Fruits consumption in Kenya is growing as more people seek healthier lifestyle by eating foods such as fruits. This has resulted in a growth in demand for fruits and fruit juices. Hence, let us look at how to start and run a fresh juice business in Kenya.
Biologically, fruits provide our bodies with vitamins, which in turn help us fight off diseases and increase our immunity. Something we all require as a matter of urgency. To the investors, this is an opportunity to venture into this business that not only has a ready market but also high returns.
Benefits of starting a fresh juice business in Kenya
1. Ready market– There is a ready market for the fresh juice business in the country. However, the level of demand depends on various factors such as location and weather. The market is larger in the urban areas. Regarding the weather, people tend to drink more fresh juice during the hot season.
2. Low initial capital requirement- Unlike other business models which require a huge amount of cash to start, you can start a fresh juice business in Kenya with only Ksh 20,000 depending on your business location. This makes it possible for the majority of Kenyans to get into the business.
Available resources– the raw materials for operating a fresh juice business are fruits. There are very many types of fruits to choose from within the Kenyan market, and most of them are very affordable. However, you can also farm your fruits and minimize the cost of buying raw materials.
Challenges of starting a fresh juice business in Kenya
1. Perishability of the fresh juice– Fruits and Fresh juice are highly perishable products. This requires you to invest in cold storage facilities. Failure to do so exposes you to losses and low-quality products that could keep customers away.
2. High competition- Low entry requirements both in form of capital and raw materials have attracted a lot of investors in this space resulting in low margins. There is also an increasing number of juice companies that also offers competition to small-scale traders.
3. Weather challenges- Consumption of fruit juice is highly affected by the weather. Hence, sales tend to reduce during the low season. A factor that could make it hard to support the business during such times.
How to start and run a fresh juice business in Kenya
1. Perform market research
Market research is an essential first step before getting into this business. Some of the factors to research include the startup capital, Competitors, and the best products to sell.
From market research, you will identify some of the necessary tricks to make it in the business. Researching your competitors helps you to gain tips on the pricing, products, and location.
2. Identify an ideal location.
Winning in this business is highly dependent on the location. Hence, you should target to set up in an area with high human traffic.
Some of the ideal locations for fresh fruit juice business in Kenya include:
- Near school institutions such as universities and colleges
- On a junction
- Within a town or shopping centers
- Near a market
- Near food eateries
The above areas are places that are easily accessible to potential customers.
Depending on your available capital, you can choose to rent out a room or operate your fresh juice business from a stand. Renting a room will cost you a bit more than working from a juice stand.
The amount of rent is dependent on the business location. Renting a room in a city such as Nairobi costs an average of Ksh 10,000 – Ksh 15,000, while the same room can go for Ksh2, 000-Ksh 5,000 in smaller towns.
Another element to factor in when choosing a location is the business permit. These vary from county to county. The average cost in Nairobi is 15,000 shillings per year. Learn more on How to Get a Single Business Permit in Nairobi.
3. Purchase the relevant equipment
Every business has a specific set of equipment that is necessary for running. For a fresh juice business, some of the equipment that you will require includes:
It is a piece of essential equipment for the fresh juice business. If you already have a blender at home, you can use it when starting your business and then save up for a commercial blender. A blender will cost you from Ksh 2,000 to Ksh 8,000.
As the business expands, consider getting a stronger and bigger commercial blender.
A juicer is a piece of equipment that presses the juice out of fruit immediately. It works by squeezing the fruit to produce juice It is not very important when starting the business, although it can come in handy when your customer base increases.
This includes; knives, bowls, plates, and a chopping board. Since you will be the one responsible for blending your fruits, you need to have the necessary cutlery. The cutlery needs to be clean for hygiene purposes.
Due to the sensitive nature of the business, always ensure to maintain high hygiene standards on the cutlery.
4. Plastic serving tumblers, lids, and straws
You need these pieces of equipment to serve the juice. Due to different customer needs, you should make sure you have them in different sizes. Based on research, the largest fresh juice serving is 500ml.
However, with time, you will identify what is used most and have that in plenty. The cost of this equipment could start as low as 2,000 shillings. This makes it affordable for a starter.
