KENYA – Simplifine, a newly formed food processing company in Kenya, has commissioned a new processing line that will expand its production of frozen fresh French fries.
The Individual Quick Freezing processing line will extend the shelf life of locally produced potatoes, thus expand the market for Kenyan farmers and reduce reliance on imported French fries, reports Standard Media.
“SimpliFine launched its French fry business in March 2021 and has built strong relationships with our local supplier farmers and our customers.
“We invested in new technology to produce a quality French fry that serves a broader market in Kenya and in the region,” said Simplifine President Steven Carlyon.
Following the investment, Simplifine will be launching its frozen French fries in the market later this month and looks forward to debuting additional frozen fruits and vegetable products in the future.
The investment in IQF technology reaffirms SimpliFine’s commitment to providing locally sourced, quality fine foods across the region, creating jobs and strengthening the economy.
SimpliFine will leverage its affiliate company, BigCold, to provide advanced temperature-controlled supply chain management and operational expertise to ensure safe, quality and affordable food that is locally sourced, manufactured, and delivered to customers.
“SimpliFine is committed to making good food using local ingredients. We are passionate about growing communities by delivering nutritious, quality foods at accessible prices.
“We are excited to bring technology to Kenya that expands markets for its agricultural products and improve farmers’ livelihoods,” added Steven.
Simplifine made entry into the Kenyan market last year April 2021 with the acquisition of a potato processing factory in Naivasha, Nakuru County – Central of Kenya from DNC Foods Limited.
Simplifine builds local capacity of frozen foods market
Investing in the freezing facility, particularly the instant quick frozen (IQF) technology for quick frozen items will enable the company ensure it has products all year round despite the seasonal nature of the produce.
With this, it will take up space in the frozen foods aisle, currently dominated by foreign owned brands such as McCain, which are relatively expensive.
“There is no reason as to why the frozen fries should be such a luxury or such an expensive commodity, as the potatoes are locally available and the species we have here are suitable.
“The game changer for me is that Kenya has the climate and agricultural ability needs to build an even greater export portfolio by developing the brands, acquiring in the technology and working with the farmers to build the frozen food capability within the export market, translating to jobs and more sustainable benefits to the people of Kenya,” said Steven during a sit down with the Food Business Africa team.
The lack of a consistent supply of quality products in the country has forced many food service providers to rely on expensive imported goods.
This is evidenced by the recent uproar after American fast food chain operator, KFC, revealed it currently faces a shortage of fries following logistics delays in delivering the commodities from overseas suppliers.
With the Naivasha facility, SimpliFine intends to bridge this gap. “A lot of frozen potato chips are imported because there are specific standards and formulations that the big quick service restaurants that have set base locally are asking for.
“We are in talks with some of the global brands and we are starting to see the QSRs becoming more flexible to work with local partners like us,” said Steven.
Other than venturing into the fresh and frozen foods segment, Simplifine runs the former Alpha Fine Foods meat company and acquired iconic baked goods producer Ennsvalley Bakery from Unga Group.