Company information

Flavours of Africa

Kenya’s Afribon, which was set-up in 2012, is a manufacturer of food and drink flavours and ingredients, with factories and labs in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Cameroon. The company’s products bring regional and local tastes to the processed food and drinks made by its clients, which are mostly small and medium-sized firms.

“We are the first flavour house producing locally across the East Africa region,” says Anne Merienne-Giuge, CEO. “Before, many of the beverage producers would source their ingredients from overseas.”

Afribon’s flavours are used in a wide range of products, from fruit juices to tea and coffee and alcoholic beverages, as well as confectionery, baked goods such as biscuits, cakes and breads, and dairy products.

The company has worked hard through the recent economic downturn and has managed to increase its revenues, in part because it has been able to show its clients that it can help their bottom line, too. It works with its customers to help them develop new product ideas, from formulation to recipe adjustment and initial production set-up.

“The region is a beehive of activity in certain sectors and segments of the market, and we have been able to react quickly to market gaps and provide solutions,” says Anne. “By developing and producing the beverage ingredient systems locally, the manufacturers have been able to improve their cash flows, in turn reducing stock levels and having greater operational efficiency through buying locally. This has led to
a dramatic growth in our revenues.”

The company now has ambitions to develop further and plans to expand into a number of new markets in Africa in the next few years, while staying aligned with the advice that Anne gives any business starting out. “Identify your market and provide innovative solutions for it,” she says. “Be agile and open to new ideas or different ways of doing business.”