Another point to add is that juice tumblers should be transparent and disposable.
Although most customers will not ask for napkins, it is important to avail them in your business for situations that result in spillages. The extra customer service will help you create brand loyalty among some customers.
6. Plastic storage jerrycans and containers
These are the containers you will use to store the juice that you blend. The storage should be enough to service your needs. Also, ensure to keep them at the top level of hygiene.
I would recommend using translucent containers for storing your juice. Label your juice containers for easier identification by you and your customers.
If you do not want to use plastic containers to display your juice, you can use a rotating juice dispenser. However, the rotating juice dispenser operates using electricity and hence adds extra expenses to your business. A rotating juice dispenser in Kenya costs about Ksh 9,000.
As we discussed earlier, fresh juice is a highly perishable product. There will be days when you blend a lot of juice and some of it is left unsold creating a need for a refrigerator.
A small standard refrigerator goes for an average of Ksh 15,000 in the market. If you do not have the funds to purchase a refrigerator, target to prepare a small amount of juice to minimize the chances of it remaining unsold.
You can also pool to buy or rent a storage facility. However, this can only become possible if you are more sellers in a near location.
8. Shelving unit and juice display counter
The display counter is where you place your juice for display. You will also use it to store the extra cutlery such as tumblers and straws. The most affordable way to get one is to get a local carpenter to make it for you.
4. Get a supplier.
Fruits are the key raw materials for how to start and running a fresh juice business in Kenya. Hence, you should get a reliable and affordable supplier. Some of the most common fruits in this business include. fruits you can include in your fresh juice in Kenya include:
- Passion fruit
Since fruits are highly perishable, especially in hot areas, consider buying unripe fruits to increase the shelf life.
Other costs to factor in while sourcing the fruits include transportation and storage costs. Alternatively, you can also farm some of them if you have the land. This will make it cheaper and more profitable for the business.
Some fresh fruit juice sellers also double as fruit sellers. Selling your fruits can help you finish your stock faster, minimizing the risk of your fruits going bad.
5. Get the relevant permits and licenses
All businesses in Kenya require to have the necessary permits and licenses to operate. Failure to do so makes the business illegal can could lead to legal consequences such as prosecution or business closure.
The main permits required for a fruit juice business in Kenya include:
Business permit– this is a mandatory business license for a business operating in Kenya. The cost of the permit varies with the county of operation and business size. The cost averages between Ksh3, 000 to Ksh10, 000. Mostly this permit requires annual renewal.
The permit is issued by the county government.
Food hygiene license – It is issued once your business has been inspected by a county council member. It shows that your business premise meets the approved hygiene standards necessary for a commercial business. The license costs 1,000 shillings.
Food handlers’ medical certificate– this license is issued to show that none of the people handling food in the business has a contagious disease. The cost for this certificate is Ksh 600, and it is valid for 6 months.
6. Price your products
Pricing is an important step when starting this business. The goal of pricing is to ensure the business is operating profitably after factoring in the operating costs. Some of the factors to consider when pricing includes the area of operation, costs of production, and competitors’ pricing.
7. Launch your business
Once all the above steps are complete, it is time to launch your business.
This is the final step to start offering your products in the market. Launching the business, means you are ready to compete. It is time to use the market research information. During the launch stage, you can plan to offer attractive offers such as discounts.
8. Market your business
Marketing will help create business awareness among your potential customers. Hence, it is a key strategy for increasing your customer base. The best form of marketing is through referrals and can only happen if you are offering good and quality products.
Other forms of marketing include social media marketing. This is where you push your business information through various social pages such as Facebook and Twitter. Learn more on How to Succeed in Social Media Marketing.
Operating a fresh juice business requires perseverance and effort. Delivering high-quality services and maintaining good customer relations are important aspects that lead to success in this business.
With the above information, I trust it will help on how to start and run a fresh juice business in Kenya.
To recap, the steps involved in starting a fresh juice business in Kenya are:
- Perform adequate market research
- Get a good business location
- Purchase the relevant equipment
- Get fruit suppliers
- Acquire relevant permits and licenses
- Pricing your products
- Launch your business.
- Market your business