Foodstuffs are the most common, though some liquids can also be bought in bulk and sold in small quantities.

Amongst the foodstuff items sold in Kisumu and Migori are flour, tea, curry powder, biscuits, sweets, spices. There is no market for preserved goods as fresh vegetables and fruits are available all the year round. There is also a ready availability of fresh fish from local markets, as the area is so close to Lake Victoria.

An example of how times have changed relates to the sugar market. Five years ago, the lowest weight packet of sugar you could buy in a local store would be ½ kilo. In the supermarket it would be 2 kilo. Now the industry themselves are packaging in ½ kilo bags and in the shops you can buy it in ¼ kilo or even a few spoonfuls sold in small plastic sachets. The market is driven by price and people who only have a few shillings to spend per day cannot afford to buy in large quantities. They will spend one shilling per day rather than five for a week. There is therefore a market for small-scale re-packaging.

Similarly with liquids and some non-foodstuffs that are daily necessities. Detergent for washing clothes can be bought in very small sachets. Cooking fat will be bought in bulk and then sold by measure into re-used coke or soft drink bottles. Kerosene is also sold in this way. Household soap is bought in bars and cut into smaller pieces.

Sweets can be bought in large packets and sold singly or packets of two. One stall holder told me he buys sweets in packs of 240 for 40Ksh. He re-packages them in a plastic roll that costs about 3Ksh that he makes into small sachets to contain two sweets each. He sells the sachets for 1 ksh, making his potential profit very good. He will sell a complete pack in one week.

Biscuits similarly are bought in bulk and then re-packaged by hand to be sold in smaller quantities. Spices are also sold - cloves can be bought in packets of two or three.

Packaging In Kenya

Before you begin

Web references

A typical area in Kenya

The packaging problem

What commodities are re-packaged?

Materials available for packaging

How Fruit Juice Is Made

Design Possibilities
Re-packaging flour, sugar etc.

Packaging fruit juices

Peanut butter container

Other packaging