Kenya’s online food and beverage market is expected to hit Sh. 3.8 billion by the year 2024. This has been revealed by a survey report on the online food market in Kenya that was conducted by Jumia Food. The report shows that currently, the online food and beverage market in the country stands at Sh. 1.8 billion.
“Online retail food and beverage industry is the fastest growing product category in e-commerce. The integration of e-commerce is a top priority for food retailers in Kenya, with 53 per cent of businesses acknowledging increased consumer demand for online sales due to Covid-19 restrictions,” the report said.
The report shows that Nairobi leads in the number of online food orders, followed by Nakuru, Eldoret, Kisumu and Mombasa. KFC and Carrefour were listed as the most popular online international vendors in Kenya. Kenyan vendors were led by Baba Nyama Choma, Marita’s Bhaijas, Swahili Plate, and Wok on Wheels.
This report has been released amidst the ongoing gradual shift to a digital economy in the country. In Kenya, food and agriculture is the currently the most highly ranked economic sector in the country. The sector contributes 26 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product and another 27 per cent of GDP indirectly through linkages with other sectors.
The rise in e-commerce in Kenya has been largely supported by the high penetration of internet connectivity and the adoption of smartphones. Currently, Kenya tops in Africa with a penetration of 87.2 per cent. Jumia Food orders from mobile phone through the Jumia Food App now stand at 65 per cent.
“Smartphone adoption and a youthful population prioritizing a convenience economy are among the factors driving the digitization in Kenya,” Jumia said in the Jumia Food Index 2020 report. In the same vein Jumia Food is the most used online food delivery servie with the widest geographical reach in Africa. It operates in nine countries including Nigeria, Egypt, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Morocco, Tunisia, Uganda, Ghana, Senegal, and Algeria.
According to Shreenal Ruparelia, the chief commercial officer at Jumia Food, the fast food category is the most popular and fastest growing in the food segment. “Consumer disposable income and convenience is a push for online orders, coupled with high commercial activities in Nairobi as a major business hub in East Africa,” she said, adding that Jumia also has a mix of good local and quick serve restaurant brands such as KFC, Burger King and Chicken Inn.
The growth in the Kenya online food sector is not so far fetched if what industry players are witnessing is anything to go by. According to Priyan Kolapara, Kenya has grown into the London of Africa in matters food. “The food scene has grown tremendously. With local and international tourism most customers get to taste unique cuisine in Africa and the expectation has gone higher for the consumer in terms food presentation and quality not forgetting the decor of the venue,” he said.