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Kenyan company sees great options in supplying fries to international fast-food chains

Although raw potatoes are grown across Africa, many of the most established foreign restaurants there still source frozen produce from Europe and elsewhere. This is a huge business opportunity for local firms that can meet the requirements of global fast-food chains, says Humphrey Mburu, managing director of Kenya-based Sereni Fries.

Mburu: “It is an untapped market. Besides South Africa and Egypt, frozen chip factories in Africa are few and far between. There are a lot of new fast-food restaurants like KFC and Burger King setting up in Kenya. Many of them import from the Netherlands or Egypt. We think there is a gap in the market for locally produced frozen chips.”

The decision to target international fast-food chains only came in the later stages of the business, after nine years of operation. The first stage of the business was processing fresh-cut potatoes for local establishments. As uncooked fries do not require expensive machinery, the entrepreneur was able to scale and increase the number of factories from an original plant in the capital city of Nairobi to four more across the rest of Kenya.

Mburu’s main customers include local fast-food chains such as Chicken Inn, Kenyan supermarkets like Naivas and informal shops.

Sereni Fries’ latest venture is the move into frozen fries, which are often used by large-volume restaurants as a more economical option and because they always have the same starch content, compared to fresh-cut fries that change according to the temperature.


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