Kenyan households have for the better part of 2017 were forced to dig deep into their pockets to be able to access basic commodities.
Similarly, the retail sector witnessed mixed fortunes.
Consequently, most households are currently being faced with a commodity price crisis as regards to basic commodities.
Kenya’s rate of inflation eased to 4.50 percent in December from 4.73 percent in November attributed to easing of food prices.
December food inflation eased to 4.68 percent compared to 5.79 percent in November largely supported by a fall in vegetable prices amid improved weather conditions. Disinflation in the food basket is expected to remain sustained on the back of favourable weather and expected government support to key areas in the agricultural sector.
“Meanwhile, easing food prices overshadowed the modest pick up in the prices of activities associated with fuel consumption in the month.
An upward adjustment in retail fuel prices largely underpinned the rise in fuel prices over the month. Fuel prices are expected to edge higher owing to the crude oil production cuts that have since seen global crude oil prices exceed highs of $65.00 per barrel,” notes Stephanie Kimani, Research Economist at Commercial Bank of Africa Limited.
Brand consciousness, green malls, entry of international retailers and online shopping are some of the key trends in the retail market that will continue to dominate the retail sector.
However, in Kenya price remains a factor.
Competition between the major supermarkets, Tuskys, Naivas, Carrefour and Chandarana are taking the price battle to consumer preferences for convenience.
A market comparison on perishable commodities across Nairobi conducted by the Soko Directory team, a 500 milliliters packet of Fresha milk is retailing at 48 shillings at Naivas and Chandarana Supermarkets respectively and 50 shillings at Tuskys Supermarket.
The same quantity for Brookside milk is being sold at 60 shillings at Naivas and Carrefour and 55 shillings at Tuskys and Chandarana Supermarkets.
Carrefour has the lowest price for a 500ml packet of Tuzo fresh milk compared to Naivas and Tuskys as shown in the table below:
A 500ml packet of Daima Yoghurt is 100 shillings at Tuskys and Chandarana supermarkets respectively and 98 shillings at Carrefour, while the same quantity of Delamere Yoghurt happens to have the same price of 120 shillings in all the four outlets.
A tray of Yellow York eggs is at 375 shillings at Tuskys Supermarket and 383 shillings at Carrefour, while Isinya Eggs is being sold at 390 shillings at Tuskys.
Different cooking oil brands have different prices in these selected supermarkets. A litre of Elianto cooking oil has the highest price of 304 shillings at Naivas and Chandarana respectively compared to all the other brands like Fresh Fry, Rina, Golden Fry, Popco, Ufuta, Avena, Sungold, and Noor.
A litre of Popco cooking oil is the cheapest of all the brand as it is retailing at 180 shillings at Naivas and Tuskys respectively.
On the other hand, a kilogram of Kimbo solid cooking fat, Kasuku, and Chipsy is retailing at 211 shillings in all the four supermarkets apart from Naivas which stands at 210 shillings.