Supporting Local Culinary Market Expansion, UMY Lecturers and Students Accommodate People Semuluh Kidul to Create Branding

Biological diversity and soil fertility help Indonesia gain potency in a business sector. One of the means is processing natural resources as culinary products which can bring high economic values. Lots of people have already tried to process natural resources to be profitable products. However, a group of people have not found the potency yet, especially in terms of culinary product marketing. This issues befalls people of Semuluh Kidul, Ngeposari, Semanu, Gunung Kidul, Yogyakarta. Stepping from that problematic issue, Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta (UMY), through Lecturers’ Community Service Program and Community Service Program (KKN) Team of 026 sought to boost people’s ability in branding their culinary products.

“The branding was a continuation from previous KKN in Semuluh Kidul. The program targets culinary product marketing so that the products will be able to compete with other products in market. A majority of people in Semuluh Kidul plant cassava and cons. In previous KKN program, the team conducted training in processing those agricultural products. Until now, Semuluh Kidul has two production houses, Kidul Makmur and Fajar Mandiri. She continued, “A branding concept includes a labelling process and teaching people to create a slogan for the products so that the products will easily be recognized in markets,” declared Riska Wiranti, a member of KKN 026 on Monday (18/2).

Besides, a team KKN 062 also recommended the people to use favourable packaging to attract people’s interest in buying the products. Most people in Semuluh Kidul wrapped their cassava chips and marning (corn chips) in plastic packaging. This kind of packaging can not only be visually unattractive, but also possibly cause environmental problems. They urged people to switch using paper bags. The paper bag is not just environmentally friendly but also will give attractive appearance to the products. The paper bag packaging will also increase sale values in markets. The team also commenced to educate people about financial management.

A supervisor of the community service Muhammad Muttaqien, S.Ikom, M.Sn. declared that the branding program would bring good impacts for empowerment of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Semuluh Kidul. Agricultural products such as peanuts, cassavas, and corns are abundantly massive in Semuluh Kidul. These products have already sold to local markets, and with the help of packaging, people will be able to market the products across regions.

Muttaqien continued, “The branding will also accommodate people to be more innovative. The branding can be utilized to introduce new products automatically and can be associated with other products in the village. This is supported by a fact that the village is close to local tourist sites, which enable products to be distributed directly to visitors.”

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