KENYA – Kapa Foods Innovations Limited, a Kenyan-based joint venture company between Sojitz Corporation (“Sojitz”) and Kapa Oil Refineries Limited (KOR) has released an instant noodle offering ‘Nala Instant Noodles, expanding its presence in the convenient foods market.

Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, Sojitz Corp (Sojitz) is an integrated global trading and investment group with operations in the America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

According to a news release by Sojitz in June, the joint venture’s aim was to develop an instant noodle manufacturing and sales business targeting to capture a 20% share of the East African instant noodle market by 2026.

Already in local retail outlets, the Nala instant noodles come in chicken-flavored, which the manufacturer believes the product will have an easy market penetration since chicken is the most popular flavor in the East African region.

According to the manufacturers, Nala was developed based on preliminary market research to create a product that meets the preferences of local consumers.

To achieve this, Thai President Foods Public Company Limited (“TPF”), the largest manufacturer and seller of instant noodles in Thailand, was picked to be the technical partner to guide manufacturing technology and quality control.

TPF is recognized for its strength in developing a variety of recipes tailored to the tastes of each country hence Nala is tailored to meet the needs and preferences of the East African market.

The manufacturers also bet that the product is unique compared to the commonly available instant noodles as it is designed to retain the original flavor after discarding the broth hence requiring little or no added spices during preparation.

Nala is made with a rich broth so the noodles remain flavorful even after the broth is discarded. Nala noodles also boast a chewy texture that can be enjoyed even by consumers living in high-altitude regions with low boiling points”, read the statement.

By leveraging the sales channels that KOR, a leading manufacturer of oil products and consumer goods in Kenya has established in the East African region and Sojitz’s experience in building an integrated value chain from manufacturing to sales in the global market centered on Vietnam,

The two companies are optimistic to capture a 20% share of the East African instant noodle market by 2026.

Additionally, the offering comes at a time when the instant noodle market is growing at an average of 20% to 30% every year against the backdrop of rising income levels and changing lifestyles, and the market size has grown to US$37 million in 2022.

The project, therefore,  aims to tap into the growing East African region economies since the region is enjoying one of the highest economic growth rates in Africa, with an average real GDP growth rate of approximately 4.4% in 2022 and 5.1% expected in 2023.

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