The average Kenyan consumes 16 kilograms of meat in a year, according to research by Kenya Markets Trust, which would mean that more than 720 million kilograms of meat is consumed in the country annually.

Still, there is a deficit of 300,000 metric tonnes of meat in the country, which means that the demand is not met, and there is therefore a business opportunity.

As an investor, it is crucial to understand why customers buy meat from one vendor as opposed to the other, regardless of business proximity or same pricing.

Understanding consumption trends is also important mainly because it guides you in making your decisions on where to locate your business and the type of customers that you may want to target. Your target market could be a high-end meat buyer, a mid income meat buyer or a low income one.

Different customers will buy meat based on different determinants and it is for you as a potential investor to find out what they are and have them realized.

There are categories of meat buyers, listed as follows;

High-end meat buyer

This buyer knows what they want (quality of meat, meat value as well as the different cuts of meat) and you should strive to offer exactly that.

Understand the buying behavior of this customer and stock that type of meat. In most cases, this buyer will buy in bulk every now and then. This is because their resources allow for that. This will also influence the choice of your business location.

Know your meat supplier. It is likely that this buyer has a taste for finer things and has specific wants. For example, it could be that he or she wants only grass-fed or grain-fed beef. It is therefore important to know and have traceability for your meat source.

Diversify your deliverables. Stock different varieties of quality meat and in large quantities to ensure that you satisfy this buyer. You can achieve this for example by stocking seafood, beef, chicken and mutton at one location. This taps and locks that customer with an insatiable meat appetite.

Mid and low-income meat buyer

Understand the dynamics of this customer. This is important as it enables you to quantitatively and qualitatively serve them. This customer will most likely not buy in bulk or as much as the high-end buyer but they will keep coming back to buy the quantities they need when they need them.

Pricing. Work on your marketing strategies and exercise flexibility with your prices and meat measurements, while still offering fresh, quality meat.

Location. Most of the buyers in this category can be found in high population residential areas, which is a catch for you. Tap on to these high numbers in order to maximize profitability.

Know your meat supplier. Source your meat from a decent abattoir that is conveniently placed in your favor in order to amplify your profits

Having established who your main clientele is or would be, it is important to note that whichever customer niche you choose to cater to, they can all be profitable provided you execute them strategically.

Here are other costs guidelines of starting a butchery,

1. Feasibility studies

Conduct a feasibility study of the area you purpose to set up your butchery as this will enable you to come up with startup capital. Ideally, one can start a small butchery with as little as Ksh50,000 to as much as Ksh1 million as well as a bespoke butchery from KSh1 million to KSh2 million, according to Kenya Markets Trust, and all this is dependent on the equipment in the facility.

Set up your business in a busy and densely populated area, ensuring that your shop has visibility and is readily accessible. The best places to set up would be in residential areas, close to a mall, a market or a bus stop as well as other areas with high foot traffic. Executing all this is successfully dependent on your feasibility study.

2. Licenses/Certifications

It is important for you to get the right business certifications in order for your business to run smoothly.

Food and Hygiene License: This is issued by the Public Health Department of the respective location for KSh600, every 6 months.

County Business Permit: This is mandatory and it is paid annually, with costs ranging between KSh10,000 and KSh20,000 depending on your location.

Public Health Certificate. This is a medical certificate obtained from local clinics for meat handlers ranging between KSh500 and KSh1,000.

Fire Safety Certificate. This is an annual certification which goes for KSh3,000.

Halal certification – This is a certificate one can choose to apply for especially if the location one intends to setup their business at is multireligious.

 3. Equipment

These are the tangibles you’ll need in order for you run your business effectively. They include but are not limited to:

•           Display counters.                

•           Butchery hooks

•           Refrigerators and freezers

•           Digital weighing scales

•           Chopping knives and boards

•           Wrapping materials

•           Aprons and headgear

All these are dependent on the size of the business and their pricing is dependent on location and quality.

4. Meat Sourcing

It is crucial that you identify the right meat supplier for your target niche. Always go for meat supplied by licensed abattoirs because they’ve been vetted and approved by the Health Ministry to be fit for sale and consumption.

Meat sourcing also enables you to track your business value chain and enhance traceability.

5. Marketing

Identify your business model and work towards fulfilling it. The purpose here is to create awareness for your new business which will bring the needed traffic.

This could be done online through social media marketing that is impression based as well as relying on word of mouth for referrals. In the digital marketing space, you can also hire public relation firms like Oxygene MCL to help you with market penetration.

Develop a vision for your business as it takes drive to run a startup. You have to know when and what to prioritize before the other and that sets precedence for the longevity of your business.