|dc.description.abstract||Consumption of crisps as snack is on the increase in Kenya and more so in the urban areas.Some potato crisps are imported and others locally produced. It is, however, not known whether local and imported products are processed to the required specifications. This study aimed to determine the consumption patterns and the characteristics of potato crisps in Nairobi City.
Methodology and results: Potato crisps consumption pattern was determined using a structured questionnaire administered to 215 consumers. A total of 80 shops were surveyed to establish the brands
and characteristics of potato crisps sold. The available brands were sampled and evaluated in the laboratory for colour, size, thickness, moisture, salt and oil content. Results showed that 33 % of consumers were males while 67 % were females. A majority, 74 %, consumed potato crisps once a week,
on average. Apart from gender, the frequency of purchase was influenced by factors such as festive occasions, seasons and purchasing power. Tropical heat brand was the most preferred (22 %) followed by Krackles (11 %). Pringles, an imported brand was purchased by only 0.6 %, so were the local brands Delice and Highlands. The most preferred flavor was onion-salted. The most commonly purchased package (52 %) ranged between 30-50 g due to affordability and possibly convenience. These were
retailing at USD. 0.4-0.5. The least purchased units weighed 150 g and above (2 % consumers). About 28 % of the consumers bought crisps for own consumption, while 72 % purchased for family. Only 15 % of the outlets surveyed stocked other potato products besides crisps. A total of 24 brands of crisps were available in the market. The most commonly stocked brands were Tropical Heat and Krackles
in 46 and 45 % of the outlets surveyed, respectively. All the outlets surveyed stocked local, and 15 % of the outlets also had imported brands. The units of packaging ranged from less than 10 g to 1 kg. The most popular unit packages (40 %) varied from 10 to 100 g, selling between USD. 0.1-0.8. The study showed that potato crisps are highly consumed by children and youths and moderately by adults. The characteristics of the brands evaluated including colour, size, thickness, moisture, salt and oil content
varied significantly (P≤0.05) among the brands. Crisps thickness varied from 1 to 2 mm; the oil content varied from 24 to 40 % while the moisture and salt contents varied from 1 to 6 %, and 1 to 3 %, respectively.Conclusions and application: Consumption of crisps in Nairobi is dependent on gender, festive occasions, and seasons of the year and availability of disposable income. Except for the thickness, most brands had
characteristics that conformed to the local crisps standards. This study provides the most current formation on the crisp market and the results are useful to consumers, processors, policy makers and other stakeholders in the potato processing subsector.||en