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Blue Band buyer introduces new products in the Kenyan market

Unilever has been offloading its solid fat businesses in the last decade on low returns due to consumer choice change

In Summary
  • Kenya is the first country to expand Blue Band into new categories of all the markets Upfield operates
  • In 2017, Unilever agreed to sell its margarine and spreads business to US private equity firm KKR for $8.04 billion (Sh824 billion)
Upfield Head of Corporate Affairs and Communications Africa, Omotola Oyebanjo and Upfield Innovations Marketing Manager, East and Southern Africa, Linda Capwell. This was during the Blue Band Innovations Press Briefing at Serena Hotel.

Upfield which bought Kenyan household margarine, Blue Band brand from Unilever in 2017  has introduced new lines of products into the Kenyan market.

The Netherlands plant-based margarine and spreads firm yesterday launched Blue Band Peanut Butter, Blue Band Real Mayonnaise and Blue Band Cold Pressed Canola oil to its portfolio, giving consumers a wide range to choose from.

Upfield East and Southern Africa managing director, Peter Muchiri said the expanded portfolio will provide more to cater to consumers’ needs

Unilever has been offloading its solid fat businesses in the last decade on low returns due to consumer choice change with many opting for less fatty products on health grounds.

In 2017, Unilever sold its margarine and spreads business to US private equity firm KKR for $8.04 billion (Sh824 billion) to concentrate on faster-growing products in a deal that was closed mid-2018. The capital firm invests in various sectors across the world.

Five years earlier, the global fast-moving goods consumer goods firm sold its Kimbo and Cowboy cooking fat brands to rival Bidco.

Kenya is the first country to expand Blue Band into new categories of all the markets Upfield operates

 Upfield which has a manufacturing plant in Nairobi purchases over 2000 tonnes of rapeseed for its Blue Band Cold Press Canola oil from 3,400 Upfield accredited small scale farmers in Mt Kenya Region.

 
 

This number is expected to increase to over 7000 farmers in the coming years as demand for Canola oil drives increased production.

This even after it rebranded the Blue Band margarine brand in 2004 in what it termed as market conformity to new customer demands.