SESACO Ltd., WISHH’s Uganda-based supply chain partner and longtime importer of U.S. defatted soy flour, is making major moves to expand its market reach to include cities in neighboring Kenya. The U.S. soy customer recently sent a team of five SESACO leaders to Kenya to convince new customers that soy flour can save them money and improve the quality of their baked goods.
The SESACO team utilized technical skills and knowledge gained through WISHH- sponsored trainings to demonstrate the benefits of incorporating soy flour into baking recipes. Prospective Kenyan customers were impressed by soy flour’s ability to extend shelf life and yield additional loaves.
The marketing trip also presented the opportunity to introduce new soyfoods, such as porridges, frozen desserts, and yoghurt. The positive reception in Kenya has encouraged SESACO CEO Charles Nsubuga to further focus their 2021 strategy to enter Kenyan markets in cities such as Nakuru, Nairobi, and Juja.
In July 2020 the U.S. and Kenya launched negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement, the first in sub-Saharan Africa. The current population of Kenya is more than 54 million, and the country is home to a young population. The median age in Kenya is 20 years. According to the U.S. State Department, Kenya’s economy remains among the strongest in Africa, with 5-6% GDP growth over the past five years, and strong consumer demand from a growing middle class. However, GDP growth is projected to have slowed to 1.5-2.0 percent in 2020 due to COVID-19.
WISHH’s ongoing cooperation with SESACO has leveraged multiple USDA Foreign Agricultural Service programs, such as the Foreign Market Development Program, along with funding from Qualified State Soybean Boards. Leveraged resources have allowed SESACO staff and customers to come to the United States for training, such as the Northern Crops Institute’s courses on incorporating soy into bakery foods.
Photo caption: WISHH’s supply chain partner in Uganda uses U.S. soy flour in its own products as well as markets them to bakers. SESACO recently sent a team to Kenya and found new opportunities to market soy protein there as well.