Stawi Foods and Fruits Limited is a Kenyan based milling company that specializes in the milling of cereals and dried fruits to produce nutritious, pre-cooked and fortified porridge flours for children. Eric Muthomi, the founder and CEO of Stawi Foods and Fruits Limited, started the company to support smallholder farmers and provide nutritious and affordable products to his community. Last year, Stawi Foods and Fruits Limited needed to make several strategic decisions in order to achieve company growth. The company looked to Partners in Food Solutions and their network of expert volunteers for advice.
“We realized we were at a critical point in the company’s journey and in order to continue growing we needed to address some key issues,” said Eric. “We needed to review our product range, our pricing structure, what market/channels we could add for distribution, and how we could lower our raw material sourcing costs to increase our overall return.” Eric met with a group of PFS volunteers, including Cargill Corporate Strategy Associate Victoria Rau, to develop a business plan that would help him increase the company’s revenue and continue to fulfill its mission.
One of the most important aspects of the project was gaining a better understanding of Stawi Foods and Fruits Limited’s customers. “When addressing issues such as pricing, product development or distribution methods, it’s important to let the customer lead the strategy,” said Victoria. “We therefore conducted market research and learned about the factors Kenyan consumers considered most when buying porridge flour. These learnings helped us advise Stawi Foods and Fruits Limited and position their company in a way that would tick all the boxes that the customers wanted.”
Since the project closed in May, Stawi Foods and Fruits Limited has already started to make changes. “We are improving our product formulation so it aligns with the ingredients/nutrients our customers care about. We are also rethinking our marketing strategy to make us a more competitive processor,” said Eric. “Despite the support being 100% virtual, the volunteers fully understood our business as if it was an in-person support. We are very grateful to the PFS volunteers for helping us gain a better understanding of our customers, and we can’t wait to share more about our success in the months to come!”