Market study: consumer insights to support Fairtrade actors in optimizing marketing operations in Kenya

Fairtrade, the most widely recognised ethical label in the world was launched in Kenya in 2013. That's why the TDC commissioned a study that will enable Fairtrade stakeholders to have a better understanding of consumers’ awareness and attitudes towards Fairtrade or ethical trade in general. The study highlights the shopping criteria and media consumption which define the potential for Fairtrade products in the Kenyan market.

Besides contributing to the development of a more informed marketing strategy for Fairtrade Marketing Organization Eastern Africa (FMOEA), it will benefit every local or regional stakeholder engaged in fair or ethical trade targeting the Kenyan market.
 

Most important results

There are indicators of a weak consumer movement in the country with an overall low knowledge of what power consumers wield over businesses. However, the market place acknowledges that peasant farmers are exploited by middlemen and companies. Overall, the market is a value market that appreciates a good mix of quality and affordable price.

There is low knowledge of ethical trade / Fairtrade in the marketplace, but the Fairtrade concept is positively accepted by the target consumers. It is found to be important, relevant and is not seen as having a major impact on the price of the goods.


Some recommendations to optimize the positive opinion towards Fairtrade

Facilitate customer education and build trust in the label:

  • Explain how it will benefit the small scale farmer (for example with testimonials of small scale farmers who have benefited from the programme).
  • Communicate on the quality of the products.

Localize the label to fit the culture, Africanize the marketing approach:

  • Appoint local brand ambassadors.
  • Use sayings such as ‘Buy Kenya, Build Kenya’.
  • Quantify the percentage of price of product that goes to helping small scale farmers.