Shopping in Kenya will quickly burn a hole in your pocket and Kenyans are feeling the pinch - Here’s how it compares with Egypt, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Nigeria

A shopper  in Kenya.
  • A household survey by research consultancy firm Kantar, covering five African countries namely: Egypt, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya shows shopping in the East African country would quickly burn a hole in one’s pocket.
  • Average price of an item in Kenya is Sh51 ($0.5) more than double what it the same item costs in Nigeria Sh20 ($0.2).
  • As a result of the steep prices out of reach of most ordinary folks, Kenyans are trimming their shopping budgets and drastically cut their shopping trips

Kenya is one of the most expensive countries in Sub-Saharan Africa to do your shopping.

A household survey by research consultancy firm Kantar, covering five African countries namely: Egypt, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya shows shopping in the East African country would quickly burn a hole in one’s pocket.

The average price of key first moving consumer goods (FMCG) items bought by households in Africa shows Kenya on top of the ladder. Average price of an item in Kenya is Sh51 ($0.5) more than double what it the same item costs in Nigeria Sh20 ($0.2).

Kenyan shoppers similarly cannot compare with Ghanians and Egyptians shoppers who buy items at an average of Sh31 ($0.3).

Kenyans are feeling the pinch

For instance, while the average spending on toothpaste in Kenya is Sh90 (about $1), a shopper in Nigeria spends Sh50 which is almost half of the cost. A toilet soap costs a Kenyan consumer Sh60 ($0.6) on average compared with just Sh20 ($0.2) in Egypt and Sh30 ($0.3) in Nigeria. 

The same plays out on margarine where a Kenyan shopper coughs about Sh60 ($0.6) while in Ivory Coast, the same quantity costs about Sh20 (0.2).

Despite Kenya being a key producer of coffee and tea, consumers still pay higher. For instance, while a Kenyan would spent about Sh30 on average to get either coffee or tea, a shopper in Ghana pays Sh20 while an Ivorian pays Sh10.

As a result of the steep prices out of reach of most ordinary folks, Kenyans are trimming their shopping budgets and favouring discounted goods in big packs in a bid to save on money.

Kenyans are now making less and less shopping trips annually

Kantar says that the average Kenyan household spending on consumer products shrunk at 3% last year.

The study shows that Kenya has the lowest average household spend of about $220 (Sh22,758) on first moving consumer goods (FMCG) compared with Nigeria, Ghana and Ivory Coast at $228 (Sh23,626), $349 (Sh36,164) and $363 (Sh37,615), respectively.

Kenyans have also drastically cut their shopping trips compared to their African counterparts.

Kenyans make less shopping trips at an average of 300 a year, being fewer than the 805 trips by Ivory Coast shoppers, with the key reason being drive for “getting more for less,” according to the study.

Egyptian shoppers made 746 trips per year, Ghana (560) and Nigeria 390.

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