FEATURE

Kitui Flour Mills: Three decades of supplying Kenyan homes with flour

The company has been in operations since 1987

In Summary

•Some 12 years into operation, its proprietors saw an opportunity in the maize milling business and made a deliberate effort to venture into it.

•Kitui Flour Mills currently produces more than six different brands of wheat and maize flour.

The company's newly installed flour milling plant/HANDOUT
The company's newly installed flour milling plant/HANDOUT

More than thirty years ago, Kitui Flour Mills started operations as a wholesale company in a small town tucked in the Eastern part of Kenya.

Some 12 years into operation, its proprietors saw an opportunity in the maize milling business and made a deliberate effort to venture into it.

During the time, they served only a small population mainly households that would require just a few kilograms milled for daily consumption.

Over time, more and more customers milled at its only plant in the country, amazed by its quality standards of processing flour.

We now have several milling plants nationwide producing a wide range of nutritious products
Kitui Flour Mills General Manager, Abdallah Said. 

Demand for its quality milling services grew with time, opening new business opportunities for the company within neighbouring border towns and eventually across the country.

Since 1987, the company has consistently supplied Kenyan homes with flour.

To effectively cater to growing demand and changing customer preferences, Kitui Flour Mills started producing a range of nutritious products, diversifying from maize only to include wheat products.

"Years later, we now have several milling plants nationwide producing a wide range of nutritious products," says Kitui Flour Mills General Manager, Abdallah Said.

It is from humble beginnings that the maker of 'Unga wa Dola' has grown to become a household name in the country and a super brand recognised in more than85 countries across the globe.

The ability to transform family meals and eventually homes is the secret behind the growth of this home-grown brand making waves in the international market, adds Said.

“Throughout the years, the Kitui Flour Mills family has been united and fortified by love, loyalty, sharing, and solidarity. We strive to unceasingly provide quality superior products,” he said.

Kitui Flour Mills currently produces more than six different brands of wheat and maize flour loved dearly by millions of Kenyan households.

They include the firms flagship brand, Unga wa Dola. Other brands under the miller's shelf include JahaziFlour, Unga Wa Dola Bakers Flour, Ziwa Premium Flour, Babalao flour and KFM Chenga flour.

These have been made possible through its milling plants that have a combined milling capacity of over 2,500 tonnes per day.

Unga wa Dola received global recognition after it joined about 20,000 renowned brands in more than 85 countries globally that have the Superbrands status 2019-2020 to stamp its authority in the market.

The growth of this indigenous brand has also economically empowered thousands of of families across the nation by creating employment opportunities for locals.

So far, it has put into employment over 2,000 staff both directly and indirectly.

It has also played a strategic role in supporting smallholder farmers producing raw material for processed flour across the country.

Through Cereal Millers Association(CMA), Kitui Flour Mills works closely with farmers to make sure their crop is bought during the harvest period, at a price that is profitable to allow farmers to expand and prepare for the next harvest.

This symbiotic relationship ensures sustainability of the firm and livelihoods.

According to the firm’s leadership, the future looks brighter for the firm, loyal and prospective customers even with the changing market dynamics, tastes, preferences and growing concerns over the safety of food products.

To continue with this heritage of trust and provision of quality superior products, the company says it is committed to retaining consistency and placing customers and its stakeholders closer to its heart.

“Our customers and stakeholders are our future and the future of our company. We want them to continue enjoying making smooth pastries, flawless chapatis, Ugali and the best of healthy delicacies for the sweet rich taste of home,” said Abdallah Said.

The company plans to launch a new technology that makes flour production more efficient and significantly improves the quality and safety of the product.

The latest milling technology being developed by the miller’s in-house engineers and innovation team comes with digital components to allow for remote quality control.

Abdallah Said, said the firm is raising the bar in milling technology in the country as part of its bigger plan of continuously improving customer experience and supporting their well-being.

This new technology revolutionizes the milling industry and sets new standards in cost-effective processes, target realization time, and energy consumption.

“The customer is at the heart of what we do. If we don’t embrace these new digital technologies and embed them within our business now, in the longer term, that could be a bar to entry into certain markets as the pressure comes from the end consumer,”Abdallah said.