Kenya's food and beverage processing industry is made up of more than 1,200 businesses, encompassing everything from small family organizations to large multinational companies with the likes of Nestle, Cadbury and Coca Cola.
There are more than 25 fish processing factories in Kenya, with a processing capacity of 25,000 tonnes of raw fish per year (and total production of 13,500 tonnes). Some of the major players include Kenya Cold Storage, Samaki Industries, Prisco/ Midas, Wananchi Marine Products, Victoria Nile Perch and Perch foods.
Fruit and vegetable processing is being driven by the private sector, with the public sector helping facilitate the export process. Kenya produces frozen products (French beans, snow peas, juice concentrates); canned products like baby corn, pineapple slices and dehydrated products such as onions, cabbages and carrots. Famous names such as Del Monte are active in this area.
The Kenyan industry started in 1922 and, thanks to the East African Breweries Ltd (EABL), it is now world-renowned, controlling approximately 95 percent of the Kenyan bottled beer market.
EABL owns 80 percent of Kenya Breweries, (along with substantial shares in the Ugandan and Tanzanian industries), and its subsidiaries include Kenya Malting, which farms barley and malt, and Central Glass, which leads the glass packaging market.
The National Cereals and Produce Board advises farmers on grain growing and marketing. Kenya is ahead of its East African Community (EAC) neighbours in beer production, with 2.8 hectolitres in 2003, compared to Tanzania's 2.1 million hectoliters and Uganda's 1.3 million hectoliters. Kenya also has beer production operations in both those countries. All these suggest that the food and beverage sector in Kenya is loaded with potential.