If you’re looking for food business ideas in Kenya that you can start with little capital, this guide is for you.
Some of the top food businesses in Kenya include uji power, coffee, fruit salad, blended juice, eggs and smokies, boiled cereals, yogurt and ice cream, fast food joints, popcorn, mandazi, and chapati making.
The food market in Kenya is expected to grow by 5.7% in volume by 2024, with a current revenue of $56.4 billion. Hence, investing in the food business can earn you massive returns.
In this piece, I will share:
- Specific food business opportunities
- The requirements for each
- How to gain a competitive advantage
Let’s dive in!
Top Food Business Ideas in Kenya With Little Capital Requirement.
In a rush? Check out this table highlighting 12 food business ideas in Kenya, their start-up capital, and expected return.
|Business||Initial Capital||Expected Daily Return|
|1.||Uji Power||Kshs 5,000 and above||Kshs 1,000 – kshs 10,000|
|2.||Coffee Business||Kshs 4,000 – Kshs 10,000||Kshs 1500 – kshs 3,000|
|3.||Fruit Stand||Kshs 2,000 and above||Kshs 1,000 and above|
|4.||Fruit Salad and Juice||Kshs 15,000||Kshs 2,000 and above|
|5.||Yogurt and Ice cream||Kshs 60,000||Kshs 1,000 and above|
|6.||Eggs and Smokies||Kshs 9,000 – kshs 14,000||Khs 1,000 – kshs 2,000|
|7.||Roasted Maize||Kshs 3,000 – kshs 5,000||Kshs 500 – kshs 1,500|
|8.||Meat Business||Kshs 5,000 – kshs 100,000||Kshs 1,000 and above|
|9.||Fast Food Joint||Kshs 10,000 – kshs 10,000||Kshs 1,000 and above|
|10.||Boiled Cereals Business||Kshs 6,500||Kshs 500 and above|
|11.||Popcorn Business||Kshs 18,000 and above||Kshs 1,000 and above|
|12.||Mandazi and Chapati Making||Kshs 5,000 and above||Kshs 500 and above|
1. Start Selling Uji Power
(Initial Capital Kshs 5,000 and above)
Uji Power is made from arrowroots, groundnuts or peanut butter, cassava, pumpkin seeds, sweet potatoes, milk, and honey or sugar. This business can earn a daily income between kshs 1,000 and kshs 10,000.
Uji Power Business Requirements
- Cooking pots
- Thermal flasks from kshs 3,000
- Cups or calabashes
- A joint, or you can operate mobile
Tip: Learn to prepare Uji Power perfectly and provide delivery services to ensure it’s within your customers’ reach. In addition, maintain a high level of hygiene to maintain your clients.
2. Start a Coffee Business
(Initial Capital Kshs 4,000 – Kshs 10,000)
The random walk to people selling coffee can make you a fortune, especially in the evening when people are chilling in their workplace. This business can earn you between Kshs 1,500 and Kshs 3,000 daily.
Coffee Business Requirements
- Tea Urn(flask) kshs 2,800 and above
- Coffee and sugar
- Disposable cups
Tip: Timing matters in this business; when you visit your customers in the evening, they’re more likely to buy as it’s cold and they are loaded.
3. Open a Fruit Stand
(Initial Capital Kshs 2,000 and above)
A fruit stand comprises different types of fruits, including avocados, oranges, mangoes, bananas, and vegetables(Mboga Kienyeji, cabbage, and kale). You can also add ingredients such as cucumber, carrots, pepper, and garlic.
A fruit stand can earn you from kshs 1,000 and above daily.
Fruit Stand Requirements
- A Kibanda or stand kshs 500 per month
- First stock of fruits and vegetables kshs 1500
- A jerrycan of water
- A small basin and knife
Tip: A high hygiene level and fresh fruits will keep customers coming back to you. In addition, provide excellent after-service like top-notch kale cutting to ensure 100% customer satisfaction.
4. Start a Fruit Salad and Juice Blending Business
(Initial Capital Kshs 15,000)
The fruit salad and juice blending business involves cutting and packaging fruits in nice containers.
It also entails blending fruits of different kinds and packaging their juice in disposable glasses.
You can earn a daily income of kshs 2,000 and above, depending on your location and client base.
Fruit Salad and Juice Business Requirement
- A stall kshs 3,000 and above
- Seats kshs 2,000
- Juicers from kshs 2,500
- First fruit stock
- Packaging supplies kshs 1000
- Licensing and permits from kshs 3,000
Tip: To thrive in this business, you need to maintain a high level of hygiene. You must also price your products competitively to stay ahead of your competitors.
4. Start Selling Yogurt and Ice Cream
(Initial Capital Kshs 60,000)
Selling yogurt and ice cream is a significant venture, especially if you live in a hot place. However, you must master the yogurt and ice cream-making skills to provide the best final product.
This business can earn you a daily income of kshs 500 to kshs 1,500.
Yogurt and Ice Cream Business Requirements
- A stall from kshs 10,000
- KEBS certification kshs 32,000
- Business permit kshs 5,000
- Hygiene certificate kshs 300
- Other items(thermometer, glasses, sieve, and sufuria) kshs 10,000
Tip: Ensure your staff maintains a high level of hygiene and provides excellent customer service. In addition, make the best ice cream and yogurt to attract more customers to your place.
