looks like

And here is how it works!

Potato Chips Packer

Although potato chips packing is a big process that can’t be sufficiently discussed in this article because that involves like selecting a brand name for your chips, brand mark, color scheme, designing logo, selecting size and design of chips packaging/sachets/carton, registering, licensing, meeting legal, health, food requirements of that brand, calculating costs like per sachet, per chips carton, setting price (putting that price on chips sachet, carton) and later on devising a marketing and sales strategy so on and so forth.

To cover all of the above things in terms of potato chips I’ll be writing a thorough practical article in up coming days and you will definitely learn the whole thing practically, which make your job a lot more easier when you launch your own potato chips brand.

Okay coming back to the machine, a quality packing machine costs around $1700 while a low-end will come in like $1200-1300, though I will suggest that you go for the quality machine, not just here but in all machines mentioned above, that will not only make maintenance a lot more cheap and easy but will also give you a quality end product.

Here is how packing machine looks like

And here is how it works!

That’s it, if you are looking for small manufacturing business ideas then check out

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Over to you guys! 😉

About Publisher Arshad Amin

Certified SEO Professional, Small Business, Start-up, Marketing Expert with ton's of practical, actionable ideas, insights to share, Proud Founder and Owner of www.easymarketinga2z.com and www.topexpertsa2z.com

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