Thika-based macadamia nut processor Jungle Nuts has invested Sh100 million in its new venture to manufacture edible oils for local and export markets.
The firm’s CEO Patrick Wainaiana said the Macadamia Nut Oil brands are currently being sold in Europe and will also be available locally by January.
“We are targeting the high-end market given the changing dynamics of eating habits globally.
“The new product is line with our diversification strategy to pursue more growth and broaden our market outlook,” Mr Wainaina said in an interview.
“The demand for macadamia is always high given that the product has no crude particles and cholesterol. We are looking to enter other markets after Europe to deepen our product portfolio.”
Mr Wainaina said the venture was funded through Jungle Nuts’ cash reserves, with the new operation currently employing 100 people in the processing and packaging divisions.
“The capital involved is Sh100 million but the figure is set to go up when we open our productions to the local markets by January,” the CEO said.
The firm is producing 2,000 litres of macadamia nut oil per day at its Thika plant.
Jungle Nuts has joined the list of edible oil manufacturers who are fighting for a larger share of the lucrative market, including Bidco Oil Refineries, Kapa Oil Refineries and Menengai Oil Refineries.
Mr Wainaina said his company is going for the niche nut oil segment, noting that most of the established players are manufacturers of vegetable oils.
The company has for long been selling most of its products that include processed macadamia nuts to the European markets.