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Introducing a South African staple in RTE format

South Africa’s ubiquitously consumed mealie/maize meal porridge/pap/putu has officially entered the ready-to-eat food market in the innovative form of Papstix, pre-packaged rolls filled with a tasty relish centre.

Papstix, a small company based in Heidelberg, Gauteng, reportedly launched the co-extruded product about seven months ago, in a first-of-it’s-kind adaptation of the South African staple pap-en-sous.

The on-the-go meal comes in a 250g serving, with 70% pap and 30% relish, and is available in three flavours: carrot chakalaka, tomato and onion, and chilli soya beef, but their recipes can be adapted to suit customer preferences. The product is currently priced at R11 per unit. At the moment PapStix are sold online but in the near future the products will be distributed around SA.

PapStix MD Grant Merrick said the inspiration was to find an on-the-go convenience meal that is made specifically with African food culture in mind. So the traditional pap en sous meal was made into a heat-and-eat food item that can be carried with you.

Papstix describes their product as this: “A patented, ready-to-eat, roll of maize meal with a tasty relish centre; the first convenience food made specifically with local food culture in mind. They are delicious hot or cold. PapStix are nutritious and tasty meals that require no refrigeration and our patented co-extrusion process means they are easy to eat on-the-go without a plate or utensils.”

The meal can be heated up, either by microwaving for 45 seconds or placing the sealed package in a pot of water and boiling for two minutes. 

A sealed pap stick can last for up to 90 days at an ambient temperature of 25 C or below, its manufacturers say.

According to the company, “the convenience and hygiene of PapStix allows for the feeding of large crowds of people efficiently”. This includes feeding schemes, outreach disaster relief and public events such as “religious gatherings, music festivals, concerts and election campaigns”.

BusinessInsider SA: Read more about Papstix and its taste evaluation here

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