5. Venture into the Eggs and Smokies Business
(Initial Capital Kshs 9,000 – kshs 14,000)
Eggs and smokies are a common daily snack for most people, especially when coming from work in the evening. Opening this business will earn you a daily income of kshs 1,000 to kshs 2,000.
Eggs and Smokies Business Requirements
- Trolley kshs 5,000 to kshs 10,000
- Jerrycan for water kshs 100
- Umbrella from kshs 500
- Packaging supply kshs 500
- Knife and containers
- Jiko kshs 400
- Dustbin kshs 250
- Smokies and eggs kshs 2,000
Tip: Learning to make eggs and smokies accordingly will retain your clients. Also, remember to stay updated and incorporate trends such as Smocha. You will enjoy huge profits with their high demand.
7. Sell Roasted Maize
Maize roasting is a simple business as it demands very few hours of your day. Moreover, it is one of the businesses you can start with little capital.
Selling roasted maize can earn you a daily income of between kshs 500 to kshs 1500.
Roasted Maize Business Requirements
- Maize roasting stand kshs 1,000
- Seat kshs 500
- Charcoal kshs 50
- Fresh maize
Tip: Providing well-roasted maize and spice to better your customers’ experience will keep them coming back. Also, ensure you maintain a high level of hygiene as customers are more conscious of dirt nowadays.
8. Venture into Meat Business
The meat business is diverse, with some going into butchery and others selling small chunks of cooked chicken and goat meat. In a day, you can expect kshs 1,000 and above returns regardless of your line.
Meat Business Requirements
For a butchery, you will need:
- Business permit and license kshs 10,000
- Display counter kshs 30,000
- Weighing scale kshs 5,000
- Butchery hooks and knives kshs 2,000
- Wooden lump kshs 2,000
- Rent kshs 10,000
- Wrapping material kshs 2,000
- Coat kshs 1,000
- Meat stock kshs 10,000
If you decide to sell cooked chunks of meat, you will require the following:
- A stand for roasting meat
- Packaging supplies
- Liaise with a butchery owner to avoid extra charges(taxes)
Tip: A high level of hygiene will put you ahead of your competitors, allowing you to attract many customers. You should also provide different kinds of meat to give your customers a wide range of choices.
9. Open a Fast Food Joint
(Initial Capital Kshs 10,000 – kshs 100,000)
Fast food joints deal in fries, chicken, and other snacks such as smokies, samosa, kebab, and drinks. This business can earn you a daily income of kshs 1,000 and above.
Fast Food Business Requirements
- A rental space or stand kshs 1,000 to kshs 10,000
- Fryer or simple frying pot kshs 1,000 to kshs 50,000
- Utensils kshs 3,000 to kshs 10,000
- License varies with the county
- First stock kshs 2,000 to kshs 30,000
Tip: Mastering the preparation can help you provide delicious fast-food options for your clients. In addition, you can give after sales services like delivery to enhance the customers’ experience.
10. Start a Boiled Cereal Business
(Initial Capital Kshs 6,500 and above)
Boiled cereals are in high demand as most people work, lacking enough time to prepare these meals. Depending on your capacity, you can earn from kshs 500 and above.
Boiled Cereal Business Requirements
- Jikos kshs 1,000
- Pots kshs 1,000
- Around four transparent containers of kshs 1000
- Measuring cup and packaging kshs 500
- A stall from kshs 1,000
- First stock (beans, maize, peas, etcetera) kshs 2,000
- License varies with location
Tip: Always ensure your cereals are free from dirt or gravel before boiling them. Also, ensure you cook them well and set them up around the closing hours for people to pick them up while heading home.
11. Open a Popcorn Business
(Initial Capital Kshs 18,000 and above)
Popcorn business works well when located in a strategic position with high foot traffic. Depending on your client base, you can get a daily income of kshs 1,000 and above.
Popcorn Business Requirements
- Vendors license kshs 4,000
- Popcorn machine kshs 10,000 and above
- Popcorn seeds from kshs 500
- Packaging materials from kshs 500
- Business permit kshs 3,000
Tip: Set up your business in a highly populated space and add popcorn flavors to attract kids and young people.
12. Start a Mandazi and Chapati Making Business
(Initial Capital Kshs 5,000 and above)
Chapatis and Mandazis are a favorite breakfast snack you can make from home and sell in a stall within your neighborhood. You can also combine this with home cooking services.
This business will earn you a daily income of kshs 500 and above.
Mandazi and Chapati Business Requirements
- A table and seat
- A jiko and pan
- First stock (wheat flour, sugar, salt, and cooking oil)
- Other cooking supplies kshs 500
Tip: Cooking good Chapatis and Mandazis will give you a competitive advantage. You should also open Facebook and Instagram accounts to post your chapatis and mandazis. This will market you to people in need of cooking services at their homes.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What Food Business Is Most Profitable?
Fast food, meat, cake, eggs and smokies, yogurt, and ice cream are the most profitable food businesses.
2. Does Fast Food Make Profit?
There are many food business ideas in Kenya you can invest in depending on your passion and skills. From roasted maize, boiled cereals, fast food, cakes, yogurt, and Uji Power, you can earn a decent income from food.
All you need to do is plan meticulously and implement your business idea right. Which business do you think is the most straightforward?