Blending success: Linda hits a lucrative market with healthy organic ketchup

 Linda Korir Founder of Nutriblends Farm Fresh interacts with exhibition participants during the Kenya Meat Expo at KICC Nairobi on June 13, 2024. 

Photo credit: Wilfred Nyangaresi | Nation Media Group

When Linda Korir decided to venture into entrepreneurship, like the engineer she is, she made her calculations with precision, narrowing down to a product that would guarantee her success.

In a world dominated by synthetic flavours and preservatives, Linda established that there were few organic ketchup brands in the local market. The slim pickings were priced expensively, forcing consumers, already hard hit by high inflation, to stick with the unhealthy varieties.

The 30-year-old who has been passionate about agriculture since childhood was determined to work out a solution to this condiment problem.

“When I enrolled at Miramar International College to learn about hydroponics, I met a friend who was learning about tomato farming. I was tempted to join him, but I wanted to do some value addition venture to reduce wastage,” she says.

The organic ketchup business idea came naturally.

“Our products are all-natural. They have no fillers, no colours, no chemicals. Instead of sugar, we use jaggery. It may not be good for diabetes, but it’s a healthier option,” says Linda, the co-founder of Nutriblends.

Initial investment

She and her partner Precious Mbinya started the business with an initial investment of Sh10,000.

“We started with some tomatoes, ginger, garlic, onion and jaggery in Kenya Industrial Research And Development Institute (Kirdi) in South C, where we rented a room for Sh50 and did our production,” says Linda who worked for the Kenya National Highways Authority before the entrepreneurship bug bit her.

They source raw materials from local farmers in Kitengela and Ruiru at a price of Sh90 per kilo for tomatoes, but she says the price can be lower depending on the season.

The self-proclaimed productive engineer says, “I knew from the beginning that this business would be successful. I am a very positive person.”

The entrepreneurs target health-conscious clientele with five categories of organic sauces, including sweet and smoked chilli, sweet, premium spicy barbecue sauce, tomato and herb ketchup and habanero with pineapple.

“The ingredients used depend on the product you want to make, but the end product looks the same as other ketchup brands. The difference is that this is organic. In terms of income levels, because the products are premium, we are targeting a middle to upper income clientele because of the cost of the ingredients,” she says.

Growth and distribution

The business has grown from just her and her partner to nine employees (three permanent and four casual) since its products hit the market seven months ago.

“We have a pick-up station in Nairobi's Central Business District where our retailers pick them up. We also sell to restaurants, but with growing demand and enough manpower, we are looking at getting into online stores like Greenspoon and eventually supermarkets,” she says optimistically.

“We have seen the acceptance of the products in the market. The growth has been fantastic. People are embracing the change and we believe it will be a big thing in the market. The startup is in a growth process. We want our business to grow naturally,” she says.


With many start-ups collapsing within five years of launch, Linda says their journey has not been a walk in the park. There have been plenty of bottlenecks, but aggressiveness keeps them going.

“The business is very interesting; we’ve had ups and downs. But it requires aggressiveness. However, there are challenges such as financing, marketing, and it is also challenging to do production in small bits because it takes a lot of time and resources. It stretches me a lot,” she says.

“I see Nutriblends as a household brand. And owned by our children and grandchildren. A company that grows to be a blessing to others, a healthy company,” she adds.

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