Last Updated on July 3, 2020

Everything about butchery business in Kenya


Kenyans love meat so much that finding a vegan among its people is a true rarity in of itself. Even those who consider themselves vegans can’t help but partake in the occasional nyama choma indulgence once in a while. So, as the country’s meat culture is undoubtedly a strong part of its heritage and charm, plus, Kenyan beer goes down SO well with it! Because of this, the butchery business is a highly valued enterprise in Kenya. Also, providing fine cuts of meat and expert service. And while supermarkets are slowly entering the local meat market in recent years.

Visiting a butchery business in Kenya is still popular among loyal customers that value the traditional experience.

While the butchery business in Kenya can often be seen to be done by people who did not make it in school.

It has been well establishing to be very profitable.

Moreover, a survey by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) revealed that 7 million Kenyans are unemployed, with over 1.4 million actively looking for employment.

With these figures, it is easy to see why more and more people are looking for alternatives.

And the butchery business is the perfect choice to start with.

A general overview of the meat industry

Generally speaking, beef, mutton, goat, and camel meat, i.e., red meat, cover pretty much 80% of all the meat consumed.

Meanwhile, meat from poultry and pork, i.e., white meat, covers about 19% of the market consumption.

About 65-70% of the country’s red meat supply comes from local pastoralists, while the remaining 20-25% comes from informal cross border trade with neighboring counties.

Moreover, private ranches contribute 2–3% of total production in the country, principally for the high-end market.

Meat market segmentation

Beef consumption among the households in Nairobi varies with the income category as those in the highest quintile consume nearly three times more beef than those in the lower quintile.

What this proves is that income is the primary determinant of the type of beef products the consumer can buy as the consumers from the high-end market are willing to pay a premium for quality.

Meanwhile, most of the butcheries in the low-end market offer little product differentiation, but the high-end butcheries offer meat cuts that are of a significantly higher quality.

In the lower-tier market, consumers tend to be low-to-medium income earners who purchase from butchers whose meat is openly display without refrigeration.

They also buy meat at point of sale eatery in the form of Choma, boiled or fried as take away.

These meat eateries are primarily located in the medium-income residential estates.

The high-end segment comes down to high-income consumers who like to buy from supermarkets and high-end butcheries.

They tend to value the product presentation as a sign of quality.

These customers rarely utilize point of sale eateries, so make sure research on the different butchery designs in Kenya to get layout ideas when picking out the location.

Start the butchery business in Kenya

Passion and knowledge are key to being a successful butcher, sound business sense, and dedication to creating a brand based on fundamental principles.

Also, considering the fact that the meat business involves highly perishable goods, it requires a good butchery business plan in Kenya.

Here’s a quick breakdown:

Start-up costs:

Start-up costs can be huge due to the need for expensive equipment, including chilled counters, deep freezers, carving machines, etc.

Not to mention, rent for decent premises can be high, depending on the area.

Something to consider would be to look for a butchery for sale in Kenya, but then you’ll also have to renovate the place, which in total will still be expensive.


If you opt to start your butchery, you could probably open one for between 500,000 KES to 1,000,000 KES.

However, this primarily applies to butcheries located in Hurlingham, Kileleshwa, Kilimani, Karen, Kitisuru, and other affluent suburbs, malls, and high-end shopping centers.

Meanwhile, setting up a butchery business in Kenya’s counties like Eldoret, Kisumu, Nakuru, Nyeri, and cities like BuruBuru, Donholm, Embakasi, Huruma, Kitengela, Langata, Ngong Road, Pipeline.

And also Syokimau would set you back 200,000 KES to 500,000 KES and maybe even more.

If you are on a budget, then to build a meat brand and promote your services.

Then starting a small butchery business in Kenya is your best option.

These could cost as low as 30,000 KES to 35,000 KES.

Meanwhile, a medium-size butchery located in a low-income area like Mathare, Kibera, or rural areas would set you back around KES 100,000 to 150,000 KES.

These are only estimates, but the point is that the budgets for butcheries tend to differ strongly based on the location of choice.

Also, keep in mind there will still be on-going costs to start butchery business such as:

  • Purchase of stock
  • And purchase of Materials, e.g., butcher’s knives, weighing scales, etc.
  • Purchase of cleaning equipment
  • Electricity and gas
  • Wrapping Material and Packaging
  • Promotional expenses
  • Staff salaries and uniforms

Securing a supplier:

The success of your butchery business in Kenya is primarily dependent on your ability to secure a steady supply of meat.

Those intending to open up one can purchase from Nairobi City Market, especially those within the Central Business District (CBD).

You can also purchase from any of the slaughterhouses located in Dagoretti, Kajiado, or Njiru counties.

1 kilogram of beef in these slaughterhouses is normally between 250 KES and 320 KES depending on the area, season, and type of meat.

For instance, goat meat tends to be at no less than 320 KES per kg.

Licensing and Compliance:

Food hygiene and safety when start butchery business in Kenya is an important issue as raw meats can harbor pathogens.

Hence, it’s also important you’re fully permitted to sell and are licensed before you start selling to the public.

A business permit is necessary and will cost you between KES 5,000 and KES 20,000, depending on your location.

You can then acquire the Food and Hygiene license from the Public Health Department of the respective county.

How much should you charge for your meat?

When determining your retail price, you need to know your overhead costs, consider the area you’re based in, your business’ current scale, and quality standards.

Most butcheries price their cuts in grams, but generally speaking, a high-end butchery can price its cuts at about 2,000 KES per kilogram.

Other prices can even be from as low as 100 KES, 300 KES, 800 KES, etc.

The real estimate comes mostly down to value addition.

If you offer different varieties, whether it’s boiled or fried meat with rice, ugali, matoke, or other side dishes.

This increases sales numbers and also allows you to create custom prices.

Is there currently a good opportunity to enter the butchery business in Kenya?

There are a number of opportunities in the butchery business that can enhance the meat sector’s growth and competitiveness.

Such opportunities in order to be running a successful butchery include:

  1. Fifth quarter value: The butchery business in Kenya is yet to generate significant value from the fifth quarter. Value addition would prolong their shelf life to allow products to be moved from one urban town to another depending on the demand. Also, clean well prepared fifth quarter products are a delicacy for high- and middle-income segments.
  2. Utilization of a cold refrigeration chain during the supply process: This ensures quality by reducing bacterial loads on meat. Which often comes with hot chain meat. This ultimately encourages consumer confidence & consumption in your product.
  3. Processed and value-added products in the formal and informal channels, respectively: Meat consumption can increase by making available. The value-added products that mainly sold in the informal markets to formal outlets like sausages. This will address both the needs of middle and high-end consumers. Similarly, more processors can come up with products that are appropriate for low-income segments.
  4. Home delivery services: There is a proportion of people who do not prefer going out to eat meat. This segment can easily be an online butchery Kenya which offers well-packaged products that are home delivered through a model similar to the chicken delivery by the fast foods.
  5. The expanding nyama choma culture: most consumers above 19 years of age prefer nyama choma. More value can be extracted from nyama choma outlets through the development of products for home delivery services and also including other dishes.

In short, will you make profits?

Absolutely! The meat industry in Kenya has it’s prices well regulated so that entrepreneurs can make some good income.

This can further increase if you choose to cook the meat and serve it with other dishes.

So, there’s no concern about losing money as one can make as much as they want.

It all depends on how creative they are with the butchery’s execution.

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