Weetabix to Invest KSh200 Million in Kenya

Cereal manufacturer, Weetabix Food Company intends to invest 200 million Kenyan shillings in its Kenyan subsidiary and double its capacity.

The global manufacturer is seeking to double its volume tremendously in the East African nation in the next three to five years in order to increase Weetabix's market penetration.

"We are investing in Nairobi mainly for the Kenyan market because we believe in the growth opportunity, so our businesses have been growing well. The Weetabix business is all about offering families around the world a healthy nutritious start of the day. We are investing the money to deliver more capacity, so we can grow as well as introduce new innovations of different formats into the market base," Giles Turrell, CEO of Weetabix Food Company told CNBC Africa.

The firm intends to use the Kenyan hub to expand its business across East Africa as well with manufacturing being solely in Kenya.

According to Turrell, Weetabix in Kenya has grown immensely. Earlier in the year, the company announced that demand for cereals in the region had increased to 8.5 million kilograms from 1.5 million kilograms per day.

"We have seen good growth and last year the company grew by 16 per cent here in Kenya, we are focused in 20 per cent growth. I think at the core of it is the fact that we are the healthiest breakfast. So if you think about whole grain, and the benefits of whole grain [and] fibre in the diet as well as vitamins and minerals and having to eat Weetabix with milk is a great way to start the day," Turrell said.

In April this year, the manufacturer said it will begin sourcing 60 per cent of its raw materials from local farmers. This initiative will help cut down the company's rate of wheat importation for production.

"Our business model is always to try and source our raw material locally, that is what we aim to do but there are two provisos. One is quality, can we get the right quality and two can we get the right price. So if you look at our business in the UK we source all of our wheat within 50 miles of the plant, our ambition would be to do that the same where we manufacture around the world and work in partnership with local farmers."

SOURCE: http://www.cnbcafrica.com/news/east-africa/2014/08/26/weetabix-invest-kenya/