Are you looking for food business ideas in Kenya to get you started? You’re at the right place.
According to Capital FM, residents in the city spent up to 87.4 billion on eat-outs and restaurants in 2017. The trend has since increased: statistics project the restaurant industry’s revenue growth rate between 2023 and 2027 to be 19.10%.
The growth rate in the food industry can be attributed to internet penetration and social media access. Customers can now order meals online and have them delivered to their doorstep. On the other hand, business owners can market their services and meals on social media at virtually no cost.
If you’d love to venture into the food business in Kenya, we’ll give you five food business ideas and guide you on how to implement them.
Best Food Business Ideas in Kenya
Here are the best food business ideas in Kenya to invest in:
- Office lunch delivery
- Catering for events
- Home baker
- Porridge uji business
- Boiled eggs and smokies
- Meal prepping
- Food content creator
- Fast food cafe
- Chapati making
Office Lunch Delivery
The working population in the urban centers needs to be fed in the comfort of their workplace. Unfortunately, most office workers rarely get time to go out and eat.
Since these people need hot, healthy, and affordable meals delivered to them in the comfort of their office, you can take this opportunity to offer lunch delivery services. Lunch delivery is one of the best food business ideas in Kenya, and you can start with minimum capital since you don’t need a physical location.
Be vocal about your office lunch delivery services. Social media is the best starting point for you.
Make videos while visiting different office premises and delivering your food services. If your budget permits, start by preparing some samples for free tasting. Marketing is essential when starting, but your happy customers will refer more clients with time.
To stay competitive, offer healthy, tasty and affordable meals. An average meal of ksh. 100 – 250 should be affordable to most people.
You can cook some common Kenyan meals like pilau, rice and stew, ugali and beef and even chapati. Deliver the meals on time and make sure that they are packaged well.
- Excellent cookery skills, good hygienic packaging
- Marketing: Door-to-door and networking
- Requirement: Good cooking skills
- Marketing: Content creation on social media
Catering For Events
Every weekend, there is a birthday, graduation or wedding ceremony. The core of Kenyan parties is food because people bond and celebrate over food. Unfortunately, not everyone can cook for a large group of people.
If you have the skills and knowledge to cook for a large group of people, you can start offering catering services for events. It is one of the best food business ideas in Kenya that has produced successful entrepreneurs like Chepchikoni.
Start by showcasing your work on social media through content creation, where you offer free recipes and food videos.
You can cater for events at a low fee when starting so that you can build your portfolio and rapport with clients. Make sure that you always offer good quality and tasty food to get repeat clients and referrals.
- Skills in cooking for a large group
- Catering supplies (you can hire in the beginning)
- Support Staff
- Marketing: social media, referral or recommendation
Birthdays, graduations, and weddings all need cakes. However, not everyone can bake a great-looking cake. Unlike what most people think, baking and cake decoration needs a specialized skillset that you learn or perfect over time.
Baking is one of the food business ideas in Kenya that is gaining popularity. This idea is for you if you consider yourself a good baker and cake decorator. Starting a home baking business is easier since you do not need a physical bakery or location.
All you need to do is put your services out there.
You can start marketing your skills by creating and sharing baking videos on social media. You should start getting reactions and orders within a few months.
The secret to standing out is to make exciting and unique cake themes. There are a lot of upcoming home bakers; therefore, you need to stand out by making unique, affordable cakes.
Since the home baking industry is competitive, make sure that you perfect your craft. Learn the latest cake designs and keep innovating to stay on top of the game.
When you bake a cake for a client, ask for their anonymous review or rating. Feedback is essential when starting and can boost your credibility with new customers.
- Baking and cake decorating skills
- Baking utensils, including an oven
- Baking supplies
- Marketing: Social media and referral clients
Porridge (Uji) Business
With many Kenyans adopting a healthy lifestyle, the uji business is gaining momentum. Early morning and evening, you’ll find people with a cup of porridge in joints. It is a healthier alternative to tea and other unhealthy snacks.
Kenyans have already embraced uji; this is one of the food business ideas in Kenya that you can start; with a ready market.
Better, you don’t need a lot of resources to get started. You only need a clean thermos flask, cups, and a cleaning bucket. You diversify for more profits by selling the porridge with accompaniments like mandazi.
The best time to sell the uji is early morning, especially during the cold seasons. Your target market is construction workers and Jua Kali artisans, among others, as they resume work in the morning.
This business idea requires you to move a lot, so you must be ready for it. In addition, incorporate organic products such as cassava, banana flour, etc, to enhance taste.
- Thermos flasks for carrying the Uji.
- Cups and a clean bucket.
- Cooking ingredients include porridge flour.
- Marketing: Word of mouth, hawking on construction sites and other places.
Boiled Eggs and Smokies
The boiled eggs and smokie business is one of the most popular snack businesses amongst Kenyans. It’s affordable and easy to start. What’s better, Kenyans love eating eggs and smokies; therefore, there’s a ready market.
This is one of the food business ideas in Kenya that has passed the tests of time. Unlike most unique business ideas in Kenya, it’s not an experimental business, as a considerable population is already making money.
A smokie business requires very little capital. You need a trolley, eggs, and smokies to start this business. In addition, you need a source of heat to keep them hot.
Like in any food business, you need to make sure that you maintain good personal and food hygiene. One way to maintain hygiene is wearing a clean white coat and cleaning your trolley and workspace daily.
- Trolley (buy or hire)
- Eggs and smokies
- Attire: White coat
- Onions and tomatoes for kachumbari
- Marketing: Set up your trolley in a busy strategic location.
6. Meal Prepping
Meal prepping is a simple business you can start with little or no capital. If you are good at preparing meals, you can help families and single meals to prepare meals in advance. You can go to people’s homes to prepare meals or you can make them in your home and deliver them to their location.
With meal prepping, you make meals to last a few days so that your clients do not have to cook every day. You can help them to come up with healthy money too.
7. Food Content Creator
Content creation is now a business. There are creators making money full-time through content creation. you can turn your passion for food into a business by creating amazing content for social media. Some of the best platforms for food content creation are Instagram, Tiktok, and Youtube.
Create amazing video recipes and share them with your followers. As a food content creator, you can make money from youtube monetization and also brand collaborations. This business needs patience because it takes time to build an audience on social media.
8. Fast Food Cafe
A fast food cafe is easy to start because the meals are simple. You also do not need a lot of space to start a fast-food cafe. Some of the foods that you can prepare in your cafe include chips, sausages, bajias and burgers.
These foods are fast-moving and easy to make. Your clients do not have to sit in the space to eat. make sure that the food quality is good and the prices are competitive so that you stand out from the rest.
9. Chapati Making
Kenyans love chapatis. unfortunately, only a few people know how to make chapatis. The process of making chapatis is time-consuming so many people prefer to buy them instead of making them from scratch. If you know how to make nice chapatis, you can kickstart your business. You can make them at the roadside or even at your home and sell them to clients or online. For this business, you do not need a lot of capital to start. All you need is the right skills to make your chapatis appealing and tasty.
The food industry is lucrative, and by choosing your food business ideas right in Kenya, you can maximize profit. You need to choose what you offer critically or otherwise risk unprecedented challenges.
When starting a food business, you must learn how to manage your stock since food is a perishable commodity. You must also familiarise yourself with the licenses needed to start the business. Take your time; start today with the above food business ideas in Kenya.
Have any questions, feedback or contrary opinion about our top 5 food business ideas in Kenya? Leave a comment or share the article with a friend considering joining the food industry.
Want even more unique business ideas? Check out our guide on the best unique business ideas to start in Kenya in 2023!