Kenyan integrated food producer SimpliFine taps into fast growing frozen food, ready-to-cook segment

KENYA – SimpliFine, a food production company offering accessible, locally sourced meat, vegetables, baked goods and other foods to restaurants, hotels, and retailers across East Africa, is set for a rapid expansion in the Kenyan market.

This follows the acquisition of Alpha Fine Foods, a Kenyan producer of premium meat products, by its parent company BlackIvy.

As part of its endeavours of expanding its market share in the country, SimpliFine is launching 19 new meat and vegetarian products.

These include frozen meats, prepared meal accompaniments and a range of ready-to-cook prepared meals.

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According to the company, the new offerings are a complement to the quality French fries it supplies to restaurants, hotels, schools and catering businesses across Kenya.

Leveraging on BigCold’s advanced temperature-controlled supply chain and operational expertise, SimpliFine is set to deliver quality food to customers efficiently and safely in the local market and abroad.

Historically, the absence of a temperature-controlled supply chain has resulted in spoilage of up to 60% of locally-produced food, decreasing farmers’ income and increasing consumer prices.

The lack of a consistent supply of quality products has also resulted in many hotels, restaurants and catering companies relying on expensive imported goods.

The global frozen food market is expected to reach US$404.8 billion by 2027, registering a CAGR of 4.2% from US$291.8 billion in 2019.

Allied Market Research

Last year, Kenya imported US$2.5 billion in food products, a narrative that the integrated food producer is seeking to change through its innovative launches.

“We are delighted to be expanding and investing across the food value chain in Kenya to provide quality, locally sourced fine foods. At SimpliFine, we are committed to making good, honest food with care and local ingredients.

“We are passionate about growing communities by delivering quality, nutritional foods at accessible prices,” said SimpliFine President, Steven Carlyon.

The expansion drive will enable the local farmers access commercial agricultural markets and foster partnerships in the farming sector.

SimpliFine has purposely launched its operations in one of the most fertile regions of the country.

“We are working with enthusiastic farmers to maximise their yields while offering long-term supply agreements, attractive payment terms and off-take forecasting to inspire more farmers to turn land in Naivasha and Narok into income-generating opportunities,” says Carlyon.

Employment numbers associated with SimpliFine’s supplier farmers are expected to triple by the end of the year.

The Covid-19 pandemic has reshaped the global food industry and disrupted many existing supply chains.

To this end, the frozen food industry has seen steady growth as people gravitate towards foods with longer shelf lives.

Also, decreasing grocery store visits and preparing for potential food shortages has motivated consumers to shop more of the product type during the pandemic.

Prior to the pandemic, the was rising consumers preference for the ready-to-eat food products which needs less preparation as well as cooking time, coupled with shifting consumer dietary preference in hectic and busy life, and expansion of retail channels.

With sales in the category sky rocketing in the last one-year, Allied Market Research, estimates that the global frozen food market is expected to reach US$404.8 billion by 2027, registering a CAGR of 4.2% from US$291.8 billion in 2019.

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