Kenya's thriving grocery retail sector shows innovation and growth

By our News Team | 2023

Features that distinguish Kenyan retail from many African markets include supremacy of local products and an ‘incredible’ shopping experience.

Kenya’s grocery retail sector is among the most sophisticated on the continent. And by driving an exceptional shopper experience, it looks ready to take on the world.


In a blog post published on its website, Africa-based retail research specialist, Trade Intelligence, says that, with its strategic position on the Indian Ocean rim and its increasing access to the resource-rich countries of East Africa, Kenya has a growing reputation as East Africa’s marketplace.


Photo by Greta Hoffman from Pexels

It is a rapidly modernising country with an expanding economy and a vibrant tech sector. But it’s in grocery retail that Kenya is really showing its potential.


At 5.3%, Kenya’s forecasted GDP growth for 2023 supports the country’s economic prospects during an otherwise difficult period for consumers, with high inflation and drought putting the squeeze on households. 


As in other African countries, the youth are an increasingly powerful economic bloc, and it’s on their choices and shopping patterns that the future of retail rests.


Food and grocery has been growing rapidly


Food and grocery is one of the largest segments of the retail industry in Kenya, and it has been growing steadily. As the population urbanises, there is growing demand for the trappings of city life, including packaged foods and household items, Trade Intelligence notes.


Several features distinguish Kenyan retail from other more traditional African markets – notably the supremacy of local product ranges, the proliferation of promotions, and an incredible shopping experience.


But Kenya is excelling at more than just the basics of 21st-century retailing. 


“Kenyan retail offers some of the best ‘shoppertainment’ experiences in the world,” says Kerry Elliot, a senior executive at Trade Intelligence. “Local retail chains have pursued world-class in-store execution in the form of revamps with new in-store lifestyle layouts and modern interiors.”


These add-ons come at a cost, but in a landscape where shoppers are increasingly demanding, and where competitors are offering similar value, the ‘wow factor’ is a necessary investment. 


“The wow factor can be the reason that shoppers choose one retailer over another; and typically, the lifestyle categories can be areas of value-added products or services which can provide enhanced margin opportunities,” states Elliot. 


You can read the full blog post here.


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    Dr Kin Kariisa

    Group CEO - Next Media

    Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
    With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
    Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

    Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

    Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

    • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
    • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
    • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
    • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.