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Soko maker stirs market with new premium flour

Workers arrange Soko maize flour at a Tuskys Supermarket branch in Nairobi. PHOTO | FILE | NMG
Workers arrange Soko maize flour at a Tuskys Supermarket branch in Nairobi. PHOTO | FILE | NMG 

Capwell Industries, the makers of Soko Ugali, has introduced a new high-end maize flour in the market that targets the growing middle-class.

Amaize flour, which sells at Sh142 for a two kilogramme packet, brings stiff competition to Unga Group’s premium flour Hostess.

The flour hit the market a week ago and has already seen the price of Hostess, which has been retailing at Sh149, cut to Sh142 for a two-kilo packet.

“We want to meet the growing needs of the middle class and that is why we have introduced a premium flour in the market,” said an official from the company.

Both companies also make other cheap flours that mainly target low-income earners. Unga makes Jogoo — its flagship brand — that is currently selling at Sh109 for a two-kilo packet while Capwell’s Soko is retailing at Sh108.

Premium flour are normally expensive because millers extract low amount of end product from a kilo of grain compared with other ordinary brands, hence recover the cost through pricing.

“What happens with premium flour is that we recover less flour from a kilo of maize compared with the way we would with the ordinary brands that is why you find out the price is different between the two,” said an official at Capwell.

Capwell is also installing a wheat flour processing plant at its Thika-based factory to be commissioned in the next two weeks, coming at a time when Unga Group is upgrading its wheat flour line.

Unga is upgrading its Eldoret branch with the installation of a new wheat mill plant as it seeks to improve efficiency in milling to meet growing demand and cut down on production cost.

The plant, which is due for commissioning before the end of this financial year, will have a capacity to mill 300 tonnes of wheat per day compared with the current one in use that has 250 tonnes.

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