Which are the most profitable cereals in Kenya?

A collage of cereals sold in Kenya

Looking to sell cereals in Kenya? It is one of the most profitable venture in Kenya. According to investors in the sector, a cereals business can give you a profit margin of 25% and above. However, to enjoy such returns you must focus on the fast-moving cereal products.

Why stock your business with Fast moving cereals? According to the food traders and buyers these products has many benefits as well as features.

  • They are some of the most nutritious foods providing your customers with good health and immunity
  • The most profitable cereals have a high market demand since they are the common staple foods in Kenya.
  • These Cereal types are profitable to trade in and do not tie your cash in working capital.
  • According to some customers like schools, they are affordable/cheap
  • Urban consumers love them for they cook fast saving on time and fuels.

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How Profitable is cereals business in Kenya?

Best Types of cereals in Kenya

Having understood the benefits of fast-moving cereals, which ones should you grow or sell in Kenya? In this list, we will give you a list of the most profitable cereals, grains and legumes to supply in the this market. The most profitable cereals and cereals products to grow or sell in Kenya are;

Maize

Maize is the most important staple food in Kenya. Each household or institution feeds on ugali or githeri almost daily. According to studies, it provides 65% of the country’s calories needs. The per capita consumption of maize in Kenya is 98–103 kg per person translating to an average of 8kg demand per month for every Kenyan on average.

 If you can get clean maize, you will always enjoy a ready demand to local millers, schools or individual consumers.  If you are looking for more profits, consider selling a variety of corn and its products such as;

  • Dry Maize
  • Muthokoi
  • Popcorn Maize

On average, the wholesale maize prices in Kenya is Ksh 35/kg (Ksh 3000/90kgs bag) in Nairobi, Mombasa and Eldoret according to NDMA. In Lodwar, Marsabit and Garrisa. The nominal prices range between Ksh 60-70/kg

Beans

Beans if very often consumed with boiled maize in Kenya’s most popular dish known as githeri or muthokoi. The simple recipe involves boiling maize and beans.

In Kenya, there are many beans varieties that you can grow for sale. The ones with highest demand are

  • Yellow beans which has low acidity
  • Rose Coco
  • Mwitemania
  • Kidney beans (Wairimu)
  • Mwezi Moja
  • Black beans (njahi)
  • Nyayo

Rice

a shopper examining brown and white rice

Kenya consumes close to one million metric tons of rice each year. Much of rice in Kenya  is imported from India, Pakistan and other rice producing countries. In Kenya rice recipes include pishori and pilau. According to a 2014 research, rice consumers in Kenya prefer the aromatic basmati type. Other rice types you need in your cereal shop are the biryani and the pure mwea pishori rice.  The retail prices for rice range from Ksh 80 for Basmatti, Ksh 140 for sindano rice while the Mwea rice retails at Ksh 180-200 depending on its quality.

Green grams (Ndengu)

Greengams or mung beans is the second most consumed legumes in Kenya after the common beans.  Mung beans make a great accompaniment for Rice and chapati stews. In addition, unlike other pulses, green grams will not give you heartburn or digestive gas.

Majority of the country’s ndengu supply is domestic from Kitui, Makueni, Tharaka Nithi, Machakos, Meru and Embu counties. There are Various varieties that are available in the market. They are

  • Makueni Ndengu; It is tiny and circular in shape with an edible taste
  • Nylon Ndengu; It has a shiny/polished look and it’s the big size.
  • Special/ western Ndengu; This variety is yellowish brown in  color.

Lentils (Kamande)

Lentils is the other legume which has a fast growing demand in the country. They resemble a tiny bean sometimes with a flattened side. There are various varieties with the red and brown lentils being the most common. Others are black, and green varieties.

Lentils are very easy to prepare and fast to prepare making them a preferred grain for most urban consumers. In addition, they are very nutritious as they contain high levels of protein and fiber. Finally, their low cost makes them an accessible to many people around the country.

Peas

Another category of profitable cereals to consider for your grain shop are the peas. These nutritious products belong to the legume family such as beans, lentils and green grams. The common ones that has fast sales are;

  • Cowpeas (Kunde) both the red and white varieties
  • Green Peas (Minji)
  • Pigeon peas (Baazi)

Flours

In addittiton to the above cereals, cereal businesses in Kenya make extra profits by value addition or food processing. The best choice for the majority is milling grains and selling corn (maize) flour or porridge flour. You will earn an extra of Ksh 5-20 per kg of flour compared to selling cereals. Assorted and fortified flours will fetch your more money than pure ones. The most common uji flours in cereal shops are;

  • Pure millet (Wimbi)
  • Pure sorghum (mtama)
  • Finger millet (Mawere)
  • Cassava (mhogo)
  • Maize (Baridi)
  • Omena
  • Assorted (Uji Mix)
  • Banana

 You can consider fermenting some of the flours to sell it sour.

How to choose the best cereal products?

Our list has over 30 profitable cereals in Kenya. However it is not advisable to stock all of them especially if you are just starting up. Our guide advises you on steps to follow for buying and selling the most profitable ones that are fast moving without holding your working capital These steps are;

  • Conduct a market survey of your target market to know the products with the highest demand. Explore what your rival businesses are stocking and mirror your stock and prices to theirs
  • Once you start operating, listen to what your customers are enquiring. Introduce it in small quantities and increase its volumes to match additional orders.

Conclusion

Its our hope this article teaches you the best cereal products to grow and sell in Kenya. These include various types and varieties of maize, beans, green grams, peas and lentils. Milled maize and porridge flours fetch higher profits than the cereals. In this category, consider selling the assorted flours. Millet, sorghum and maize flours are the most popular in the country. To settle for the most profitable product in your shop, Agcenture advises you to conduct a market survey and mirror your stock to theirs. Besides, keep introducing new products as customers make orders.

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