Yoghurt consumption in Kenya is greatly considered a health option and due to the common perception of its high cost, it is mostly popular in Kenya’s urban centres and very little is consumed in rural areas. There is a great variety of yoghurt types in Kenya and recent developments in the dairy processing firms in Kenya has seen introduction of real fruit yoghurts besides the natural flavoured yoghurts in the Kenyan market. The variety in terms of yoghurt typesin Kenya encompasses natural flavoured, real fruit as well as low-fat yoghurts.
Yoghurt Manufacturing in Kenya
There are several dairy processing companies that manufacture yoghurt products in Kenya and they maintain a competitive popularity index in the Kenyan consumer market. Brookside Dairy Ltd maintains a huge share of 50% in their popular yoghurt brands due to their strong brand and recent acquisition of smaller processing firms such as Delamere Dairies, Buzeki, Fresha, Ilara, Tuzo and Molo milk. They are followed by Sameer Ltd, processing Daima yoghurt at 20% and finally Eldoville and New Kenya Cooperative Creameries account for the remaining 18% and 7% yoghurt market share respectively in the popular yoghurt brands in Kenya.
Competition among popular yoghurt brands in Kenya is pegged mostly on market niches, yoghurt types and also on the quality of yoghurt products. New Kenya Cooperative Creameries , a dairy processor in Kenya recently launched a real fruit flavoured yoghurt, “la-yoghurt” brand to capture the energetic young generation and they also have an additional natural yoghurt brand, “KCC Delite yoghurt” flavoured with natural flavours and permitted colours. They are in different flavour variants such as banana, coconut, mango, natural pineapple, strawberry and vanilla.
Brookside Dairy Ltdis another large dairy processor in Kenya that also has two main yoghurt brands and maintains a larger share of popularity index in the yoghurt processing market. They have the “Brookside natural yoghurt” brand that comes in a Tetra rex 500ml and 250ml pack as well as a 250ml cup pack andthey also have the “Ilara” yoghurt brand.
Another popular yoghurt brand is the Daima yoghurt brand, processed by Sameer Ltd, that owes its popularity on its favourable price and good distribution channels to the small retail outlets. The Daima yoghurt has greatly benefited from a sound advertising program and availability to most residential dwellers in urban centres. Eldoville farm ltd is another dairy processing company that has two yoghurt brands that are gaining popularity in Kenya due to their quality and variety of flavour variants. Their two brands are low fat yoghurt and creamy yoghurt. The low fat yoghurt is processed from low fat milk and comes in 150ml cup, 500ml tub, 1l, 2l and 5litre packs and consists of natural (no sugar, strawberry, vanilla, raspberry, mango and forest fruit flavours. The Eldoville creamy fruit yoghurt comes with fruit chunks and from full cream milk and is packed in 100ml cup, 150ml cup, 500ml tub and 5litre containers. It has various flavour variants such as strawberry, vanilla, raspberry, mixed berry, banana, black cherry, pineapple/ mango, tropical mix, apple kiwi, peach and natural passion.
Delamere yoghurt is also a popular brand among the yoghurt and fermented products in Kenya and is processed by Delamere Farm and is in 250ml, 500ml Tetra rex and 1l and 3l containers. It is processed from whole milk and comes in various flavour variants such as pineapple, strawberry and vanilla. Another popular yoghurt brand is Fresha yoghurt that comes in three variants i.e. low fat, flavoured and real fruit. It is packed in cups of 150ml, 250ml and 500ml and 250ml and 500ml bottles and has passion, mango, pineapple, vanilla, strawberry flavour variants. It is also a popular brand due to its well-organised distribution system and fair prices.
Other yoghurt brands coming up are yoghurt products processed by cooperative unions of farmers in low scale such as Mt. Kenya yoghurt processed by Meru Central Dairy Cooperative Union. They are mainly marketed in small retail shops and outlets in areas of their production.
The Raw Materials for Yoghurt Manufacturing in Kenya
With the different yoghurt types processed in Kenya, the common ingredients include milk (either whole milk or low fat), dry skim milk powder, sugar, thickener, stabilizer and thermophilic starter culture. The thickener is mostly modified corn starch and the stabilizer (pectin) is considered an optional ingredient in processing of natural yoghurt. The different yoghurt flavour variants also include fruit flavour in their ingredients and real fruit yoghurt brands also use fresh fruit pulps. Other additional ingredients include permitted food colour (E161b) in natural and low fat yoghurt products.